Almost a decade ago, Metallica discovered their otherwise-forgettable “I Disappear” floating around the Internet, months before a proper release. Traced back to its source, that song became the thread that unraveled Napster. Ironically, file sharing, and the future of the music with it, became more complicated and less controlled - an issue that continue to dominate any discussion of the music industry. read more
The nonprofit activist group Air Traffic Control and the Future of Music Coalition have produced “Dear New Orleans,” a digital benefit compilation for the people of the Gulf. It includes such artists as My Morning Jacket, Indigo Girls, and the Wrens.read more
I believe the music industry - and specifically the indie music industry - ignores net neutrality at its peril. Losing net neutrality means losing the so-called equal playing field on the internet. What happens to the independent industry is barriers to entry go digital? In any case, Future of Music Coalition does an excellent job of breaking down the Google-Verizon proposal, especially the possibility of tiered internet service in the mobile realm - check it out.
I’m biased, of course, but I think the album rocks pretty hard. The full line-up will be announced next week, but for now I can tell you that A) it includes several of my personal heroes, B) all the participating artists are alumni of the artist-activism retreats ATC and the Future of Music Coalition have been hosting in New Orleans for the last few years and which I blogged about last March, C) it comes with a booklet featuring artwork by the Mekons’ Jon Langford and some liner notes by yours truly, and D) Wonderlick has a new track on the album.
Verizon-Google has issued its “regulatory framework” proposal for the internet, which, according to our friends at the Future of Music Coalition, has amplified the dialogue and debate about net neutrality, a subject about which we are all very concerned. FMC took the announcement as an opportunity to reiterate their basic stance on the open internet and musicians which you can read here.
In March, the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit Future of Music Coalition completed an online survey of musicians regarding health insurance. Thirty-three percent of the more than 1,400 who responded were without insurance. By comparison, a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 15 percent of Americans without health insurance in 2009.
It’s impossible to know the exact numbers in Portland, but when Susannah Weaver was asked if she had insurance, her “No” came with an intonation that suggested it was the dumbest question she’d ever been asked.
If the FCC does not establish clear rules on net neutrality without “fast lane” exemptions, which lane will music tech innovators be allowed to travel in? “There is also some question about how the so-called ‘public internet’ - described in today’s Verizon-Google conference call - would continue to grow and develop alongside the ‘additional online services’ hinted at in the proposal,” says Casey Rae-Hunter, Communications Director and Policy Strategist for Future of Music Coalition. “Today’s events serve to further highlight the need for an appropriate regulatory framework that would clarify what is and isn’t acceptable online.
Google and YouTube would apparently be limited to the ‘public’ internet, and mobile broadband falls outside the purview of the proposal. Opposing groups immediately questioned whether the private internet would start to crowd an underfunded, ignored public internet. And what does this mean for artists? Comments are just trickling in, though Future of Music Coalition policy strategist Casey Rae-Hunter pointed to the need for greater regulatory backbone and definition - not a handshake between private companies. “There is some question about how the so-called ‘public internet’ would continue to grow and develop alongside the ‘additional online services’ hinted at in the proposal,” Rae-Hunter offered.