It’s fall again and you can be sure that the leaves ain’t
the only things changing these days. No… it’s the times. Finally, it’s
the times. With no further ado let’s get into the heart of what’s been
up at FMC in the past six weeks.
The third annual FMC Policy Summit is scheduled for January 5-7, 2003
at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. As with last year, we
hope to bring a diverse group of artists, academics, lawyers, business
leaders, technologists and policymakers together for an engaging and
in-depth look at the most critical issues at the intersection of music,
law, policy and technology.
SPECIAL INTERNET-ONLY OFFER for the first 200
FMC SUBSCRIBERS and SUPPORTERS
from now until November 4, 2002
Discounted online registration is now OPEN. Our robots are standing
by to take your order. Just visit our secure
page to guarantee your seat! And remember, this discounted offer
is only good from now until November 4. Read on for more reasons why
you need to be there
SUMMIT EXPANDS TO THREE DAYS
Monday and Tuesday’s programs will include five panels each day, keynote
speeches, musical performances, networking opportunities, and other
events. In addition, we are building out a program on Sunday afternoon
so that working musicians with day jobs can also have a chance to
attend. Sunday, January 5 will include three musician-specific panels
that will focus on practical matters for working musicians, and also
serve as a "primer" for the next days’ discussions.
MONDAY and TUESDAY’S PANELS
One of the best features of last year’s conference was its ability
to anticipate emerging trends and to build panels that brought forward
debates that would soon move from the margins to the center of discussion.
In an attempt to recreate history, FMC is loosely organizing this
year’s panels around broad themes until November when we will begin
to commit to firm topics of discussion. Areas of focus for this year’s
panels will include:
- The State of the Union
- Radio Consolidation: Has it Served Musicians and Citizens?
- The Webcasting Debate
- Illegal Imagination: Sampling and the Public Domain
- Musicians and Health Insurance
- Retail in the 21st Century
- Major Labels: Can They Innovate?
- International Issues
- Control of Content
- Legislative Agenda 2003
For more information about the schedule or Sunday’s program go here
CONFIRMED SPEAKERS and PANELISTS
Keynote Speakers (confirmed as of 10/21/02)
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)
Panelists: (confirmed as of 10/21/2002)
Lee Abrams, Chief Programming Officer, XM Radio
Patricia Aufderheide, Professor, School of Communications, American
Erik Bazilian, Musician, Songwriter
Suzette Becker, Attorney, Becker Entertainment/Internet Law
Eric Boehlert, Salon.com
Whitney Broussard, Partner, Selverne Mandelbaum & Mintz
Rosemary Carroll, Partner, Carroll, Codikow, Guido & Groffman
Sarah B. Deutsch, Vice President & Associate General Counsel,
Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), Chairman of the Entertainment Industry Task
Jim Griffin, Cherry Lane Digital /Pho
Kurt Hanson, Publisher, Radio and Internet Newsletter
Bill Holland, Washington Bureau Chief, Billboard Magazine
Pam Horovitz , President, NARM
Peter Jenner, Chairman, AURA
Rick Karr, Cultural Correspondent, NPR News
Dina LaPolt, Attorney, LaPolt Law
Ian MacKaye, Dischord Records/Fugazi
Michael McMartin, Australian Music Manager’s Forum
L. Londell McMillan, Attorney, L. Londell McMillan PC
Patrick Monaghan, Carrot Top Records and Distribution
Kevin Murray, California State Senator. Chair, Select Committee on
John Nichols, Correspondent, The Nation
Marybeth Peters, Register, US Copyright Office
David Post, Professor of Law, Temple University
Ann Powers, Experience Music Project
Tim Quirk, Listen.com
Pam Samuelson, Professor, School of Information Management and Systems,
Robert Santelli, Director and CEO, Experience Music Project
Eamon Shackleton, Irish Music Rights Organization
Cary Sherman, President, Recording Industry Association of America
John Simson, Executive Director, SoundExchange
Derek Sivers, President, CD Baby
David Sterling, President, MusicPro Insurance
Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor, Department of Culture and Communication,
New York University
Brian Austin Whitney, Just Plain Folks
Peyton Wimmer, Former Director, SIMS Foundation
Already an impressive list of impresarios, rabblerousers, brainiacs,
and raconteurs, but of course, this is just the beginning. You can
always check the website here
for the latest info or to learn more about these folks. If you have
any suggestions about potential panelists, please send them our way.
We’d like to thank the sponsors who have already demonstrated their
support for the Summit:
Just Plain Folks
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Would you or your company like to be a sponsor of the 2003 Summit?
We have a variety of sponsorship opportunities available that can
accommodate any budget. Please contact our sponsorship coordinator,
Megan Frampton at 718.965.0728 or meganframpton [at] yahoo [dot] com
to learn more.
REGISTER NOW TO JOIN US!
The registration fee for the three-day event is $750, which includes
access to all panels and events on all three days, as well as a breakfast
buffet, snacks, beverages, and a boxed lunch on Monday and Tuesday.
$500 **************** SPECIAL OFFER ********$500
From now until Monday, November 4 we are offering a pre-sale price
to the first 200 FMC newsletter subscribers and supporters. Go to
secure page to register
now! Visa, MasterCard and American Express accepted.
Because of some generous contributions from our sponsors, a certain
number of musicians are able to attend the event on a scholarship
status. We would encourage any working musicians who want to engage
in the music/tech debate and better understand the issues affecting
their livelihood to fill out an
application online here.
Scholarships are for musicians only. We will review the online applications
and reply to folks as quickly as we can.
In conjunction with this year’s Summit, the Artists Empowerment Coalition
will be hosting evening concerts at various venues in Washington,
DC with some very special musicians who are members of their coalition.
More about the concerts and performers will be posted on the website
as we confirm, but you can learn more about the AEC and its members
As in years past, practicing attorneys will be able to count their
attendance at the Policy Summit panels towards CLE credits. For 2003,
the CLE accreditation will be handled by Georgetown University Law
School. More information will be posted on the website as it becomes available.
HELP US TO MAKE THIS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SUMMIT YET
We want Gaston Hall to be packed with folks who want to participate
in this vigorous debate about music, law, technology and policy, so
please let your colleagues, students, clients, customers, friends
and family know about this important event. Interested folks should
be encouraged to visit the Summit’s
homepage to learn more about registration, schedules, sponsoring
opportunities, and the scholarships we’re making available to working
musicians. Want to help us even more? Contact our volunteer coordinator
Kendall Nordin at kendall [at] futureofmusic [dot] org
to see how you can help either before or during the event.
Remember, the special registration price of $500 is only good for
For the past nine months, the FMC has been conducting a rigorous study
of the effects of radio deregulation on musicians and citizens. The
report, funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, will be
released on November 18. We’ll disclose the details of the study in
the next newsletter.
Brian Zisk attended the Joint Hearing on Record Label Accounting Practices
in Los Angeles on September 24, which was called by members of the
California Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on
the Entertainment Industry. Numerous record company folks and members
of the press and the public attended, as well as musicians such as
Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Martie Maguire of the Dixie Chicks, Clint
Black, Tom Waits, Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys, Jennifer
Warnes, Steve Vai, Ruben Blades, Lester Chambers, and many others.
To make a long story short, the artists claimed that the labels were
systemically accounting unfairly, and senior executives of the record
labels (and their lawyers) categorically denied all charges, and went
on the counterattack. The artists weren’t the most organized and their
messages were not as clear as they could have been. The record label
executives felt that they had outdebated and outmaneuvered the artists.
Nonetheless, with the exception of Billboard Magazine, all the press
we found surrounding the event came out largely in sympathy with the
artists’ plight and presentation. It’s very interesting to see the
power which the artists have in the press and the public’s imagination,
as well as the strength they wield in the courts of public opinion.
If musicians are willing to step up to the plate and actively explain
their issues and experiences, they have the power to vastly improve
More on the hearings can be found in a thread on the Velvet Rope at:
Ethics of Digital Music Downloading
Tuesday, November 12, 2002 at 6 pm
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law - Classroom C
3200 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817
Gwen Hinze, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Grace Bergen, Former General Counsel, Tower Records
Brian Zisk, Future of Music Coalition; Technologies Director
Alan Sparhawk, Low (Kranky Records)
Jonathan Poneman, Owner - Sub Pop Records
An as yet undetermined representative from the RIAA.
Sponsored by California Lawyers for the Arts, the McGeorge Intellectual
Property Department, and Omnibus Records.
For questions or to reserve a space call 916-442-6210
On August 29th the FMC organized a town meeting with the Seattle music
community called "Where Do We Go From Here?" Co-hosted by
the Experience Music Project, the star-studded panel packed their
JBL Theater. The event was moderated by EMP senior curator Ann Powers
and featured Dave Allen, a member of the explosive, politically-charged
’80s English punk band The Gang of Four, Dave Dederer, of the late
Seattle band the Presidents of the United States of America; Sandy
Pearlman, legendary producer of Blue Oyster Cult and author of the
term "heavy metal"; Reggie Watts, lead singer of Seattle’s
Maktub; Nirvana member and JAMPAC co-founder Krist Novoselic; and
Jenny Toomey and Michael Bracy of the Future of Music Coalition. The
panel touched on a number of our favorite issues, including how artists
are responding to technology, radio consolidation, webcasting and
The staff at EMP was terrific and attendance at the forum was strong.
Read about it here:
EMP panel: Music biz, as it exists, is doomed
By Paul De Barros
Times, August 31, 2002
to a digital archive of the event courtesy of KEXP Radio, Seattle.
The FMC looks forward to organizing more "outside the Beltway"
events like these in 2003.
As the election nears (and a lame-duck session looms) we are keeping
a close eye on a number of legislative initiatives. Some of these
have an opportunity to become law this session, while others have
been introduced to raise awareness of specific issues and to build
momentum for the next congressional session.
One key agenda item for the Future of Music Coalition may become law
in 2002; codification that the 45% digital royalty due to artists
will go directly to artists, rather than being applied to artists’
debt to labels. This language is included in H.R. 5469, the Small
Webcaster Amendment Act of 2002. This bill would provide an alternative
royalty structure for small commercial webcasters, mirroring in many
ways our call for an "incubator license" that we
submitted as Senate testimony in the Spring 2002.
This bill has passed the House and has wide support in the Senate,
but has been held up based on the fear that specific concerns of certain
non-commercial webcasters have not been addressed by this legislation.
Negotiations are ongoing, and it is possible that this bill may be
passed during the post-election lame duck session.
We are continuing to follow a number of other pieces of legislation,
including Senator Feingold’s Competition in Radio and Concert Industries
Act of 2002 [S.2691.IS],
Representative Berman’s bill to limit liability of copyright owners
who want to employ technology solutions to disrupt peer-to-peer networks
R. 5211), and the Digital Choice and Freedom Act of 2002 (H.
R. 5522) introduced by Rep. Lofgren.
We are also following Senator Hatch’s declared intention to introduce
legislation to protect artists’ digital rights, including clarifying
that artists’ Internet domain names will be the property of the artists,
not record labels.
The introduction of legislation, or even discussion of potential legislation,
can be important even if the legislation does not pass. In these cases
proposed legislation can shine a light on a specific concern, send
a signal to regulators or establish a benchmark for how congressional
leaders expect industries to perform. We cannot stress enough the
value of communications from constituents in helping educate their
congressional delegations on specific issues.
Are you concerned about radio consolidation in your hometown? Call
your Congressmen and Senators.
Are you concerned about competition in the concert industry? Call
your Congressmen and Senators.
Do you want your representatives to support initiatives that benefit
artists and music fans? Call your Congressmen
You do not have to make specific requests on specific legislation
- but you have to communicate that these are important issues that
you can help your representatives understand. You can also rest assured
that the industry viewpoints on all these issues are made very clear
in Washington. If you have any questions about how to communicate
with your representatives, feel free to email us and we’ll provide
as much guidance as we can.
Jenny Toomey and Gigi Sohn (Public Knowledge) have been team-teaching
a semester-long class at Georgetown University on music, technology,
copyright and public policy. Though the class is only open to Georgetown
students, we have posted the syllabus online for folks who have an
interest in reading along. Go here
to download the reading list.
Coalition Fights for The Future of Music
By John Nichols
Capital Times, (Madison, WI) October 10, 2002
Fencing Off the Public Domain
"The copyright office isn’t like the patent office, which must
decide which patents and trademarks will go to companies," said
Walter McDonough, general counsel for the Future of Music Coalition,
a nonprofit group monitoring the major record labels. "The patent
office grants rights, but the copyright office records what has been
done. Since the patent office grants rights, they keep records for
when those rights expire."
By Brad King
October 9, 2002
Stars Come Out Against Music Piracy
…"I’m excited to see musicians take a more active role regarding
piracy, accounting practices, radio consolidation, contract reform
and other structures that impact their livelihood," said Jennifer
Toomey, executive director of Washington’s Future of Music Coalition
and a singer-songwriter. "We hope that piracy [will] not be used
as a code word to cover up the recording industry’s slow adoption
and licensing of new technologies — technologies that may create
a more efficient and equitable industry for musicians and citizens."
by Frank Ahrens
Post, September 26, 2002
EMP panel: Music biz, as it exists, is doomed
By Paul De Barros
Times, August 31, 2002
There’s been a significant amount of press about many issues that
we care about, including major label accounting practices, webcasting,
radio consolidation, pay for play, and digital distribution. Here’s
Cox Radio Rejects Payola-Like Practice
The station chain owner will stop accepting fees from independent
By Jeff Leeds
Times, October 18, 2002
Radio killed the radio star
Consolidation has resulted in 10,000 layoffs, the demise of
a beloved trade magazine, and a decline in programming quality. But
industry execs are fat and happy.
By Todd Spencer
October 1, 2002
Companies Settle CD Price-Fixing Suit
The five top U.S. distributors of compact discs and three
large music retailers have agreed to pay $143 million in cash and
CDs to settle charges they cheated consumers by fixing prices.
By Larry Neumeister
Salon.com, September 30, 2002
Janis Ian on Life in the Music World
Folk singer/activist Janis Ian answers all your music questions
in her characteristically straight, informed style. A great read!
September 23, 2002
Rights issue rocks the music world
Record companies see it as mutiny. Musicians call it an overdue
rebellion. Either way, the artists’ rights movement has set the stage
for combat that could revolutionize the music industry.
By Edna Gundersen
Today, September 16, 2002
The Recording Industry is Trying to Kill the Goose That Lays the Golden
A great research-based piece about CD pricing and sales that
challenges the RIAA’s claim that the drop in record sales can be attributed
By Dan Bricklin
A Nation of Thieves
Commentary from The Artist Currently Known as Prince
Killing the College Radio Star
New federal rules that require radio stations to track
and pay royalties on all webcast music may force shoestring university
operations off the air. By Brad King.
August 29, 2002
Why telecoms back the pirate cause
An interesting interview with Verizon VP Sarah Deutsch
on digital rights management and control of content
By Declan McCullagh
News.com, August 27, 2002
State Senate to Examine Music Firms
Royalties: A second hearing on recording industry accounting
is planned to probe allegations that artists are being cheated.
By Chuck Philips
Times, Aug 26, 2002
Disc Jockeys Are Resisting Taking the Local Out of Local Radio
By Denny Lee
New York Times, August 25, 2002
Jenny has been criss-crossing the globe talking about music and technology
issues. In October she attended a media justice retreat with a host
of other inspiring activists that was organized by The Center for
Digital Democracy and held at the Musgrove compound on the beautiful
(but mosquito ruled) Georgia Coast line. Later in October she attended
a rigorous two-day international summit focused on the Public Domain.
The event was organized by Peter Jaszi at The American University’s
Washington School of Law. The event corresponded with a whirlwind
of activity surrounding the recent oral arguments in the Eldred v.
Ashcroft Supreme Court case which raised questions about the constitutionality
of the Sony Bono Copyright Extension Act. The highlight of that week
for Jenny came when an exhausted Larry Lessig (who argued the Eldred
side) visited Georgetown University to take over the professorial
duties in the class that Jenny and Gigi have been teaching and to
answer such uncouth but fascinating student questions like "What
do you wish you might have done differently?" Jenny then flew
24 hours to Australia where she gave the Keynote address at the International
Music Manager’s Forum conference in beautiful Sydney in front of members
of the Australian government who come to these events and actually
do things like fund artist tours!!!! What a different world! On a
final note, Jenny’s new record Tempting
is finally out but she won’t be touring until the spring as she is
consumed with confirming the final geniuses, iconoclasts and superstars
for the FMC Summit and planning the release of the radio consolidation study.
Can this year get any stranger in Washington? Combine a split government,
a hotly contested mid-term election, bizarre occurrences in and around
the greater Washington area and very, very complicated issues involving
interest group politics, technology, the market and copyright law
and you get…well…a headache. But we are seeing progress on a
number of fronts, ranging from coalition efforts to shine a light
on the need to reform commercial radio to potentially promising developments
in the webcasting debate. More than anything over the past few months,
Michael enjoyed getting out to Seattle for the EMP forum in August.
It is always refreshing to meet with folks who follow and appreciate
our efforts with FMC. Next stop - the Policy Summit!
Sound Exchange board member Walter McDonough has been a part of the
attempt to bring small and community webcasters together with record
labels and recording artists in order to reach a reasonable settlement
to the ongoing royalty controversy. As of this writing, it appears that there is
a great chance that webcasters will be able to avail themselves of
a greatly reduced royalty structure. Hopefully, this will allow, particularly
the smaller webcasters, to continue their advocacy on behalf of music
that may not be heard on increasingly constricted commercial radio.
Walter also recently visited Nashville, where he was a keynote speaker
at the well attended Independent Music Conference. While in Music
City, he not only visited the Parthenon and Robert’s Western Wear,
but he was able to meet with several of Nashville’s leading figures
in songwriting and music publishing. This was particularly important
as the FMC is looking to increase its research efforts on behalf of
songwriters and the issues that are facing them in the new digital arena.
Kristin had her baby, Riley, on September 5. Both parents and baby
are doing well, though there have been some sleep-deprived moments.
In between feedings and changings Kristin is working on the final
edits of the radio consolidation study, as well as Policy Summit organization.
Peter is now mired in economics courses but still working on revising
the FMC’s soon-to-be-released study of the radio industry.
Brian attended and reported on the Record Industry Accounting Hearings
in Los Angeles. Brian has been observing the music industry and becoming
passionately steamed at its workings. For example, he is watching
a label bully a musician friend of his seeking release from a deal
which was dead before the turn of the century. The label is insisting
that the artist perform impossible tasks which were not stipulated
in the contract, and equally rudely, the label is insisting that they
are under no obligation to make good on payments which were agreed
to under the contract. Noone who was employed at the label when the
artist signed on still works there. Nonetheless, the current regime
is insisting that if he does not perform the impossible which he never
committed to do in the first place, that he must arrange the repayment
of a staggering amount of money, much of which was spent by the label’s
former executives on projects unrelated to his. Alternately, the artist
can litigate against this multibillion dollar company, disrupting
his life and paying large legal fees, while for the label, their staff
lawyers’ time are considered just a cost of doing business.
Brian has been observing the webcasting machinations, and wonders
why if the RIAA was negotiating an agreement in good faith with small
webcasters that they won’t voluntarily approve the agreement they
reached with these webcasters unless a number of clauses are approved
by the legislature which were not even discussed with the webcasters.
Brian’s been working on a whole bunch of other projects, and is very
much looking forward to seeing a bunch of you at the FMC Policy Summit.