We’re charging full steam ahead with the planning of our Fourth
Annual Policy Summit for May 2 – 3, 2004 at George Washington
University’s Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC. We continue
to bring the best and brightest people working in music and technology
together to discuss the most critical issues impacting our community
and reframe these complicated questions to benefit musicians and citizens.
Online registration opens today!
Key features for 2004:
LOWER REGISTRATION PRICES: Only $149 for a two-day pass
SPECIAL DISCOUNT RATES for STUDENTS: $99 for a two-day pass
OVER 200 MUSICIANS’ SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE
About Lisner Auditorium
Keynote Speeches from
Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN)
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps
Thirty-five panelists already confirmed…including Danny Goldberg
(Chairman and CEO, Artemis Records), Janeane Garofalo (Actor and Comedian),
Mike Dreese (Newbury Comics), Kim Coletta (Desoto Records and band Jawbox),
Gigi Sohn (President, Public Knowledge), Derek Sivers (CD Baby), William
Terry Fisher (Professor of Law, Harvard Law School), Ann Chaitovitz
(Director of Sound Recordings, AFTRA), Thomas Frank (Author and Editor,
The Baffler), Ron Gertz (President and CEO, Music Reports), Seth Hurwitz
(9:30 Club), Dave Meinert (PNW Chapter of Recording Academy, Owner/President
of Blue Team Management), John Nichols (Writer, The Nation), Tim Quirk
(Executive Editor, Music, Real Networks and band Too Much Joy), John
Simson (Executive Director, SoundExchange), Koleman Strumpf (Department
of Economics, UNC), Siva Vaidhyanathan (NYU)…with many more to
Sunday’s Musician-Focused Program
Building on the success of last year’s Summit, half of Sunday’s
schedule will focus on artists’ interests, giving working musicians
an opportunity to learn more about the changing environment. Panel topics
will cover such issues as: treating your band as a business, musicians
organizing for political change, and music distribution in the digital environment.
One of the best features of every FMC Summit is the ability to anticipate
emerging trends and to build panels that bring forward debates that
soon move from the margins to the center of discussion. Areas of focus
for this year’s panels on Monday will include: the state of the
music/tech industry; digital distribution/digital music stores; the
effect of corporate consolidation in touring, ticketing, major labels,
and media on musicians; alternative compensation systems; the smash-up
revolution; and the policy outlook for the music/tech community.
More detail about the panel topics here:
Scholarships Available for Working Musicians
One of the unique aspects of the Summit is its determination to involve
artists, both as performers and as active policy participants. Because
of contributions from foundations, corporations and individuals, over
200 artists are able to attend the Summit at no charge. We urge all
the working musicians out there to join us for this event. Go
here to fill out an application.
Become a Sponsor
Are you interested in becoming an event sponsor? We still have sponsorship
and partnering options available. Talk to us at 202.518.4117 and we
can email you a sponsor packet.
Why two days instead of three?
In late February FMC chose to condense our Policy Summit from three
days to two. With so much happening the music/technology space that
may seem counter-intuitive, but we got a very special request from George
Washington University. On Tuesday, May 4, they have the opportunity
to have UN Secretary General Kofi Annan speak in Lisner Auditorium.
They asked us nicely to give up one of our reserved dates and we said
“of course”. If only music and technology negotiations could
go so smoothly.
Plan to join us for this unique event. Online registration now open!
On February 25, the FMC, Hastings College of Law and Noise Pop hosted
the Music Law Summit West in San Francisco, CA, with an impressive list
of panelists and speakers, including California State Senator Kevin
Murray and Stanford Law professor Lawrence Lessig.
As we hoped, the mix of panelists and topics led to lively and informative
debates about some of the most relevant issues at the center of the
The Electronic Frontier Foundation discussed their recently-released
white paper on peer-to-peer filesharing and revenue streams, which became
a point of heated discussion during the first panel. You can download
the paper here: http://www.eff.org/share/20040224_eff_pr.php
The second panel on digital download stores focused on some of the practical
challenges that services like Napster 2.0, Rhapsody and iTunes deal
with on a daily basis as they become more relevant in the music space.
After lunch, Senator Murray discussed two bills that he’s supporting
in the state assembly; one that states that major labels have a fiduciary
duty to their artists under contract, and another that tries to impose
an identification requirement on materials traded on peer-to-peer systems.
Then it was on to music and politics, which brought together self-described
crusaders and long-term musician activists to talk about how musicians
can use their positions to organize for change. Finally, talk turned
to the current state of music contracts, where managers, lawyers and
label representatives debated how the music industry is adapting to
the new ways that music is being created, distributed and sold.
The day was capped off by a speech by Professor Lawrence Lessig who,
with a presentation that bordered on a narrated short movie, took the
participants from the invention of the Daguerreotype to the Grey Album
to the value of the shared information. His presentation received a
Details about the event are here
Here’s some press from subjects pertinent to the event:
Polishing the Brass
Judging from last week’s Music Law Summit West, the future of the music
biz is unclear — but that’s not what the RIAA wants you to think.
By Garrett Kamps
Francisco Weekly, March 3, 2004
The Answer to Piracy: Five Bucks?
Here’s a bright idea from a digital rights group: Get music file sharers
to pay $5 a month on top of their ISP fees to compensate the artists.
Of course, the music industry hates it. Katie Dean reports from San
February 26, 2004
A License to Download?
February 26, 2004
EFF proposes music file-sharing license
By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Jose Mercury News, February 26, 2004
Getting out the alienated vote
Punk rockers’ attempts to pitch elections to peers is no easy sell
Francisco Chronicle, February 25, 2004
We’d like to thank Hastings College of Law and Noise Pop for their
outstanding support, and we hope to organize similar West Coast events
in the future!
On February 28, the Future of Music Coalition was pleased to participate
in the "Fixing Radio Forum", an event sponsored by the Pacific
Northwest Branch of the Recording Academy and co-sponsored by FMC, Reclaim
the Media, Experience Music Project, and KEXP 90.3. This forum brought
together several hundred citizens for a four-hour exploration of how
the essential value of radio can be translated into rules and regulations
that can be put into effect by the Federal Communications Commission.
In moving beyond simple critiques of the current radio industry, event
participants sought to put forth tangible principles and policy suggestions
that could actually improve the radio industry for all concerned. FMC
co-founder Michael Bracy literally phoned in his appearance, participating
in the second panel via telephone from his home in Arlington, Virginia.
On February 29, panelists and other interested parties reconvened at
the Experience Music Project for a brainstorming session on what shape
these rules and regulations should take. The outcome will be presented
to policymakers in Congress and the FCC in a series of briefings throughout
the spring, and will be discussed at the FMC Policy Summit in May.
Kudos go to Deborah Semer, David Meinert, Jonathan Lawson, Mike Tierney,
Sarah Sternau, Vickie Nauman and everyone else who donated so much time
to make this event a great success.
Industry worries aired at ‘Fixing Radio’ forum
By Mark Rahner
Times, February 29, 2004
Event archives, including audio of both panels, are available here:
In late February, AFTRA launched a new online campaign at http://www.rightsforrecordingartists.com
to gather support for SB 1034, a bill that is pending in the California
State Assembly that addresses record label accounting practices.
Although proper accounting between artists and record companies should
be above reproach, revelations have shown that some record label accounting
practices have routinely deprived royalty artists of the compensation
that they are entitled to receive under their recording contracts. Under
the current structure, there is no established penalty for those record
companies who report inaccurately, creating a disincentive for the companies
to report fully and, in essence, rewarding some companies for their
California State Senator Kevin Murray has recognized the importance
of holding record companies accountable with SB 1034, which passed the
full California State Senate in May 2003 and is now pending in the California
State Assembly. This Bill makes a record company’s duty to account accurately
for royalties earned under a recording contract a fiduciary duty.
Passage of this bill would give artists the assurance they deserve and
make record labels accountable when they fail to comply with their contractual
royalty obligations. We must demonstrate to the Assembly how important
this Bill is and that artists support its passage. Click on http://www.rightsforrecordingartists.com
to e-mail a letter to the California Assembly explaining how important
legislation requiring proper accounting is to artists.
This week, FMC and the Pew Internet & American Life Project will
launch an important research project; a comprehensive online survey
designed to gauge musicians’ opinions about the internet and how
it affects the way they create, promote and distribute music.
We’ve all heard speculations about what musicians are “really
thinking” in the changing digital landscape. Yet, from our vantage
point inside the music community these projections have always seemed
too narrow to represent the complex concerns we regularly experience
in our discussions with musicians.
It’s time to stop projecting our thoughts and preferences onto musicians
and, instead, ask musicians to share their own experiences and opinions.
To that end, with the help of our partners CD Baby, Just Plain Folks,
Nashville Songwriters Association, AFTRA, and AFM, The Future of Music
Coalition and the Pew Internet & American Life Project have designed
an online survey that asks musicians a variety of questions about music,
technology, copyright, peer-to-peer filesharing, emerging best practices,
and the public domain.
We hope you help us get as many musicians as possible to answer the
survey so we can better understand the complexity of these changes and
the diversity of our community.
Click here to participate.
DJ Danger Mouse and the Grey Album, George Michael leaving the music
industry, RIAA lawsuits, EFF proposals, Punkvoter’s fight with
Urban Outfitters over the “Voting is for Old People” t-shirt,
iPods, filesharing…there’s oodles of news in the newsstream.
Click here for more: http://www.futureofmusic.org/newsstream.cfm
If you haven’t visited our website lately, we have a new home
page that gives folks more direct access to some of our more popular
work, events, articles and research. Check it out! http://www.futureofmusic.org
In the past month Jenny traveled to Ghana to meet with members of the
Ford Foundation’s media, arts and culture division. She learned
about intellectual property concerns from all around the world. She
also learned that in Africa there are bats with bellies that are larger
than human heads. Upon returning to the states she flew to San Francisco
for the Hastings/FMC West Coast Summit where she hosted a panel on music
and activism with Fat Mike of Punk Voter, Josh Koenig of MFA and Krist
Novoselic of Nirvana. She was super impressed (but not surprised) at
the quality of the conference which was coordinated entirely (on the
FMC side) by Kristin superhero Thomson. She is currently standing on
the bow of the organization, telephone to ear, and staring into the
tempest that will be the 2004 FMC Policy Summit East.
Walter McDonough recently visited Toronto to moderate a panel at CMW
regarding alternative compensation systems along with Sandy Pearlman
and Terry Fisher. Walter continues his research on how digital music
distribution will impact recording artist compensation, the consignment
and accompanying reserve requirement business models and the future
of small independent record labels. In addition, he has been talking
to musicians, managers and agents on both sides of the U.S./Canada border
about how immigration and visa policies are affecting the ability of
musicians to tour in their neighboring country. Mr. McDonough takes
no credit for the Gonchar trade.
Kristin has been in an organizing frenzy for months now, jumping from
the Hastings event right into Policy Summit mode. When she’s not
typing she’s either brandishing a hockey stick – her Philadelphia
Freeze women’s hockey team qualified for district playoffs this
year – or a guitar. Her current active band, Ken, which celebrates
its 10th anniversary this year, is just finishing mixing and mastering
a record, which will eventually be self-released and available through
Michael has been focusing on radio policy and the upcoming FMC Policy
Summit. He enjoyed all the work put into the Fixing Radio Forum by the
hearty activists in Seattle. This was a great event, particularly because
it advanced the discussion on radio issues away from critique and toward
putting forward an affirmative vision for a policy framework that would
get us back to the traditional goals of localism, competition and diversity
in radio. Michael has also been working hard on advancing the Low Power
FM Radio issue in Washington with the submission of the (long awaited)
report on LFPM from the FCC to Congress. Finally, birthday season has
supplanted basketball season as a March priority at the Bracy household,
as the logistical intricacies of Sophie’s 4th birthday and Owen’s
1st birthday are thankfully distracting Michael from the hard reality
that his beloved Hoyas may never, ever qualify for the NCAA tournament again.
At the Music Law Summit West, Brian moderated a great panel on the emerging
Digital Download Marketplace featuring Ralph Peer, Jerry Harrison, Tim
Quirk, Molly Neumann, and Josh Engel. Seems like everyone is working
to move forward, but the logistics are frightening. Brian is currently
reviewing the various Digital Download Stores and figuring out who has
their act together, and who is a nightmare to work with. He’s also evaluating
a number of brand new options for bands to be able to sell their shows
to fans within minutes after the concert ends. Companies’ doing this
for artists are just starting to reach a reasonable velocity, but those
who do it best will do very well over the next few years. In addition,
Brian is working hard to help drum up sponsorships for the upcoming
Future of Music Policy Summit. If you have a hunch that this might be
appropriate for you or your company (or if there’s someone we should
definitely reach out to), please drop a quick email to brian [at] futureofmusic [dot] org,
and we can easily discuss some quite reasonable options.
Peter DiCola was recently named Executive Articles Editor of the Michigan
Law Review. He has been busy reading articles, but he is also working
to revise a paper, which he’ll give at the Broadcast Education Association’s
(part of the NAB’s) conference in April.
If you have any feedback, questions, or suggestions please send an
email to suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org,
and let us know how we’re doing.
Thanks for your support and see you next time.