A few months ago we announced that FMC’s Annual Policy Summit would be in mid-April 2005. But then in October, FMC was offered a very
unique opportunity to produce a day’s worth of panels and performances
at a big event in New York City in late April. We are still waiting
for a green light on this project, but it’s looking good. In the
mean time we have re-oriented our events schedule for 2005.
April 11 or 12, 2005: DC Policy Day (actual date TBD)
We plan on turning our original
mid-April Summit dates into a one-day Policy pow-wow in Washington, DC.
This will be more focused and policy-specific than the Summit itself
and serve as a moment where various stakeholders can really discuss three
key music and copyright-related policy issues in depth. Details about
this event are coming together quickly and we will send you more info
about this as soon as we can.
2005: FMC 5th Annual Policy Summit
Our 5th Annual Policy Summit has
been shifted to Sunday, September 11 – Tuesday,
September 13, 2005 at GWU’s Lisner Auditorium. These dates put
us after Bumbershoot and Labor Day, but before NEMO and CMJ, which should
be great. Lisner is reserved, as well as breakout rooms and ballrooms
for cocktail parties, and we’re already working on a huge range
of panel topics, so expect an event as broad and compelling as in years past.
We will update the newsletter folks with news as soon as we are able. Also
check the events section of the website for developments.
On January 3, FMC, AFTRA, AFM, the Recording Academy and the Recording
Artists’ Coalition filed joint reply
comments at the FCC on localism in broadcasting. In this filing, the musicians’ groups focused
on three areas in which the Commission sought input, and which broadcasters
and citizens filed comments:
Our filing included excerpts of comments filed by citizens, broadcasters,
on-air talent and musicians, many of which articulated the problems of
localism and access to local radio on a very personal and concrete level.
In addition to these points, the recording artist groups repeated at
the outset – media ownership matters. It is simply
impossible to discuss how to promote localism without consideration of
the consolidated ownership patterns emerging throughout this country.
Although the opportunities for a rulemaking to put the consolidation “genie
back in the bottle” may be few, we urged the FCC to adopt
rules and meaningful enforcement mechanisms to reform the destructive
practices that exist today in television and radio broadcasting. We
also hope this proceeding can help the FCC to reconfirm its commitment
to the core principles of localism, competition and diversity as it
moves forward on building regulatory frameworks for managing emerging technologies.
Read the reply comments here [PDF]
With the Super Bowl anniversary upon us, both the House and Senate have
been busy introducing legislation that would increase the fines on TV
and radio broadcasters that air indecent material. However, as
in similar legislation that died last year, these new bills also propose
raising fines for performers – up to $500,000 per incident. At
this point, the bills could even impose fines on recorded material, which
means that recording artists could be fined for something over which
they have no control over whether it is played on the air.
While we can recognize concerns that some parents and legislators have
about the content on radio and TV, FMC joins with other artist organizations
in opposing higher indecency fines for performers. As drafted, musicians
whose music is played on the radio run the risk of fines for airplay
over which they have no say. This is not only unfair, but would
bankrupt most artists. In addition, it cast a chill over free speech
and artistic expression, and would leave artists constantly censoring
themselves, even in the studio.
Support for the passage of this bill is widespread in the House, and
moderately high in the Senate because legislators are unwilling to “support
indecency”, especially following the “moral values” outcome
of the election. However, we are concerned that legislators are
embarking on something that will have a deep impact on cultural expression
and artistic freedom. If you’re concerned about this indecency
legislation and its impact on free speech and artistic expression, contact
your elected officials and tell them so.
The Year of Living Indecently
An excellent op-ed that takes the broad look at the chilling effects
of indecency legislation on the media and culture.
By Frank Rich, New York
Times, February 5, 2005
Congress to Tackle Broadcast Indecency
A year after the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident, a new effort to
increase fines the FCC can impose is underway.
By Jube Shiver Jr., Los Angeles
Times, January 31, 2005
While we’re on the subject of the FCC…rumors of FCC Chairman
Michael Powell’s resignation had been swirling for months until
his January 21 announcement that he would, indeed, step down.
Now there’s new speculation about who will fill his shoes. We
know it will be a Republican, but will it be current commissioner Martin,
or someone else? In light of the media ownership deregulation fight that
took place under Chairman Powell, FMC hopes the Bush Administration will
be careful to keep the public’s interest at the forefront of their
minds in selecting a new Chair.
Powell To Resign As Head of FCC
By Frank Ahrens, Washington Post, January 22, 2005
Mixed Legacy for FCC’s Powell
By Declan McCullagh and Ben Chamy,
CNET, January 21, 2005
FCC Chairman Michael Powell Resigns
By Thomas C. Greene, The Register, January 21, 2005
Happy Fifth Birthday to Low Power FM! On Tuesday, February 8th,
2005, the Federal Communications Commission is inviting Low Power FM
radio broadcasters and their allies to attend a meeting in Washington,
DC. Representatives from LPFM radio stations from across
the country will testify before Chairman Michael Powell and other FCC
Commissioners and staff in an effort to evaluate LPFM five years after
it was established.
Tuesday, February 8, 2005
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC
Details and agenda for the day at: http://www.fcc.gov/lpfm/
Can’t make it in person? Audio/video coverage of the meeting will
be broadcast live over the Internet from the FCC’s AV events web
page at http://www.fcc.gov/realaudio
In addition, Prometheus Radio Project is organizing a conference on
LPFM on February 7th, and meetings with key members of Congress from
1:00pm – 5:00pm on February 8th.Cake will be served. Details: http://www.prometheusradio.org/lpfm_day.shtml
Speaking of Prometheus… in June 2004, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals
told the FCC that its attempts to further deregulate the American media were
unjustified in landmark case Prometheus v. FCC. The court determined that the
FCC employed “irrational assumptions and inconsistencies” when
drafting the looser cross-ownership rules, and ordered the FCC to return to
the drawing board to craft regulations that truly reflect the Commission’s
stated goals of promoting localism, competition, and diversity.
On January 27, 2005, the Solicitor General announced that it would not
appeal this decision to the Supreme Court. This is good news, and
a victory for media reform advocates and Media Access Project, which
represented citizens in the case. This means that the FCC and Bush
Administration must take the recommendations made by the Third Circuit
Court of Appeals and rewrite telecommunication rules to fit in their guidelines.
Here’s FMC’s press release on the Prometheus v FCC decision
US Backs Off Relaxing Rules for Big Media
Media companies hoping to expand their television station holdings and
to own both TV stations and newspapers in the same markets suffered a
setback yesterday when the Bush administration decided to abandon its
challenge to a ruling that blocked the relaxation of ownership rules.
Stephen Labaton, The New York Times, January 28, 2005
FCC Won’t Contest Media Ownership Rules
The Federal Communication Commission will not appeal a legal challenge
to new rules that would have significantly relaxed government restrictions
on media ownership, an agency spokeswoman said today.
By Jesus Sanchez,
The Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2005
FMC cheers the Copyright Office for examining Orphaned Copyrights!
On January 26, 2005, the Copyright Office announced it would launch
a Notice of Inquiry to examine the issues raised by “orphan works” – copyrighted
works whose owners are difficult or sometimes impossible to locate.
In honor of this invitation for comments, we at FMC would like to highlight
an idea we began advocating back in 2001; the construction of a process
that would allow recording artists to obtain licenses for out-of-print
recordings. Major labels commonly acknowledge that a majority of their
back catalog is currently out of print. This phenomenon harms both musicians,
who lose potential record sales, and consumers who find their variety
of musical choices artificially diminished.
In order to address this problem, record contracts in some countries
contain “reversion clauses” which allow for the return of
the copyright to the creator (musician) if a title has remained out of
print for an established period of time. Reversion clauses frame the
relationship between artist and label as an equal one where both sides
have responsibilities and accountability. In the United States there
is no such reversion clause and, therefore, very little recourse for
musicians who have signed away their copyrights to a label that is unwilling
to keep those records in print.
The FMC is in the process of preparing a comprehensive response to the
Copyright Office that will further advocate for making out-of-print sound
recordings available to the public and the recording artists that originally
about the Orphan works NOI are here
Comments are due at the Copyright Office by March 25, 2005.
The Supreme Court
recently announced that it would hear arguments in the MGM v. Grokster case
on March 29, 2005.Clearly, there
are many people in the music, law, technology, copyright, and policy
community that are following this case closely. Check out the huge
list of amicus briefs and other documents on EFF’s
For musicians, songwriters, and creators of all types, there’s
another case that’s worth
watching. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last September in
Bridgeport v. Dimension Films that a three-note guitar riff lasting 2
seconds used in another song was copyright infringement. This decision
effectively eliminated the ‘de minimis’ exception, a legal
doctrine that allows artists to sample small amounts from earlier songs
to produce new creations without infringing on the earlier works’ copyright.
Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Brennan Center for Justice have
filed a joint amicus brief asking the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
to reverse their original ruling and reinstate the de minimis
rule. As the legal proceedings wil continue, it is clear that striking
a balance between sampling, copyright, compensation, creativity and
fair use continues to challenge the courts, policymakers and creators.
A good summary and analysis of the case on Joe
Gratz’s blog and at the Free
Expression Policy Project.
US Courts Confirm Simple Rules For Sampling: Newton v
Diamond and Bridgeport Music v Dimension Films
On 7 September 2004, the 6th Circuit US Court of Appeal in Bridgeport
Music v Dimension Films reversed a first instance decision regarding
the NWA song "100 Miles and Runnin", which contained a sample
of a recording of a three-note guitar riff lasting 2 seconds from "Get
Off Your Ass and Jam" by George Clinton and Funkadelic owned by
Bridgeport. The Appeal Court found that this was an infringement of
the copyright in the sound recording.
By Tom Frederikse, Simkins Report,
November 15, 2004
While the INDUCE Act got stuck in Congress last year with many content-owning
proponents and technology-innovating opponents, California State Senator
Kevin Murray (D-Los Angeles) has introduced a similar bill to the California Senate.
The bill states that anyone who sells, advertises, or distributes peer-to-peer
file sharing software that enables the user to electronically disseminate
recordings or audiovisual works over the internet is punishable by a
fine not exceeding $2,500 or imprisonment. If passed and signed into
law, it could expose file-swapping software developers to fines or jail
if they don’t take "reasonable care" in preventing the use
of their software to swap copyrighted music or movies—or child pornography.
This bill, SB
96, is burdened with many of the same flaws as INDUCE.
While attempting to target the unauthorized distribution of audio recordings,
pornography, and spyware, its language is overbroad, and if passed it
would effectively overrule the longstanding Sony-Betamax decision in California.
State Bill Could Cripple P2P
A bill introduced in California’s Legislature last week has raised
the possibility of jail time for developers of file-swapping software who
don’t stop trades of copyrighted movies and songs online.
By John Borland,
CNET, January 18, 2005
INDUCE – California style
Kevin Murray is fast becoming
the Orrin Hatch of the California
Senate. On the heels of criminalizing half
the teenagers in the state for sharing music with their friends, Murray
is training his crosshairs on the California technology industry.
Schultz, EFF Deep Links, January 18, 2005
In early January, CD Baby announced the launch of yet another fabulous
tool designed to help musicians: Host Baby Wizard. This Wizard
helps musicians create a website, from start to finish, in under an hour. The
Wizard is custom-designed for musicians and allows you to easily include
all the things you’ll need on your website including:
* sound clips (that stream and play immediately, no download needed)
concert calendar (auto-updating!)
* links to buy your music on CD Baby,
Tower, iTunes, etc.
* email-list signup
* your news/blog/diary
* your press/reviews
* your bio/story
* photo gallery
* guestbook for fans and friends
It’s free for a month, then $20 a month including hosting
if you decide to stay. Check
it out here.
Last February, FMC teamed up with Hastings College of Law to organize
a Music Law Summit West. This year, Hastings is doing it again!
On Wednesday, February 26 Hastings Communications/Entertainment Law Journal
(Comm/Ent), the Hastings Association of Communications, Sports and Entertainment
Law, and the Noise Pop Independent Film and Music Festival are doing
a 2005 Digital Entertainment Law Symposium in San Francisco.
Topics include whether there should be limits to online sex and violence,
the reality of online gaming, and issues related to downloading motion
pictures to DVD burners and home theater screens. It’s free
but MCLE credit is also available for practicing attorneys.More
GROKSTER, P2P and MUSIC DOWNLOADS
Hollywood Ready for P2P Showdown
Entertainment companies line up allies to support them in the Grokster
case, while peer-to-peer backers say the technology is good for much
more than illicit trading of copyright files.
Wired, January 26, 2005
Conservatives back Hollywood
Movie studios and record labels find unlikely bedfellows in their Supreme
Court fight against file swapping.
By John Borland, CNET, January 24, 2005
Music industry: ‘We’ll make you pay for downloads’
Record labels are at last ready to consider using the Net to deliver
content. The question is—how to make money off it?
By Sylvia Carr, CNET, December 10, 2004
Rock, Rolling Over
Just after the New Year, DC’s
alternative rock station WHFS flipped to Spanish programming. Pressured
by other formats and ways of listening, a radio staple is crumbling.
Paul Farhi, Washington Post, January 18, 2005
Payola is dead! Now what will we listen to?
"Everyone tolerated payola when you were getting something in return," notes
Jenny Toomey, executive director of the Future of Music Coalition, a
musician advocacy group. "The problem with indie promotion,
combined with increased ownership consolidation and fewer slots on
the radio playlists, was labels were paying more and more money and
not getting anything in return. It became untenable."
By Eric Boehlert, Salon.com, January
You Don’t Know Jack?
Radio, losing a generation of listeners to
music downloading and facing threats from satellite and Internet radio,
is finally starting to fight back. The nation’s biggest radio companies
are responding to a grousing and mercurial audience by cutting the number
of commercials per hour, expanding the range of music played on the air
and experimenting with new formats.
By Marc Fisher, Washington Post, January
Radio stations vow to speed digital moves
Big broadcast giants say they plan to move faster toward Net-like airwaves,
as popularity of satellite radio surges.
By John Borland, CNET, January
Not So Golden Oldies
This month, early recordings by Elvis himself
started to enter Europe’s public domain. Over the next few decades
a torrent of the most popular tracks from the Beatles, the Rolling
Stones and many other artists will become public property in Europe—to
the pleasure of fans and the consternation of the music industry.
Print Edition, January 6, 2005
JAZZ and CLASSICAL NEWS
Music Fit for a King, Written for a Dentist
Patronage of the arts in the 21st century
By Anne Midgette, New York Times, January 23, 2005
Top conductor goes it alone after record label pulls plug
wealthy backers help pay for recordings of Bach cantatas
The Guardian, January 10, 2005
Jazz musician Branford Marsalis reflects on sources
of renewal. Jazz has always had a reputation for being able to create
something out of nothing. With improvisation as one of its fundamental
elements, jazz derives its vitality from the idiosyncratic styles of
its interpreters and the passion of its performers.
By Branford Marsalis, The Focus, Current Issue
Throughout 2004, FMC engaged in a capacity building process that will help our
organization to focus on our mission and remain an effective voice in the music/technology
community in the coming months and years. As
part of the process, FMC has expanded our Board of Directors to include
two new members, Nicole Vandenberg of Vandenberg Public Relations, and
Farnum Brown of Trillium Asset Management. In
addition, FMC has created an Advisory Board that now includes forty stellar
founding members.We invite you to see our revised
list of Directors and Advisory Board members here.
You can always send an email to suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org with your comments.
Thanks as always,
Donate to the Future of Music Coalition!
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accepted at any level at https://www.futureofmusic.org/donate.cfm