Help Project 72 Close the Pandora Loophole and #respectallmusic

18 Jul

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

Pandora and Sirius have decided to stop paying performance royalties to artists, producers and background performers who recorded before 1972–in other words, the creators (and their heirs) of the greatest music that influenced us all.  Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Buddy Holly, Jack Teagarden, Johnny Winter and everyone in 20 Feet from Stardom. Just to name a few.  The Pandora loophole hurts American artists the worst (because Pandora’s pals at the NAB keep US artists from being paid overseas).

The Pandora loophole is due to a gotcha in the US copyright law–the Pandora loophole–that supposedly does not extend the SoundExchange royalty to recordings made before 1972 because the U.S. did not adopt federal copyright protection for sound recordings until 1972.  The only problem with Pandora’s position is that there are lots of Members of Congress still in office who passed the 1995…

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A Useful Database from @musically

7 Jul

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

Another example of a private industry solution to information on the digital music market.  MusicAlly demonstrates their directory of online music services.

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The Pirate Bay must be fought for the sake of exploited musicians | The Sydney Morning Herald

6 Jul

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

In Australia, there is very little that a musician can do to stop illegal streaming and downloading sites from using their work. These illegal sites make massive amounts of money from ads and nothing goes back to the artists who provide the content. Not one cent.

Sites such as the Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents exploit artists in the worst sense of the word. These illegal sites do not support musicians’ careers. They deprive musicians of the right to have their work valued in a free and open market.

The success of these sites is predicated on taking without paying on a massive scale. In fact, that is their business model. They don’t create anything. I feel infuriated when I see my work and my friends’ work being used in this way by people who don’t give a damn.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-pirate-bay-must-be-fought-for-the-sake-of-exploited-musicians-20140623-zsiqo.html

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Can Songwriters Demand Answers from CPAs signing statutory royalty certifications?

27 Jun

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

As we’ve discussed several times on MTP, songwriters and publishers who are compelled to accept a compulsory license under Section 115 have no way to know whether any of their statements are correct because the government denies songwriters and publishers the right to audit any royalty statement under the compulsory license.

Instead, songwriters are put in the same position they would be in if the IRS audited their tax return and refused to let them have their own representative defend them.  The government mandates moral hazard:  The only accountant who verifies the legitimacy of the royalty statement is the digital service’s own accountant.  (See the applicable section of the Federal government’s Code of Federal Regulations 37 CFR Section 201.19.)

This Kafka-esque rule may have a solution.  It’s hard to believe that the government somehow has it in for songwriters and wants to create distrust.  While the government refused to…

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YouTube’s DMCA Abuse and Indie Labels: How Google is Blowing it for the Honest People

26 Jun

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

In a speech at Canadian Music Week, Beggars Group Chairman Martin Mills was not only right, he was prescient:

Google, the parent of YouTube, [is] one of the companies that have made billions on the back of [the DMCA notice and takedown,] a statutory provision intended to protect ordinary people acting innocently.

Google has now refined the DMCA to a tool to leverage its anticompetitive activities.  Here’s how it works.

1.  Google opens the YouTube platform to unauthorized “user generated content” and says to artists (literally in this case) “Does yuse wants to play whack a mole or make some dough?”  This is called the notice and shakedown.

2.  Google then jams a settlement down the throats of major labels and sticks it to everyone else.  Publishers are next.

3.  Google pays the lowest royalty online with a big advance to majors and spaghetti statements to everyone else that probably…

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Best Practices for Unmatched Royalties

25 Jun

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

The Copyright Office Music Licensing Study Roundtables have brought up a couple of nagging issues regarding connecting royalty payments with the songwriters or artists who are entitled to payment.

The first comes up with services that rely on the Section 115 compulsory license for songs.  The statute requires the digital service that uses the song to send a notice in advance of using the song.  The notice informs the songwriter that the service intends to rely on the compulsory license.  There are some procedural safeguards built into this notice process, but common sense will tell you that if you’re going to send the notice, the service has to know who the songwriter is and probably how to reach them.

This means that there should be a very limited category of unknown songwriters whose music is used without being notified.  It also assumes that the service does not use the music without…

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Chris Castle Interviews Blake Morgan on Pandora, IRFA and the #Irespectmusic campaign

23 Apr
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