When the powerhouse social media platform Twitter arrived in 2006, we saw some clear potential for music. 120-character text limitations aside, it seemed the service was destined to become a powerful engine for music discovery given the real-time, rapidfire exchange it facilitated.
Post authored by Communications Intern Olivia Brown and Communications Associate Kevin Erickson
Last week, we were dismayed to learn that friend of FMC, singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay was robbed of his computer, tour cash, and passport while on tour in Paris. Franz has long been generous in sharing his insights on the life of a working musician with Futureblog readers. We encourage residents of Europe to go out and support Franz on his remaining tour dates, and everyone else to consider supporting him with a purchase through his Bandcamp page.
This unfortunate episode underscores a point we’ve been making for some time: as journalist Maura Johnston has memorably quipped, “being on the road doesn’t involve plucking bills from Cash Trees lining the highway.” In reality, touring is relentless hard work, and even for streamlined, no-frills acts, it’s not cheap. Even if they plan frugally, many artists ultimately wind up in the red. And it can be risky: thefts like the one Franz experienced are frustratinglycommon.
Music publishing is perhaps the most complex and little understood sectors in the music business. Most folks grasp that record labels own so-called “master recordings,” but many don’t realize there’s a whole ‘nother copyright in music. read more
For the past twelve years, Future of Music Coalition has worked to inform and engage musicians and the music community on issues that impact artists and creative culture as a whole. Some of our work is very straightforward, such as reinforcing the notion that musicians have a range of views on a host of issues and must be included in discussions about their livelihoods. Some of it is nuanced, such as examining how artists are paid in the emerging digital economy and complex questions around copyright and technology. read more
This post authored by FMC communications intern Olivia Brown
Metadata. Sounds like a android with irony issues. But it’s actually important to musicians and composers.
So what is it? Metadata is information that lives with every file on your computer. Through a mix of words and numbers, metadata describes files so that they can be managed by both the user and the system. In the case of a music file, metadata refers to the tags associated with a particular piece of music — such as the artist, album name, year of release, etc. These tags are definitely useful for the listener in keeping track of a digital collection. For artists, it’s about tracking for downloads and plays, which can ensure timely and accurate compensation.
Unfortunately, not all systems to organize metadata are created equal. Non-rock artists, especially jazz and classical musicians, have borne the brunt of some of the most poorly organized metadata out there. This is largely because the new business models are often developed with only popular music in mind.
Yesterday (Feb 26, 2013), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) released its 2013 Digital Music Report, noting that the music industry’s global sales rose last year for the first time since 1999. read more
If you’re tuned into the music-tech-policy punditsphere, you’ve probably come across debates about “brand-supported piracy.” Put simply, this is when major corporations have their products advertised on sites that offer music, movies and TV shows to which they don’t have the rights. This doesn’t sit well with creators and content companies, who are frustrated at third parties making money from unauthorized access to their works.
As longtime champions of a legitimate digital marketplace where artists are compensated and fans can easily find lawful content, we understand the concerns. read more
Peter DiCola of Northwestern University School of Law and partner in the “Artists Revenue Streams”-project of the “Future of Music Coalition” has recently published a working paper entitled “Money from Music: Survey Evidence on Musicians’ Revenue and Lessons About Copyright Incentives”, which also will be published in the Arizona Law Review. Based on data of the “Artists Revenue Streams”-project, DiCola analyzes different income streams of musicians in the U.S. […]
Post authored by FMC Communications Intern Olivia Brown]
Like it, or despise it with the white-hot fury of a thousand collapsing suns, Fox’s show “Glee” remains a high-profile musical source for many, especially in the under-50 demographic. Its cover songs routinely show up on the iTunes charts, and as of last February, the cast of “Glee” was the eighth-best-selling digital artist of all time, according to SoundScan. They have also far surpassed the record for most charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100, which formerly belonged to Elvis Presley.
“Glee” is powered by covers, probably more so than its actual plot. People expect new arrangements and interpretations, and then snap them up on iTunes. But what happens when those attention-grabbing and sales-generating arrangements were not actually created specifically for the show? Does “crowdsourcing” arrangements — that have a good chance of charting — from musicians without permission or attribution run afoul of copyright?