There’s been a lot of back-and-forth regarding a recent court ruling that maintains the current royalty rates paid by Internet radio company Pandora to ASCAP, a 100 year-old performing rights organization (PRO) that collects money for AM/FM and Internet radio play then distributes that revenue to songwriters and publishers.
In the coming days, we hope to offer varying viewpoints from individuals and groups in this ecosystem. For now, we’ll try to demystify this decision and the licensing frameworks that informed it.
This Background Vocalist performs regularly on network TV and in widely-released films. She also performs live on tour, and as a singer on many recordings. Based on accounting data from 2009-2010 provided by the artist, this case study –– like other financial case studies we have conducted –– examines her music-based sources of income and expenses.
A major US orchestra’s performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring – recorded in 2012 and released by a major label – is for sale on iTunes. How are the orchestra members who participated in the recording session paid for digital sales?
A. The performers aren’t paid anything for sales. The income from sales goes to the orchestra management, just like ticket sales.
B. The performers aren’t paid directly for sales. Orchestra members who participated in the recording are entitled to participate in distributions made by the Sound Recordings Special Payments Fund.read more
How can you earn more money from your music? Are there revenue streams you don’t know about that you ought to be collecting? Join FMC’s Jean Cook, Project Director for the Artist Revenue Stream projectfor a presentation on the many ways musicians can make maximize their earning potential at a Chamber Music of America event this Tuesday afternoon in NYC.
The event is part of CMA’s series of First Tuesday Workshops, a monthly seminar event featuring leaders in the music industry. An array of topics have been featured in the past including digital music making, video production, music business, audio streaming and more.
Jean will be drawing from lessons learned through FMC’s Artist Revenue Streams research project, a groundbreaking multi-year study assessing how musicians’ revenues are changing in the contemporary marketplace.
The event is on Tuesday, March 4th, 3-5 pm at New York City’s Saint Peters Church. You can RSVPhere. For those who can’t make it in person, the event will be streamed live at www.chamber-music.org, and will be archived in CMA’s online video library.
Recently, Classicalite published some words from Gary Giddins about struggling jazz musicians in New York City. In dealing with similar plights for musicians around the nation, now Washington, D.C. appears to be making amends.
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Representative Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced the Songwriter Equity Act, a bill meant to level the playing field for songwriters, composers and publishers for the use of their work.
The following statement is attributed to Casey Rae, Interim Executive Director for Future of Music Coalition (FMC), a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians.
“It is clear that songwriter and composer compensation is crucial to the health of the entire music ecosystem. Too often, songwriters are overlooked in the pitched debates about new business models and rightsholder royalties. Today’s legislation is important to focusing the conversation on those creators whose talents help power the music marketplace. read more
If you’re a copyright nerd (wait, you’re not?), you may have come across the issue of “pre-’72s.” In a nutshell, recordings made before February 15, 1972 are not protected by federal law, which can complicate how—or whether—royalties are paid for certain uses, like plays on internet or satellite radio.
Many people are unaware that there wasn’t even a copyright for recordings until 1972. Well, that’s not entirely true—some sound recordings made before ’72 are copyrighted at the state level. Still, federal protections are relatively new. At least when compared to compositions, which have been protected since the early 1800s (public performances of musical works came under federal law in 1897).
Debates about pre-’72 recordings might seem arcane, but there are major implications for today’s music ecosystem. First there’s artist compensation. The absence of a performance right for pre-’72s means that there’s no guarantee that recording artists are going to get paid fairly for the use of their work when played on Internet or satellite radio. (AM/FM broadcasters aren’t obligated to pay performers anything, though they do pay songwriters; more info on this crazy loophole here.) The lack of federal recognition also makes it more complicated for services to obtain a license to play music—and where there is no permission, there’s potential liability.
On January 28, 2014, Future of Music Coalition submitted written testimony to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet in its hearing on “The Scope of Fair Use.”
House Subcommittee on the Courts,
Intellectual Property and the Internet
2138 Rayburn Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
January 28, 2013
Dear Chairman Goodlatte, subcommittee Chairmen Coble and Marino and members of the committee:
We are honored to submit the following testimony for the record in this hearing on the scope of fair use. read more
If you follow our work, you know that FMC are longtime supporters of a public performance right for AM/FM broadcasts. The reasons are simple: we think it’s crazy that recording artists in America recieve no compensation for the use of the work on good ol’ fashioned radio. The situation is even more galling when you consider that the rest of the developed world pays performers and sound copyright owners (often labels, but can be artists) for over-the-air plays. The US, as an exception, is in the not-so-terrific company of Iran and North Korea in not paying performers squat.