Official Filings

As part of our mission to make sure that artists' and musicians' voices are not left out of the policy debate, FMC regularly prepares and submits public comments, documents, and testimony to the appropriate rulemaking bodies. In these documents, the FMC strives to inject the debate with information about how policies can affect artists and the public at large.

March 21, 2014

Future of Music Coalition Comments to FCC in Open Internet Remand

FMC reiterates importance of access and innovation for musicians and other creators

On March 21 2014, Future of Music Coalition submitted the following comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s latest public docket to preserve a level online playing field.

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Official Filing
March 13, 2014

FMC Testimony in House Subcommittee Hearing on Section 512 Title 17

Examining the DMCA's "safe harbors" and notice-and-takedown requirements

On March 13, 2014 Future of Music Coalition submitted written testimony before the House Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet to coincide with a hearing on Section 512 Title 17 of the US Copyright Code. This section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) governs how internet companies respond to instances of copyright infringement committed by their users.

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Official Filing
January 28, 2014

FMC Testimony in House Subcommittee Hearing on "The Scope of Fair Use"

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.”

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Official Filing
January 14, 2014

The Scope of Copyright

FMC Testimony in House Subcommitee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet

Future of Music Coalition submitted the following written testimony in the House Subcommitee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet’s hearing on “The Scope of Copyright.”

FMC urges Congress to take to heart its constitutional mandate to ensure that copyright laws serve the interests of authors—including musicians and composers—in its ongoing review of existing statute.

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Official Filing
November 13, 2013

FMC Filing in USPTO Internet Policy Task Force "Green Paper"

Comments address issues related to copyright, creativity and the internet

Future of Music Coalition filed the following comments with the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) in an inquiry related to a previously published “green paper” from the Internet Policy Taks Force (a joint effort also including the United States Copyright Office and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration).

Official Filing
September 25, 2013

The Role of Voluntary Agreements in the US Intellectual Property System

FMC Testimony in House Subcommitee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet

Casey Rae

Future of Music Coalition submitted the following written testimony in the House Subcommitee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet’s hearing on “The Role of Voluntary Agreements in the US Intellectual Property System.”

FMC respects the process of multi-stakeholder engagement to identify shared solutions to persistent issues around protecting copyright and other forms of intellectual property online, but stresses that oversight, transparency and the inclusion of the independent music sector in the process is crucial to the success of these initiatives.

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Official Filing
June 19, 2013

FMC Comments in FCC Broadcast Indecency Rulemaking

Agency Seeks Comment on Adopting Egregious Cases Policy

FMC

In June 2012, the Supreme Court decided in FCC v. Fox that the FCC’s indecency policy was too vague and violated broadcasters’ due process rights by not providing “fair notice” of clear rules. FMC and the Center For Creative Voices in Media filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the FCC regulation was applied so arbitrarily that it chills creative expression. Now, a year later, we — along with the rest of the interested public — have the opportunity to tell the FCC what we think their indecency policy should be. The following are comments submitted to the FCC in their rulemaking proceedings.

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Official Filing
May 16, 2013

Future of Music Coalition Testimony to House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet

Submitted for "A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project" hearing

FMC

On Thursday, May 16, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition Policy and the Internet held a hearing entitled “A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project.”

FMC’s written testimony, which was submitted to the Committee for the official record, makes the basic point that creators must be included in future hearings, as their perspectives will help inform any apparaisal of the impact of existing (or proposed) rules. We also examine specific issues that we believe the Committee should examine in the course of its review of current copyright law.

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Official Filing
March 6, 2013

FMC Reply Comments in Copyright Office Orphan Works Inquiry

Casey Rae

On March 6, 2013, Future of Music Coalition submitted reply comments to the United States Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry Concerning Orphan Works and Mass Digitization. All reply comments can be viewed here.

This reply followed FMC’s February 4, 2013 initial filing. All initial filings can be viewed here.

Official Filing
February 4, 2013

FMC Orphan Works Filing with US Copyright Office

In Response to CO Inquiry Concerning Orphan Works and Mass Digitization

Future of Music Coalition filed comments with the United States Copyright Office in its inquiry around Orphan Works — works whose owners are hard or impossible to identify or locate. Orphan works exist in a purgatory of sorts, not able to be used in new creative efforts or made available to the public due to uncertainty over the status of their ownership.

In our comments, FMC describes ways in which authors and copyright owners can be eligible for limited remedies if an orphaned work is used without prior permission. We seek to strike a balance between new users, the public and the creator and rightsholder community, by offering concrete solutions to a problem that has bedeviled policymakers for more than a decade.

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Official Filing
November 28, 2012

Testimony on "Music Licensing Part One: Legislation in the 112th Congress"

House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition Policy, and The Internet

Casey Rae, Deputy Director
Official Filing
August 10, 2012

FMC Comments in IPEC Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement

Executive Office Seeks Public Input on Updating Nation's IP Enforcement Agenda

Casey Rae

The Federal Government is starting the process of developing a  new Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. By committing to common goals, the U.S. Government will more effectively and efficiently combat intellectual property infringement. In this request for comments, the U.S. Government, through the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (“IPEC”), invited public input and participation in shaping the Administration’s intellectual property enforcement strategy.

Future of Music Coalition’s comments highlight the importance of oversight and data assessment within existing enforcement policies, the need for consultation with a broader set of stakeholders and a proactive approach to licensing as a means to address persistent issues in the digital music ecosystem.

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Official Filing
June 21, 2012

Testimony of Deputy Director Casey Rae on "The Universal Music Group/EMI Merger and the Future of Digital Music"

Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights

Casey Rae
Official Filing
May 3, 2012

Letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski on Verizon standalone DSL discontinuance

A broad array of groups express concerns about impact of tying services on consumers & marketplaces

Future of Music Coalition joined a broad array of consumer, creator and public interest groups to express concerns about Verizon’s plans to discontinue standalone retail broadband service.  We argued that the practice of tying broadband service to other services prevents consumer choice, limits consumers from porting telephone numbers, and essentially forces consumers to purchase local services they do not want – either because they have a wireless option or because they prefer to use VoIP or other alternatives.  The net effect is to act as a drag on the adoption of broadband and new IP technologies as well as alternative, competitive voice options by making other standalone services economically unattractive.   

Official Filing
Tags: broadband, FCC
May 7, 2012

FMC Comments to FCC in Fourth Further Notice on LPFM

Commission seeks public input on rulemaking for the implementation of Low Power FM service

Casey Rae

FMC fully supports the promulgation of rules that allow for an increased number of LPFM stations as well as more diverse, original programming at those stations.  Additionally, we assert that careful attention should be paid to how these stations are utilized, and whether they are helping to foster local culture and community engagement. From our perspective, this goal is at the heart of the Commission’s own work around LPFM — from the initial conception of how to best utilize these frequencies to provide true local radio to the present Notice.

This filing builds on ongoing work by FMC to ensure a more vibrant, accessible radio landscape for musicians.

Official Filing
Tags: localism, LPFM
February 13, 2012

Public Interest Spectrum Letter

A broad array of groups urge Congress to preserve access and innovation in mobile spectrum

Future of Music Coalition joined a broad array of consumer, creator and public interest groups urging Congress to approach “voluntary spectrum auctions” in a manner that preserves innovation, openness and competition. As mobile spectrum becomes a primary means for internet connectivity, we suggest that the potential for further innovation be preserved in order to bring robust, affordible broadband to more Americans.

Official Filing
February 15, 2012

FMC Letter to Federal Trade Commision re: Universal Music Group Acquisition of EMI Music

On February 15, 2012, Future of Music Coalition sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission voicing concerns about the propsed aquisition of EMI Music by Universal Music Group (UMG). In it, we describe how competition allows for more innovation and opportunities for artists, and that the sheer market power of a post-acquisition UMG would inhibit the growth of the legitimate digital music marketplace.

Official Filing
January 17, 2012

Copyright Office Filing: Remedies for Small Copyright Claims

Comments of Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Future of Music Coalition

Public Knowledge (PK), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and Future of Music Coalition (FMC) commend the Copyright Office for inviting public comments in the matter of remedies for small copyright claims. Providing copyright owners with the ability to enforce small claims is important to ensure the effective functioning of the copyright system. Equally important is the ability of defendants to defend meritorious claims. While a suit in federal district court is expensive, it also provides various procedural safeguards that permit effective presentation of cases and protect the rights of defendants. These safeguards play an important role in copyright cases, which often raise complex issues. Even where a dispute involves small monetary amounts, it is likely to involve complex issues that touch on free expression, privacy, and competition policy.

Therefore, we endorse the Office’s intention to study the issue more carefully before making any recommendations. These comments are intended to assist that preliminary consideration by raising a few initial concerns. First, to the extent that an alternative system to a suit in federal district court is proposed, that alternative must ensure that it does not jeopardize procedural protections available to defendants. Second, the particular design of the alternative system should be informed by empirical evidence regarding the costs and benefits for all parties to the litigation, as well as the public who may be deprived of access to creative expression as a result of a court ruling.

Official Filing
December 1, 2011

Letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski on Diversity in Station Ownership

Re: MB Dkt 09-182, 2010 Quadrennial Review – Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996

The Honorable Julius Genachowski 
Chairman 
Federal Communications Commission 
445 12th Street, SW 
Washington, DC 20554 

Re: MB Dkt 09-182, 2010 Quadrennial Review – Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 

Dear Chairman Genachowski: 

We, the undersigned organizations, urge the Federal Communications Commission to make diversity a central focus of its upcoming Quadrennial Media Ownership Rule Review.  

The strength of our country lies in the diversity of our people. Our media system will better serve the public interest when it draws on the diverse backgrounds, perspectives and talents of the population. Unfortunately, ownership of the nation’s media outlets consistently fails to reflect this diversity.  

Women and people of color historically have been grossly underrepresented in ownership of radio and television stations — media forms that use the public airwaves and rank as our nation’s most popular and influential outlets. Women comprise over 51 percent of the population yet hold only 6 percent of radio and TV station licenses. And while people of color make up over 36 percent of the U.S. population, they hold just over 7 percent of radio licenses and 3 percent of TV licenses.1

The continued absence of FCC action in the face of deep and intractable ownership disparities is unacceptable. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently affirmed that “ownership diversity is an important aspect of the overall media ownership regulatory framework.”2 Yet the FCC has failed to adopt proactive policies to remedy these disparities. Furthermore, it has persistently neglected even to examine or address the impact of existing media market consolidation on broadcast ownership opportunities for women and people of color. The FCC must take care not to repeat the mistakes of prior administrations by “pun[ting] yet again on this important issue.”3

Most importantly, while the FCC assesses the impact of its media ownership rules and pursues more active measures to address longstanding disparities in broadcast media ownership, it must not undercut the benefits of such measures by allowing greater consolidation of broadcast outlets.  

Existing media concentration levels already limit ownership opportunities for historically underrepresented groups. Excess consolidation has crowded out female and minority owners, who tend to be single-station owners who cannot compete with consolidated groups for programming and advertising revenue. Allowing increased consolidation in local media markets would raise station prices and further diminish the already limited number of stations available for purchase. This would leave women and people of color with fewer opportunities to become media owners and promote diverse programming in local communities.  

In conclusion, we urge the FCC to do the following: 

1. Evaluate the impact of its media ownership rules on ownership opportunities for women and people of color. 
2. Take proactive measures to promote ownership of broadcast stations by underrepresented groups. 
3. Guard against further erosion of media ownership among these groups by maintaining existing media ownership limits. 

Absent these measures, ownership levels among underrepresented groups will continue to decline and the promise of a diverse media system that serves the information needs of all people will continue to elude our nation. 

Respectfully submitted. 

Access Humboldt  
Alliance for Community Media 
American Association of University Women 
Asian American Journalists Association 
Bitch Media 
Center for Media Justice 
Center for Social Inclusion 
Common Cause  
Digital Sisters 
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights 
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting  
Feminist Majority Foundation 
Free Press 
Future of Music Coalition 
Hollaback! 
Institute for Local Self-Reliance 
International Museum of Women 
Media Alliance 
Media Equity Collaborative 
Media Literacy Project 
MomsRising 
National Alliance for Media Art & Culture 
National Association of Black Journalists 
National Association of Hispanic Journalists 
National Council of Negro Women 
National Council of Women Media and Technology Task Force 
National Council of Women’s Organizations  
National Hispanic Media Coalition 
National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association 
National Organization for Women Foundation 
National Women’s Law Center 
Native American Journalists Association 
Native Public Media 
New Moon Girls 
People’s Production House 
Prometheus Radio Project 
Rainbow PUSH Coalition 
Reclaim the Media! 
Reel Grrls 
Southern Connecticut State University Women’s Studies Program 
SPARK Movement 
UNITY: Journalists of Color 
Women, Action, & the Media 
Women In Media & News 
Women’s Media Center 
Women Who Tech 

1 S. Derek Turner, Out of the Picture 2007: Minority & Female TV Station Ownership in the United States, 2007, http://www.freepress.net/files/otp2007.pdf, and S. Derek Turner, Off the Dial: Female and Minority Radio Station Ownership in the United States, 2007, http://www.freepress.net/files/off_the_dial.pdf.  

2 Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC, 652 F. 3d 431, 472 (Third Circuit, 2011) 

3 Id. at 471. 

Official Filing
November 4, 2011

Letter to Senate in Support of FCC Open Internet Order

From Future of Music Coalition, the National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture and Fractured Atlas

On November 4, 2011, Future of Music Coaition, the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture and Fractured Atlas sent the following letter to Senate leadership, urging them not to broadly repudiate the FCC’s Open Internet Order.

Dear Senators,

Since its inception, the internet has represented a powerful tool for the exchange of information and ideas. In recent years, it has also contributed greatly to the emergence of novel platforms for the dissemination of creative content. It is as members of the arts community who have come to depend on these structures that we write to you today.

Creators, in particular, depend on open internet structures to engage in a variety of ways, including direct interaction with audiences, fans and patrons, as well as collaboration with other artists. From musicians to filmmakers to writers to independent labels to arts and service organizations, today’s creative community depends on the internet to conduct business and contribute to the rich tapestry that is American culture.

Today’s creators are taking advantage of technologies fostered by the internet to deliver a diverse array of content to consumers, while creating efficient new ways to “do for ourselves” in terms of infrastructure. The access and innovation inspired by the web helps us meet the challenges of the 21st century as we contribute to local economies and help America compete globally.

It hasn’t always been so. Traditionally, the media landscape relied heavily on hierarchical chains of ownership and distribution, controlled by powerful gatekeepers such as large TV and movie studios, commercial radio conglomerates, major labels and so forth.

It would be tremendously disadvantageous to creative entrepreneurship if the internet were to become an environment in which innovation and creativity face tremendous barriers to entry due to business arrangements between a select few industry players.

This is why we support clear, enforceable and transparent rules to ensure that competition and free expression can continue to flourish online. Although many of us feel strongly that the recent FCC Order does not go far enough in its protections (particularly with regard to mobile broadband access), we recognize the importance of having a process in place by which concerns can be addressed and transparency pursued.

We believe that Congress has a role to play in establishing guidelines that preserve a competitive, accessible internet where free expression and entrepreneurship can continue to flourish. We also believe that stripping the FCC’s ability to enforce these core principles as proposed in S.J. Res. 6 runs counter the values shared by members on both sides of the aisle, as well as prior and current FCC leadership. Therefore, we strongly urge against a broad repudiation of the Commission’s Order.

Sincerely,

Fractured Atlas
Future of Music Coalition
National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture

Official Filing