Post co-authored by FMC policy intern Bryce Cashman
Add another point to the artist rights scoreboard: Village People songwriter/performer Victor Willis has succeeded in reclaiming a 50 percent stake the ownership of classic songs that he co-wrote, including the indelible disco smash “Y.M.C.A.” read more
Followers of our work over the past 15 years know that we’ve always taken a stand against against payola—the practice of well-heeled music companies giving cash or other enticements to big broadcasters in exchange for radio airplay. Technically, this practice is only illegal if it is not disclosed over the airwaves when the paid-for music is played. But over the years, the broadcasting conglomerates have found workarounds. Most recently, they established a system of so-called “independent promoters” who would funnel cash or other goodies to broadcasters without the major labels ever dirtying their hands. (Our Payola Education Guide offers a great overview of this pernicious practice.) read more
South By Southwest is here again, and as usual, Future of Music Coalition’s staff and board members are well represented at the industry’s biggest annual conference. Among all the breakfast tacos, margaritas, and above all, awesome music, we encourage you to make some time to check out these can’t-miss panels and sessions where FMC staff and board members will be speaking.
Since May 2013, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet has undertaken a comprehensive review of the entire Copyright Act, including many issues of importance to musicians and songwriters. But the Act is not the only regulatory structure that impacts how creators are compensated.
Today (March 12, 2015), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its Open Internet Order that was approved in a vote on Feb. 26, 2015. Following Congressional guidelines, the rulemaking includes comments from the two dissenting commissioners, along with full details on the Commission’s framework for “reclassifying” broadband Internet service under Title II of the Communications Act. read more
Yesterday (March 10, 2015), a verdict came in the closely watched copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the family of late soul singer Marvin Gaye against the creators of the monster hit “Blurred Lines.” A jury found defendants Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke liable and a judge awarded Gaye’s children a reported $7.4 million in damages.
Since the news broke, there has been a flurry of commentary about what the verdict means for copyright law, particularly whether the jury’s decision will lead to an uptick in lawsuits around songs that are similar in “feel” to an existing composition. read more
On February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved to adopt strong net neutrality protections in a 3/2 vote that was a huge victory for musicians and indie labels who want a fair shot at reaching audiences online.
This article is second in a series of guest posts exploring the streaming issue from multiple angles, with a focus on how independent players are impacted. For another take, check out this post from Joe Steinhardt, owner of independent label Don Giovanni Records.read more
It’s no secret that debates over the role and structure of on-demand streaming services continue to be a source of ongoing controversy. Unfortunately, too often, these debates are framed in terms of the impacts on the largest commercial players or net industry revenues. This can be valuable as an entry point, but it can also be flattening; streaming critics and supporters alike may have a diverse range of reasons for the opinions they hold. Part of what we try to do at FMC is encourage a deeper understanding of the full breadth of independent perspectives, and to that end, we’ll be hosting a series of guest posts exploring the streaming issue from multiple angles. To kick it off, here’s some thoughts from Joe Steinhardt, owner of independent label Don Giovanni Records and a PhD Candidate in Communication at Cornell.