FMC and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy invite you to
MUSIC, TECHNOLOGY AND IP POLICY DAY
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
1333 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
Registration closes at midnight ET on Monday, April 30, but if you’ve been meaning to register, you’ll want to do it as soon as you can since we have only three tickets remaining! Register today for only $25.
It’s been a wild and wooly 2007 so far, what with EMI’s no-DRM experiment, the proposed XM/Sirius merger, the announcement of new webcasting rates, and the Copyright Royalty Board’s refusal to reconsider the rates, the network neutrality debate and calls for copyright reform, With so many issues that could have a lasting impact on how music is distributed and sold, and how artists are compensated in the future, FMC is organizing a one-day event that will allow for a robust but balanced discussion of the music/technology debates that are emerging in the courts, Congress and at the Copyright Office.
The programming and keynotes will include discussions on emerging issues like:
Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) Member of House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet
David Carson Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs, US Copyright Office
Duncan Black (a.k.a. Atrios) Blogger and Founder of Eschaton
Michael Bracy Policy Director, Future of Music Coalition
Fred Cannon Senior Vice President, Government Relations, BMI
Julie Cohen Professor of Law, Georgetown University
Scott Cleland President, Precursor Group
Parul Desai Asst Director, Media Access Project and founder/owner, Propa Gandaz Music Group
Bertis Downs Advisor, R.E.M., Athens LLC
Mike Holden Musician
Joe Kennedy CEO and President, Pandora
Eric Logan Executive Vice President of Programming, XM Satellite Radio
Steve Marks Vice President and General Counsel, RIAA
Walter McDonough General Counsel, Future of Music Coalition
Michael Petricone Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Consumer Electronics Association
Victoria Phillips Asst Director, Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, American University
Patricia Polach Attorney, Bredhoff & Kaiser, Counsel for AFM of the United States and Canada
Jule Sigall Senior Attorney, Copyright, Microsoft Law and Corporate Affairs
John Simson Executive Director, SoundExchange
Gigi Sohn President, Public Knowledge
Brian Zisk Technologies Director, Future of Music Coalition
See programming details
sponsored by: CEA * Microsoft * XM Radio * BMI * Loudcity *********************************************************
Register online today for just $25.
Registration gives you access to all programming, cocktail parties and includes lunch.
Visa, Mastercard and American Express accepted through our secure server.
Space is now VERY limited!
We’ll kick things off on Tuesday evening, May 1 at 7 PM with our traditional pre-event Pho dinner out at Nam Viet in Arlington, VA. It’s a great way to meet folks over delicious food! Check the website for details.
During the event we’ll have a sandwich lunch hosted by Consumer Electronics Association, during which CEA’s President Gary Shapiro will deliver some remarks. And after the final panel, join us for a cocktail party on the 10th floor from 5:30 - 7:00 PM, hosted by Microsoft.
As with all our events, we offer a limited number of scholarships for working musicians to attend the event for free. We have only 1 musician scholarship left, so apply today.
Check the website for details or any final developments.
We hope to see you there!
In our recent subscriber survey, one of the features that supporters clamored for was an FMC blog. We heard you loud and clear. You wanted FMC to have a blog - and we now we do!
Introducing the FMC Blog
Or better yet, don’t miss a single scintillating post by adding FMC’s blog to your RSS aggregator: http://futureofmusiccoalition.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
If you have suggestions on how we can make our blog better hit us up at suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org.
A lot has happened since our report in the March newsletter about webcasting rates, with some hopeful progress in the last few days. To recap:
On March 2, the Copyright Royalty Board issued new royalty rates for non-interactive webcasters, effective from 2006 to 2012. Specifically, the royalty payment rate would increase to .08 cents per song per listener retroactive to 2006, and would climb to .19 cents per song per listener by 2010. Without other action, these new rates go into effect on May 15, 2007.
This was a tremendously controversial decision. Many webcasters, especially the small and noncommercial ones, claimed that this royalty rate was far too high, in many cases exceeding their available revenue. If the financial impact is as severe as stated by some small webcasters, these new rates could mean less music and more advertising or, even worse, stations going off the air altogether because they can’t afford to pay the new rates.
The small webcasters began to organize in early April, kick-starting letter-writing campaigns to Congress and the CRB and filing a motion for a rehearing. Meanwhile, SoundExchange continued to publicly support the higher rates as announced by the CRB. On April 16, the CRB denied the webcasters’ a rehearing on procedural grounds, saying the webcasters didn’t present any new evidence that would warrant a new hearing.
Without a rehearing, the webcasters turned to Congress for help. And late last week (March 26), Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) introduced HR. 2060, the Internet Radio Equality Act. The bill has five major provisions (this bill explanation taken directly from RAIN):
Whether this legislation presents a solution that is agreeable to all stakeholders remains to be seen, but we’re glad to see that the process of developing a royalty rate framework is moving ahead. Through all of these negotiations, FMC remains committed to four key points:
1. Internet radio is an incredibly valuable music platform for musicians, fans and labels
FMC supports the continued growth of internet radio. It has the unparalleled ability to develop loyal, worldwide audiences for niche musical genres — from 60s rock to contemporary classical to southern blues — something that is incredibly valuable for all the artists and labels that work outside the "mainstream" formats. Small and noncommercial webcasters in particular have proven to be a valuable promoter of both independent music and genres that are routinely ignored by commercial broadcasters.
2. Performers and labels should be paid.
We have and always will support the digital performance royalty, which are the royalties paid by webcasters and satellite radio to SoundExchange, which then pays them to performers and sound recording copyright owners (usually the record label). As webcasting continues to grow, the digital performance royalty will also grow for performers.
3. Rates proportionate to the size of the webcasters.
We also believe that the "one size fits all" approach that was part of the March 2007 rate setting decision would be harmful to the small and non-commercial webcasters. There’s a vast difference between the staffing and revenue generated by a volunteer-run internet radio station and an AOL or Clear Channel. These differences in resources and revenue - not to mention motivation for running a station — makes a tiered system the most sensible solution: charge the big broadcasters a higher rate, and the small webcasters, hobbyists and noncommercial webcasters lower rates that match their revenues and resources. This ensures artists get paid and small webcasters stay online.
4. Streamline the reporting process.
FMC continues to believe that it’s important to develop a reporting process that ensures that even the smallest webcaster can file timely and accurate playlists with SoundExchange. For years we have urged the development of an authentication database, managed by a neutral third party, through which copyright ownership and performer information would be verified. Such a database would reduce filling time and errors on playlists, thus making sure more money flows directly to artists.
To summarize, FMC believes that large commercial webcasters should pay higher rates, similar to the way that royalties are calculated in the terrestrial radio setting, and we call on parties to adopt reasonable rates and reporting requirements for clearly-defined categories of small, noncommercial and hobbyist webcasters that will ensure the future development of this medium.
In the end, whether through legislation, court action or negotiation, FMC hopes that the webcasters and SoundExchange can work together to strike a balance that recognizes the value of webcasting to creators and listeners, but also properly compensates artists, performers and labels for uses of their work.
FMC will continue to monitor the webcasting rate activity. We’ll also be speaking about it this week during our Music, Technology and IP Policy Day on May 2. Check out the event for details
Lawmakers propose reversal of Net radio fee increases
CNET, April 26, 2007
SoundExchange Softens Stance, Seeks Webcaster Discussions
Digital Music News, April 19, 2007
Your Government Working for You
David Byrne & Danielle Spencer, April 1, 2007
Well, it’s official. The FCC settled with some of the largest broadcasters over allegations that they were engaging in payola.
The terms have been widely reported over the last month, but it’s worth taking a look at some of the details again. To resolve the allegations, CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, Clear Channel Communications and Entercom Communications Corp. agreed to pony up $12.5 million and provide more than 4,000 hours of airtime to local and independent artists. They will also face tighter requirements:
Sure we would have liked more airtime for independent artists, but given the current composition of the Commission this is a historic day in the fight against payola. FMC be lives that payola and radio consolidation were the primary reasons that commercial radio has become a bland, homogenized product that largely ignores independent musicians and whole genres of music such as jazz and bluegrass. This agreement signals a possible new direction for commercial radio and more options for radio listeners. We will continue to monitor the situation, especially as radio stations implement their compliance measures and program independent music.
FMC’s full press release
We’re working on a payola FAQ that will answer more specific questions about how this settlement impacts musicians. Got a question? Send it to suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org (suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org )
Rock the Net is FMC’s campaign to bring together musicians, music labels and fans in support of net neutrality. Recently, American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), Just Plain Folks, and Independent Online Distribution Alliance IODA have lent their support of the Rock the Net campaign.
Rock the Net launched just a month ago with support from such artists as R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Boots Riley of The Coup, Ted Leo, Death Cab for Cutie, OK Go, the Kronos Quartet, Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Calexico, The Donnas, Kathleen Hanna. Since then, hundreds of other musicians and independent record labels have joined the campaign to support the fight for net neutrality.
Join Rock the Net today! http://rockthenet.futureofmusic.org
At the Rock the Net website you can sign on to the campaign, then add your upcoming shows to the Rock the Net database, which will display on our interactive map cataloging events around the country. You can also invite other bands to join, sign a petition and send a letter to Congress. Our goal is to demonstrate the music community’s nationwide support for the principle of net neutrality.
Latest Rock the Net Press From Around the Globe
A2IM Endorses Net Neutrality CauseBillBoard, April 17, 2007
Death Cab, R.E.M., Leo, Wrens Rock for Net Neutrality
April 3, 2007
Net Effects: The fight over network neutrality is spreading to the music business
April 7, 2007
Musicians for Net Neutrality Rockin’ the Net
Tiny Mix Tapes, April 2, 2007
Musicians Rock the Net for Net Neutrality
Boing Boing, March 29, 2007
‘Net Neutrality’ Strikes Chord With Coalition Of Musicians
National Journal’s Technology Daily,
March 29, 2007
Musicians beat drum for equal Net treatment
USA Today (Associated Press),
March 28, 2007
REM back internet free speech campaign
NME (UK), March 28, 2007
Musicians back net neutrality laws
CNET Blog, March 28, 2007
Independent musicians fearful their music will go unheard if the Internet is prioritized
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), March 28, 2007
CD sales dead? Not For Indies!
Harold Feld, Public Knowledge, March 27, 2007
This fall, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will give away hundreds of full power non-commercial educational (NCE) licenses for any qualified nonprofits. The FCC has just announced that applications for these licenses will be accepted between October 12 and October 19, 2007. For ten years, no new licenses have been given out. If you have ever dreamed of starting your own radio station, this is likely to be your last chance before all remaining FM spectrum is given away.
Since the licensing window is only 7 days long, potential applicants need to be prepared. Luckily, FMC can help! To learn more about how to apply for a license to start your own radio station, read our fact sheet on noncommerical radio licenses.
The FCC is holding its fourth official public hearing on media ownership issues in Tampa, FL tonight, Monday, April 30 from 4 pm - 11 pm at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Louise Lykees Ferguson Hall, 1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa, FL 33602.
At the three previous hearings - in Los Angeles, Nashville, and Harrisburg, PA - the public has expressed their overwhelmingly opposition to further media consolidation.
As Commissioner Copps, a native of St. Petersburg, FL says in this St. Petersburg Times op-ed, "when it comes to the fate of the people’s airwaves - your airwaves - no voices should be as important as yours."
If you’re in the area, please make your voice heard and give your testimony for the public record. For maps, directions, and workshops on preparing testimony, visit the Free Press website.
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