Here at FMC, we shifted straight from fireworks and BBQ to some very exciting work: planning the 2011 Future of Music Policy Summit! Along with Summit information, we’ve got a brief update on all things FMC.
We are thrilled to announce that the 2011 Future of Music Policy Summit will return to Georgetown University on October 3 - 4, 2011. The must-attend conference brings together musicians, managers, policymakers, media representatives, academics, technologists, industry professionals and more for spirited dialogue about the future of music.
And we want YOU to be part of the conversation.
This year, we’re boldly looking ahead. There’s no doubt that the music industry sometimes seems to be stuck on pause. But musicians aren’t waiting around for the future to come to them; they’re actively constructing it. To make the most of opportunities and avoid obstacles, musicians require the right tools and the right partners. The 2011 Future of Music Policy Summit will examine the issues that matter most to today’s musicians, songwriters and composers — from the hyper-local to the truly global.
Panelists and presenters will be announced shortly. But why wait? Grab your early bird registration for only $199 until August 1. Curious what our Summits are like? Check out this year’s info and watch video of Summit 2010 and 2009.
Here’s something else we’re excited about. FMC just entered a partnership with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the Austin-based maker of award-winning craft-distilled vodka. Tito’s has selected FMC as the beneficiary of a new fund drive to support the cause of working musicians and a vibrant music culture. Between July 1 and October 31, 2011, Tito’s will donate one dollar every time a Tito’s quick response (QR) code is scanned and clicked to tell the vodka makers to support the future for musicians. Tito’s QR codes will be found on promotional materials in stores and magazine ads; donations can also be made by visiting the site and clicking on the “Ask Tito to Donate” button. We’re psyched to partner with Tito’s, as they represent the same independent, entrepreneurial spirit we see in the musicians we work with and support. So scan those QR codes or head over to the Tito’s site to help FMC help artists of all genres and backgrounds reach audiences and make a living. More info here.
It may seem like an issue outside of our usual wheelhouse, but the recent Supreme Court decision in the case Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association is one FMC cares very much about. Here’s why: the June 27 ruling deemed a California law unconstitutional that aimed to prohibit the sale of violent video games to anyone under the age of 18, with penalties of $1,000 for violations. This may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but the way the statute was written would have impacted all kinds of expression, including that of musicians. We at FMC may not have much of a stance on “Grand Theft Auto” or “Halo,” but we are concerned about, say, Rage Against the Machine or Dead Prez’s ability to freely express themselves. If upheld, the California law could have opened the floodgates to different definitions of violent speech in all 50 states. And if Congress were to step in to “fix” the issue with a national standard, things could get real weird real fast. Read the rest of our thoughts on the ruling here and in our amicus curiae brief with the National Association for Media Arts and Culture and Fractured Atlas. (Thanks to Andrew Schwartzman of Media Access Project for his work on the filing.)
In early June, our friends in My Morning Jacket— who are celebrating the recent release of their latest album, Circuital — sent a letter to members of Congress’ Kentucky delegation sharing their thoughts on why noncommercial radio and an accessible, innovation-driven internet are crucial to their band (and today’s music scene in general). Read the letter or download a PDF. The Decemberists also sent a letter to Congress back in March urging for support of public radio and open internet access. Thanks to these incredible artists for stepping up on such an important issue for musicians and fans.
Ozomatli has been spending a lot of time in DC lately, on the Hill and in concert. Ozo, known for their eclectic, genre-bending sound and outspoken approach to civic engagement and activism, recently shared their thoughts on the AT&T+T-Mobile merger and hosted a special briefing on the Hill with Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ). Ozomatli are an LA-based band currently serving as U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors and artist advisors to FMC. The band was also in town on June 25 to play a spectacular one-off show with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops at the Kennedy Center. We can’t wait ‘til they come back to town!
Earlier this summer, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a bill called the Preventing Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Threat of Intellectual Property Act (or “PROTECT IP” Act). The bill is basically a reincarnation of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) that Leahy introduced in 2010. COICA failed to pass into law before Congress’s previous session ended. (For FMC’s take on that version of the bill, check out our earlier posts here and here.) PROTECT IP may have a snappier name, but it’s fairly similar to its predecessor legislation. If enacted, it would give the US Attorney General new tools to combat online intellectual property infringement committed by websites both in the US and abroad. Also, it would give individual rightsholders more ways to enforce their rights online against websites based in the US. But the bill is not without its controversies. OurPROTECT IP Fact Sheet takes a look at what they are and how the proposed legislation might impact musicians.
Who doesn’t need a snazzy new t-shirt? Show your friends how much you support FMC with our super-comfortable 100% cotton conversation-starter! Get your own here.
FMC’s fearless Deputy Director Casey Rae-Hunter will be on TuneCore’s live webcast “The Sky’s the Limit? Musicians and the Cloud,” airing Thursday, July 21st at 2:00 PM ET. Casey will be chatting with TuneCore’s Founder/CEO Jeff Price about the recently announced cloud services of Amazon, Google and Apple; what these services mean for the independent musician with promises of easily-accessed storage space; and how songwriters receive public performance royalties from could-based service plays. Casey and Jeff will be broadcast live via TuneCore’s UStream channel.
Lissa Rosenthal just spent some quality summer time in the Midwest when she visited Chicago, Illinois, for the 2011 Dance USA annual conference. Lissa, FMC’s Executive Director, moderated a panel on Saturday, July 16th on “Music Rights – Demystifying the Process,” tackling the use of both recent and music in the public domain during performances, both live and recorded. More info on the breakout sessions and conference can be found here.
Jean Cook, FMC Director of Programs and musician extraordinaire, will soon begin production on her newest recording (she’s on more than 50 records, but who’s counting?) with celebrated post-rockers Beauty Pill. Partly inspired by Abbey Road Studio Two, which lets fans see where much of the Beatles’ catalog was conceived, Beauty Pill will be recording the entirety of their forthcoming release in a space completely open onlookers. Sessions will be held from July 16 through August 2 at the Artisphere’s Black Box Theater in Arlington, VA. The public will bear witness to any and all aspects of the process — jamming, rehashing new songs, reworking old ones, mastering, editing and everything in between. Sounds intense, but we know Jean is up to the challenge.
And last but certainly not least, we want to give a huge thank you to Nicole Duffey, our out-going Operations Coordinator and Jill-of-all-trades. Nicole has taken a very exciting opportunity with the USO and so will be saying goodbye to FMC after three fantastic years. We wish Nicole all the best in her new endeavor and thank her for every bit of incredible energy and creativity she’s brought to our community.
You can always contact us at suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org if you have any questions.
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