If you’re tuned into the music-tech-policy punditsphere, you’ve probably come across debates about “brand-supported piracy.” Put simply, this is when major corporations have their products advertised on sites that offer music, movies and TV shows to which they don’t have the rights. This doesn’t sit well with creators and content companies, who are frustrated at third parties making money from unauthorized access to their works.
As longtime champions of a legitimate digital marketplace where artists are compensated and fans can easily find lawful content, we understand the concerns. read more
Last Friday, Google announced a major update to its search engine algorithm that will lower the ranking of sites hosting unauthorized content. We at FMC think this is a good thing: why should musicians and independent labels have their official pages show up lower in search returns than those offering illegitimate wares? There are, however, some legitimate questions about how this new search rubric will be managed, and to which sites and services it will apply. read more
[This post was authored by FMC intern Danny Weiss]
In a December 9 blog post, YouTube Product Manager David King announced Google’s acquisition of licensing and royalty service provider, RightsFlow. YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, will combine “RightsFlow’s expertise and technology with YouTube’s platform (and) hope to more rapidly license music on YouTube…” read more
I believe the music industry - and specifically the indie music industry - ignores net neutrality at its peril. Losing net neutrality means losing the so-called equal playing field on the internet. What happens to the independent industry is barriers to entry go digital? In any case, Future of Music Coalition does an excellent job of breaking down the Google-Verizon proposal, especially the possibility of tiered internet service in the mobile realm - check it out.
Google and YouTube would apparently be limited to the ‘public’ internet, and mobile broadband falls outside the purview of the proposal. Opposing groups immediately questioned whether the private internet would start to crowd an underfunded, ignored public internet. And what does this mean for artists? Comments are just trickling in, though Future of Music Coalition policy strategist Casey Rae-Hunter pointed to the need for greater regulatory backbone and definition - not a handshake between private companies. “There is some question about how the so-called ‘public internet’ would continue to grow and develop alongside the ‘additional online services’ hinted at in the proposal,” Rae-Hunter offered.
If the FCC does not establish clear rules on net neutrality without “fast lane” exemptions, which lane will music tech innovators be allowed to travel in? “There is also some question about how the so-called ‘public internet’ - described in today’s Verizon-Google conference call - would continue to grow and develop alongside the ‘additional online services’ hinted at in the proposal,” says Casey Rae-Hunter, Communications Director and Policy Strategist for Future of Music Coalition. “Today’s events serve to further highlight the need for an appropriate regulatory framework that would clarify what is and isn’t acceptable online.
Verizon-Google has issued its “regulatory framework” proposal for the internet, which, according to our friends at the Future of Music Coalition, has amplified the dialogue and debate about net neutrality, a subject about which we are all very concerned. FMC took the announcement as an opportunity to reiterate their basic stance on the open internet and musicians which you can read here.