Today (June 26, 2015), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that satellite radio company SiriusXMhave settled a lawsuit brought by labels against the service for not paying royalties on older recordings.
The $210 million settlement is being touted as a win for labels, and potentially a resolution to an open legal question that has bedeviled the industry for a while now: whether recordings made before February 15, 1972 are eligible for royalties when “publicly performed” on digital radio. read more
If you’ve ever negotiated with bandmates about where to eat after a gig, you know that musicians can have strong—and sometimes divergent—opinions about a lot of different things. Expand that to the broader music community—which includes independent and major record labels, managers, advocacy groups, artist unions and fans—and it gets even more complex. (Are we still talking about grub? Kinda getting hungry ourselves.)read more
Yesterday (June 25, 2014), the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held yet another hearing in its ongoing review of existing copyright law. (Our full recap is here; check out our coverage of the full series of hearings here.) Today, we’ll focus on one particular topic that has come up repeatedly in Congress and elsewhere: the lack of federal copyright protections for recordings made before February 15, 1972. read more
“At this point, many of us are looking for a positive outcome after the contentious battle that was SOPA. For music companies, getting intermediaries like ISPs to take on some responsibilities in addressing user behavior is probably more cost effective and less brand-damaging than other enforcement tactics. For musicians, it comes down to whether the policy helps protect their rights without compromising what they find useful about the internet. With CAS, we’ll probably have to wait-and-see.”
In fact, the system seems to have had some impact on infringement without taking an overly punitive approach. We’ve waited for over a year now to see results, and it looks as if CAS might actually be working, though success remains a matter of definition. For example, a decrease in piracy may also have a lot to do with an increase in legitimate services where convenience and attractive price points converge. On the other hand, the “educational” focus of CAS may play a role in driving users to licensed platforms.
(This post was authored by FMC communications intern Caroline Fox)
On Monday, May 21, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear an appeal on one of the longest-running file-sharing cases in the recorded music industry. While their refusal to hear the case is not shocking, it does present an opportunity to examine the record industry’s historic response to unauthorized distribution, and the effectiveness of certain punitive responses. read more
I’m honored to see that the folks at the RIAA have taken the time to read our Sky is Rising report. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to like hearing the news that the wider music industry is actually thriving — because it doesn’t work well with their legislative strategy (and, remember, the RIAA’s main focus is on passing new legislation to help legacy gatekeeper record labels — not in helping artists). And, this is understandable. As we detailed in the report, as well as in my talk at Midem, a popular music industry conference, the real story of the report is that the market is thriving for artists and consumers, but is much more challenging for big, lumbering legacy players. That would basically be the RIAA’s membership. read more
[This post was co-authored by FMC Communications Intern Scott Oranburg]
Digital Music News recently published a series of automated pie charts that document the recording industry’s revenue streams over the past decade (2000-2011). The data paint an interesting — and, for some, troubling — picture about changes in the recorded music biz. We at FMC love geeking out over stats, but we’re more concerned with how musicians are making a living than the declining popularity of ringtones. To that end, FMC recently kicked off our Artist Revenue Streams (ARS) project, which aims to assess how musicians’ revenue streams are changing in this new music landscape. (If you’re planning on attending SF MusicTech Summit in San Francisco in May 9, be sure to catch project co-director Jean Cook’s ARS presentation and panel.)
Sorry for the radio silence, everyone â€” we’ve been getting ready to announce a whole bunch of info about our upcoming events, including the date and venue for "Creative License: A Conversation about Music, Law and Fair Use." Stay tuned for more info! Oh, and here’s that news ya ordered: read more
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, has quietly backed off a controversial proposal that would have required the Secretary of Education to monitor college’s anti-piracy efforts.
Reid’s proposal, which was folded into the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, included a provision mandating the 25 schools with the most piracy violations begin filtering P2P filesharing networks on their campus. Critics, including the Digital Freedom Campaign and some educators, charged such filtering would inevitably catch perfectly legal filesharing as well as unauthorized downloads.
Jennifer Stoltz, a spokesperson for the Digital Freedom Campaign, said in a public statement: read more
Today, Recording Industry Association of America CEO Mitch Bainwol testified at a House Commerce and Energy Committee hearing on the subject of net neutrality. That he didn’t outright dismiss measures meant to protect the open internet shows just how much this debate has evolved.
The RIAA still says combating piracy remains a top priority , as do other content creators and producers who support net neutrality. Bainwol’s testimony also included language praising aspects of the pro-net neutrality bill introduced by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) last February. read more