In the words of Phil Collins: "I can feel it coming in the air tonight…Hold On!"
Or better stated, in the words of Patti Smith: "The
people have the power."
A good friend of FMC — John Nichols — once said, “The
civil rights movement didn’t start in the 60s.” In other words,
there were good people in America fighting segregation and racism for
years and years and years before they finally reached the historic moment
when a national movement came together and change was possible. This change
didn’t happen by accident. It was the cumulative result of years of preparation,
education and organizing which finally came to full flower as a bus boycott
that captured the imagination of a country.
Good afternoon. Thank you very much for giving me some time to speak
to you. I want to lend my apologies to those of you who were expecting
T Bone Burnett. I am the minor star substitute in his place. My name is
Tift Merritt and I am a recording artist. You probably havent heard
of me because Im not on your radio. That being the case I need to
give you a little background. I am on Lost Highway records, home also
of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. My debut record, Bramble Rose
was released last June. Time Magazine named it the #6 best record of 2002;
Billboard called me a major new artist". CMT, the national
country music network, regularly played my video.
The Future of Music Coalition shares the contemplative spirit of this
holiday season and hopes that this period of reflection will inspire 2002
to be year of regrouping, education and collaboration between the legal,
artistic, academic, technical, and business communities.
As for a recap of last years highlights, even in the midst of economic
downturn and strife within the artistic, technology and business communities,
FMC managed several significant achievements for an organization that
was under-funded and barely a year old.
We’ve all heard the stories criticizing major record label contracts. Anecdotally we understand that many of the deals signed by artists are bad, but what does “bad” mean and just how bad are these deals? More importantly, how exactly are they bad? In this Major Label Contract Critique, FMC asked over a dozen major label and artist attorneys to identify which major label contract clauses and standard industry deductions are considered to be the most onerous. The document quotes ACTUAL contract language from ACTUAL record label contracts, with care taken to preserve the doublespeak that makes the documents so confusing. Finally, we translated these onerous and confusing contract clauses into PLAINENGLISH and paired them with easy-to-understand critiques in the hopes that even those who are completely unfamiliar with the music business can understand the implications that result from signing a standard major label deal. This is a first step in criticizing traditional record contract language. read more
In this 2001 letter to the California State Assembly, FMC argues that repealing the 1987 amendment to Labor Code Section 2855 would give many artists a chance to move past these imbalanced record label deals and to bring the value of their artist labor back into the marketplace. read more
When my band signed a recording contract with a major label in 1989, we weren’t particularly naive. We were graduates of Ivy League schools, we’d been writing, recording and touring together for over five years, and we’d already released two albums; one by ourselves, and one on an independent label. We thought we had a pretty good handle on the deal we were making.
When my band signed a recording contract with a major label in 1989, we weren’t particularly naive. We were graduates of Ivy League schools, we’d been writing, recording and touring together for over five years, and we’d already released two albums; one by ourselves, and one on an independent label. We thought we had a pretty good handle on the deal we were making. read more
Journalists love to say that programmers are going to be the rock stars of the internet age.
Friday, August 18, 2000
Journalists love to say that programmers are going to be the rock stars of the internet age. If we remember how poorly big business treats most rock stars, then that prediction might just come true. Follow FMC’s Jenny Toomey as she wends her way through the dark underbelly that is the major label system. read more
Slim Moon from Kill Rock Stars on Websites, Digital Distribution and the DIY Ethic
Tuesday, December 28, 1999
“Kill Rock Stars is…firmly committed to punk rock and “independence,” both financial and aesthetical. Most importantly, we are committed to putting out records that are meaningful and not just nice pleasant noises to listen to while you wash your dishes. People who make music just to try to get famous or rich are dumb and the people who put out records for those same reasons are pretty silly too. Good rock and roll is a conspiracy, not just something nice made by crafty businessmen that matches the couch.” read more
Musictech's Ben Morgan on The Paradigm Shift in Music Consumption
Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson
Monday, November 15, 1999
Kristin and I spend hours and hours each day scouring the internet looking
for the best and brightest music-technology discussions. One of the jewels
in our bookmark list is Musictech — a listserv created by Ben Morgan.
In this short interview he touches on many of the main technological themes
that are hot issues now. Read on and get current! read more