Other groups are trying to generate debate and awareness. The Britain-based Featured Artists Coalition campaigns for the rights of musicians and performers. Earlier this year, David Byrne, the former front-man for Talking Heads, joined the board of SoundExchange, a non-profit performance-rights organisation that collects and distributes digital performance royalties to artists and copyright-holders. Mr Byrne took to the New York Times’s op-ed page in July to call on the industry to open up its financial “black box”. The Washington-based non-profit Future of Music Coalition provides education, research and advocacy for musicians.
3. “The Data Journalism That Wasn’t” by the Future of Music Coalition, FutureOfMusic.org
The New York Times’s Steven Johnson feature, “The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t,” about the Internet’s benevolent effects on the finances of musicians, authors, and other “creatives,” was much-debated. This rebuttal (from one of his sources no less!) was in some ways more illuminating than the piece itself, showing just how difficult it is to account for creativity. read more
On August 19, Steve Johnson authored a cover story in the New York Times entitled “The Creative Acopalypse [sic] That Wasn’t”. He argues that even though disruptive technologies like the MP3 file and streaming have pretty much turned the Music Industry upside down, musicians have managed to thrive and adapt and make sufficient and growing income.
The Future of Music Coalition note that they were consulted as fact checkers on this article. The Future of Music Coalition has since declared that “NYT Magazine chose to publish without substantive change most of the things that we told them were either: a) not accurate or b) not verifiable because there is no industry consensus and the “facts” could really go either way.” Why, then, did they publish the article when the fact checkers were telling them that something was wrong? This alone requires the public editor to investigate this incident. read more
3. The Future of Music Coalition note that they were consulted as fact checkers on this article. The Future of Music Coalition has since declared “NYT Magazine chose to publish without substantive change most of the things that we told them were either: a) not accurate or b) not verifiable because there is no industry consensus and the “facts” could really go either way.” Why then did they publish the article when the fact checkers were telling them that something was wrong. THISALONEREQUIRESTHEPUBLICEDITORTOINVESTIGATETHISINCIDENT.
You won’t find expert witnesses like that in “The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t.” In fact, exactly three people are quoted in Johnson’s piece: Lars Ulrich, Steve Albini, and, um, me. He doesn’t talk to people who are living and working in the film, music, and publishing industries; he tries to tell his story with only numbers, and numbers simply don’t tell the whole story.
On Friday, the Future of Music Coalition, a musicians’ advocacy group, published a blog post taking issue with some of the arguments and data from my Aug. 23 cover story in the magazine, “The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t.” I take their comments very seriously for several reasons: First, their concerns — that musicians be appropriately compensated in this digital age — are my concerns. Second, they have assembled some important studies of the new economics emerging in the music business, many of which I drew upon in writing the article.