As part of our mission to make sure that artists' and musicians' voices are not left out of the policy debate, FMC regularly prepares and submits public comments, documents, and testimony to the appropriate rulemaking bodies. In these documents, the FMC strives to inject the debate with information about how policies can affect artists and the public at large.
Copyright Office sought stakeholder input on the state of music licensing in America
Future of Music Coalition submitted the following comments to the United States Copyright Office in its Notice of Inquiry on the Music Licensing Study. We examine the state of music licensing in America, and how the current regime impacts musicians, songwriters and independent labels.
Musicians and other creators send message to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler demanding meaningful rules to preserve Internet openness and accessibility
FMC reiterates importance of access and innovation for musicians and other creators
On March 21 2014, Future of Music Coalition submitted the following comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s latest public docket to preserve a level online playing field.
Examining the DMCA's "safe harbors" and notice-and-takedown requirements
On March 13, 2014 Future of Music Coalition submitted written testimony before the House Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet to coincide with a hearing on Section 512 Title 17 of the US Copyright Code. This section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) governs how internet companies respond to instances of copyright infringement committed by their users.
On January 28, 2014, Future of Music Coalition submitted written testimony to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet in its hearing on “The Scope of Fair Use.”
FMC Testimony in House Subcommitee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
Comments address issues related to copyright, creativity and the internet
Future of Music Coalition filed the following comments with the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) in an inquiry related to a previously published “green paper” from the Internet Policy Taks Force (a joint effort also including the United States Copyright Office and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration).
FMC Testimony in House Subcommitee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
Future of Music Coalition submitted the following written testimony in the House Subcommitee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet’s hearing on “The Role of Voluntary Agreements in the US Intellectual Property System.”
FMC respects the process of multi-stakeholder engagement to identify shared solutions to persistent issues around protecting copyright and other forms of intellectual property online, but stresses that oversight, transparency and the inclusion of the independent music sector in the process is crucial to the success of these initiatives.
Agency Seeks Comment on Adopting Egregious Cases Policy
In June 2012, the Supreme Court decided in FCC v. Fox that the FCC’s indecency policy was too vague and violated broadcasters’ due process rights by not providing “fair notice” of clear rules. FMC and the Center For Creative Voices in Media filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the FCC regulation was applied so arbitrarily that it chills creative expression. Now, a year later, we — along with the rest of the interested public — have the opportunity to tell the FCC what we think their indecency policy should be. The following are comments submitted to the FCC in their rulemaking proceedings.
Future of Music Coalition Testimony to House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
Submitted for "A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project" hearing
On Thursday, May 16, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition Policy and the Internet held a hearing entitled “A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project.”
FMC’s written testimony, which was submitted to the Committee for the official record, makes the basic point that creators must be included in future hearings, as their perspectives will help inform any apparaisal of the impact of existing (or proposed) rules. We also examine specific issues that we believe the Committee should examine in the course of its review of current copyright law.
On March 6, 2013, Future of Music Coalition submitted reply comments to the United States Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry Concerning Orphan Works and Mass Digitization. All reply comments can be viewed here.
In Response to CO Inquiry Concerning Orphan Works and Mass Digitization
Future of Music Coalition filed comments with the United States Copyright Office in its inquiry around Orphan Works — works whose owners are hard or impossible to identify or locate. Orphan works exist in a purgatory of sorts, not able to be used in new creative efforts or made available to the public due to uncertainty over the status of their ownership.
In our comments, FMC describes ways in which authors and copyright owners can be eligible for limited remedies if an orphaned work is used without prior permission. We seek to strike a balance between new users, the public and the creator and rightsholder community, by offering concrete solutions to a problem that has bedeviled policymakers for more than a decade.
House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition Policy, and The Internet
Executive Office Seeks Public Input on Updating Nation's IP Enforcement Agenda
The Federal Government is starting the process of developing a new Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. By committing to common goals, the U.S. Government will more effectively and efficiently combat intellectual property infringement. In this request for comments, the U.S. Government, through the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (“IPEC”), invited public input and participation in shaping the Administration’s intellectual property enforcement strategy.
Future of Music Coalition’s comments highlight the importance of oversight and data assessment within existing enforcement policies, the need for consultation with a broader set of stakeholders and a proactive approach to licensing as a means to address persistent issues in the digital music ecosystem.
Testimony of Deputy Director Casey Rae on "The Universal Music Group/EMI Merger and the Future of Digital Music"
Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
A broad array of groups express concerns about impact of tying services on consumers & marketplaces
Future of Music Coalition joined a broad array of consumer, creator and public interest groups to express concerns about Verizon’s plans to discontinue standalone retail broadband service. We argued that the practice of tying broadband service to other services prevents consumer choice, limits consumers from porting telephone numbers, and essentially forces consumers to purchase local services they do not want – either because they have a wireless option or because they prefer to use VoIP or other alternatives. The net effect is to act as a drag on the adoption of broadband and new IP technologies as well as alternative, competitive voice options by making other standalone services economically unattractive.
Commission seeks public input on rulemaking for the implementation of Low Power FM service
FMC fully supports the promulgation of rules that allow for an increased number of LPFM stations as well as more diverse, original programming at those stations. Additionally, we assert that careful attention should be paid to how these stations are utilized, and whether they are helping to foster local culture and community engagement. From our perspective, this goal is at the heart of the Commission’s own work around LPFM — from the initial conception of how to best utilize these frequencies to provide true local radio to the present Notice.
This filing builds on ongoing work by FMC to ensure a more vibrant, accessible radio landscape for musicians.
A broad array of groups urge Congress to preserve access and innovation in mobile spectrum
Future of Music Coalition joined a broad array of consumer, creator and public interest groups urging Congress to approach “voluntary spectrum auctions” in a manner that preserves innovation, openness and competition. As mobile spectrum becomes a primary means for internet connectivity, we suggest that the potential for further innovation be preserved in order to bring robust, affordible broadband to more Americans.
On February 15, 2012, Future of Music Coalition sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission voicing concerns about the propsed aquisition of EMI Music by Universal Music Group (UMG). In it, we describe how competition allows for more innovation and opportunities for artists, and that the sheer market power of a post-acquisition UMG would inhibit the growth of the legitimate digital music marketplace.
Comments of Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Future of Music Coalition
Public Knowledge (PK), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and Future of Music Coalition (FMC) commend the Copyright Office for inviting public comments in the matter of remedies for small copyright claims. Providing copyright owners with the ability to enforce small claims is important to ensure the effective functioning of the copyright system. Equally important is the ability of defendants to defend meritorious claims. While a suit in federal district court is expensive, it also provides various procedural safeguards that permit effective presentation of cases and protect the rights of defendants. These safeguards play an important role in copyright cases, which often raise complex issues. Even where a dispute involves small monetary amounts, it is likely to involve complex issues that touch on free expression, privacy, and competition policy.
Therefore, we endorse the Office’s intention to study the issue more carefully before making any recommendations. These comments are intended to assist that preliminary consideration by raising a few initial concerns. First, to the extent that an alternative system to a suit in federal district court is proposed, that alternative must ensure that it does not jeopardize procedural protections available to defendants. Second, the particular design of the alternative system should be informed by empirical evidence regarding the costs and benefits for all parties to the litigation, as well as the public who may be deprived of access to creative expression as a result of a court ruling.