Under current law, any U.S. website posting infringing content has to take the song or movie down at the request of whatever company owns the copyright. But under SOPA, companies could go directly to web hosting companies and require them to take down the entire website — not just individual songs and videos.
As a result, SOPA creates a new opening for corporate command of the Internet. Under SOPA, web hosting companies that take down legitimate websites at the behest of copyright holders would be granted blanket immunity from any liability for losses caused to those legitimate sites. read more
Moments ago, the United States Senate voted in favor of preserving an open and accessible internet. This is an important victory for musicians and other entrepreneurs, as it helps to ensure competition and free expression online.
We’d like to thank the thousands of musicians who have gone on record at the Federal Communications Commission, in Congress and elsewhere in support of these basic and necessary rules. We’ve always known that artists care about these issues, but it’s truly remarkable to see so many step up and make their voices heard. read more
The internet is at risk today as the Senate debates a resolution that would strip the FCC of its rulemaking authority to preserve its openness. S.J. Res. 6, similar to a House measure passed in April, needs only a simple majority to pass. The vote, expected Thursday, November 11, is likely to be very close. read more
Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its intention to file suit to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T. The following statement can be attributed to Future of Music Coalition Deputy Director Casey Rae-Hunter.
“Future of Music Coalition applauds the Department of Justice for moving to block the AT&T and T-Mobile merger. We hope the FCC swiftly follows suit to preserve access and innovation in mobile communications. From competition in a crucial marketplace to jobs preservation, preventing this merger is the right thing to do. Creators and consumers alike should welcome today’s news, and we thank those in the music community for helping to illustrate what is at stake for artists and other creative entrepreneurs.” read more
Washington is known for encouraging and celebrating innovation. From the music scene that’s become a beacon to America and the world, to the state’s thriving technology sector, innovation is the driving force behind Washington’s economy and its music culture.
Here at FMC, we’re intrigued by the potential of “cloud music”— from mobile apps to remote storage lockers to sites and services that facilitate discovery and collaboration. When you look at recent developments, it seems that the future for digital music may be headed off of hard drives and into the cloud. When we say “intrigued,” we mean it: after all, we keep keepwritingaboutit. read more
Future of Music Coalition + Center for Media Justice
Monday, June 20, 2011
The Center for Media Justice (CMJ) — a grassroots media policy organization working to strengthen movements for racial justice, economic equity, and human rights — has teamed up with FMC — a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians — to issue a pair of informational briefs regarding the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.
AT&T is currently seeking government approval to buy T-Mobile, which would give one company nearly half of the wireless market in the United States. The briefs describe the negative impact the merger would have on innovation, creativity and speech, while providing creative communities a way to better understand and engage on the issue. read more
On June 9, 2011,My Morning Jacket— who are celebrating the recent release of their latest album,Circuital — sent a letter to members of Congress’ Kentucky delegation sharing their thoughts on why noncommercial radio and an accessible, innovation-driven internet are so crucial to their band (and today’s music industry in general). Download aPDF below.
Dear Members of the Kentucky Congressional Delegation:
We are writing to you as members of My Morning Jacket and as proud citizens of Kentucky. As musicians, we are concerned about a number of issues that we, and other contributors to Kentucky’s artistic economy, are currently confronting. In order to continue producing original creative work, our community requires access to the Internet and a supportive broadcast media. We are concerned with recent Congressional activity around these crucial platforms and urge you to consider the impact of your decisions on the creative sector.
By way of introduction, we are a musical group formed in 1998 in Louisville, Kentucky. We released our first album the following year. In the ensuing years, our music has been featured in films and television and we have toured the world and played to crowds numbering in the tens of thousands. In May, we released our sixth full-length studio album,Circuital. We are happy to report we just learned the album debuted number 5 on the Billboard album charts. To celebrate the release, we have been playing a series of shows around the country and donating a portion of our ticket sales to local charities. We started as a small local band in Louisville and have grown into a successful small business that employs a dozens of people and allows us to tour and sell records throughout the world.
Our ability to build a fan base at home and abroad was — and still is — dependent to a large degree on the Internet. The Internet has changed how musicians connect to their listeners — from online stores, to streaming sites like Pandora and Rhapsody, to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. These are resources that help us reach our fans and sell our product so that we generate revenue for our employees and ourselves. These outlets are absolutely essential to us and to every working musician today.
Technology (and for that matter, the entire music business) is constantly evolving. We believe it is of paramount importance to preserve the Internet as an engine for creativity and commerce. We think there should be basic rules to ensure that there is a legitimate digital music marketplace for Kentucky’s musicians now and going forward. Open access to the web and its innovations is crucial to our band, our community and Kentucky’s future artists.
As helpful as Internet technologies are, we still also depend on traditional technologies like radio. In particular, public radio has been a champion of our band and many other Kentucky acts. Having our song played on public radio is essential to the growth of our band and business, and it is essential for thousands of artists that rely on the exposure generated byNPRand non-commercial radio stations. Eliminating funding for public broadcasting would be hugely damaging to working musicians, not to mention having a negative impact on local economies.
It is our belief that funding public broadcasting and maintaining open Internet access are two essential components in nourishing the vital music scene in the state of Kentucky.
As Kentuckians, musicians, and small business owners, we urge you to preserve the things that are most critical to our ability to make a living from our music: the Internet and non-commercial radio.
Bo Koster Carl Broemel