How can you earn more money from your music? Are there revenue streams you don’t know about that you ought to be collecting? Join FMC’s Jean Cook, Project Director for the Artist Revenue Stream projectfor a presentation on the many ways musicians can make maximize their earning potential at a Chamber Music of America event this Tuesday afternoon in NYC.
The event is part of CMA’s series of First Tuesday Workshops, a monthly seminar event featuring leaders in the music industry. An array of topics have been featured in the past including digital music making, video production, music business, audio streaming and more.
Jean will be drawing from lessons learned through FMC’s Artist Revenue Streams research project, a groundbreaking multi-year study assessing how musicians’ revenues are changing in the contemporary marketplace.
The event is on Tuesday, March 4th, 3-5 pm at New York City’s Saint Peters Church. You can RSVPhere. For those who can’t make it in person, the event will be streamed live at www.chamber-music.org, and will be archived in CMA’s online video library.
South by Southwest 2014 is just around the corner, and as always FMC will be well-represented at the event with collaborations, presentations and of course, rocking out! The team will be all over the music festival and some of the interactive festival. FMC staff, boards and buds will cover pretty much every aspect of today’s music biz on panels, presentations, meet ups and even a film.
Wondering where you can catch up with FMC in Austin? Here’s a list of events and panels of particular interest:
Get expert advice on health-care issues with Hannah Byam (Events & Special Projects at FMC) and other professionals at “Artists and the Affordable Care Act: Get Answers, Get Covered,” a drop-in workshop focusing insurance and health care for musicans on Thursday, March 13th from 3:30-6.
Interim Executive Director, Casey Rae will moderate a panel exploring the latest approaches to copyright protection online. “New Adventures in Copyright Enforcement” takes place on Friday, March 14th from 2-3:30.
… and if you’re headed to SXSW Film, you can see our Director of Programs Jean Cook performing in the music-film, Pulp, on Wednesday, March 12th at 7 pm.
It was once a familiar scene: layers of show posters covering dimly lit streetposts; plastered on to venue walls; handbills blowing through alleys like tumbleweed. The battle to make people aware of concert dates is something that goes back decades. And the attention wars rage on, but now a lot of the action is online.
These days, a great many show and album release announcements take place via Facebook feeds and invites. Even this isn’t new—“virtual” promotions can be traced back to the dawn of the Internet. Message boards, band websites and email newsletters helped pave the way, and remain part of today’s publicity picture. Then came MySpace, which opened the door for musicians on social networks. These new platforms have been widely embraced due to broad reach, accessibility and low-to-no cost features.
Yet in spite of its popularity, Facebook hasn’t managed to become the ultimate Swiss army knife for musicians. Part of this is because the company keeps changing its functionality. Now that Facebook is publicly traded, it faces more pressure to monetize user activity. Unsurprisingly, some of the recent changes don’t seem to favor independent musicians or indie labels.
Ever see the movie Groundhog Day? Sometimes Washington feels a little like that. Case in point: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today announced its intent to move forward with a net neutrality rulemaking proceeding via a statement from Chairman Tom Wheeler. We’ve seen this movie before, but now we’re gearing up for the sequel.
Déjà vu aside, this is a significant development. On January 14, 2014, a federal appeals court threw out the FCC’s Open Internet Order meant to preserve a level online playing field for creators and other entrepreneurs. Since then, we’ve been waiting to see what Chairman Wheeler’s next move might be. Today, we have our answer.
In a nutshell, Wheeler’s plan involves a public comments proceeding, followed by an expected rulemaking under a different legal rationale than the one the court rejected. Wheeler seems confident that the Commission can issue new rules based on its existing Congressional mandate to “encourage broadband deployment by, among other things, removing barriers to infrastructure deployment, encouraging innovation, and promoting competition.” Others, FMC included, are concerned that this approach may not be the clearest way to protect an open, accessible internet.
Music fans were treated to a Valentine’s surprise last week when hip-hop pioneers De La Souloffered up their acclaimed back catalog for free download through their official website. Pretty awesome for fans and newcomers alike. Still, this giveaway comes with a complicated backstory, one marked by deep frustration with the state of sample clearances. In particular, De La Soul are emblematic of challenges facing artists in an environment of corporate mergers and major label ownership. read more
On February 12, 2014, news broke that Comcast, already America’s biggest Internet service provider and video distributor, would attempt to buy Time Warner Cable for 45.2 billion dollars. The deal would impact everything from internet access and pricing to how media is delivered.
The following statement is from FMC Interim Executive Director Casey Rae: read more
If you’re a copyright nerd (wait, you’re not?), you may have come across the issue of “pre-’72s.” In a nutshell, recordings made before February 15, 1972 are not protected by federal law, which can complicate how—or whether—royalties are paid for certain uses, like plays on internet or satellite radio.
Many people are unaware that there wasn’t even a copyright for recordings until 1972. Well, that’s not entirely true—some sound recordings made before ’72 are copyrighted at the state level. Still, federal protections are relatively new. At least when compared to compositions, which have been protected since the early 1800s (public performances of musical works came under federal law in 1897).
Debates about pre-’72 recordings might seem arcane, but there are major implications for today’s music ecosystem. First there’s artist compensation. The absence of a performance right for pre-’72s means that there’s no guarantee that recording artists are going to get paid fairly for the use of their work when played on Internet or satellite radio. (AM/FM broadcasters aren’t obligated to pay performers anything, though they do pay songwriters; more info on this crazy loophole here.) The lack of federal recognition also makes it more complicated for services to obtain a license to play music—and where there is no permission, there’s potential liability.
On February 3, 2013, Democratic leaders in the US House of Representatives and Senate introduced companion bills to preserve a level online playing field. The move follows a recent court ruling that threw out the Federal Communications Commission’s 2010 Open Internet Order establishing basic rules of the road for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These rules are meant to prevent the very few companies that provide Internet service from blocking or discriminating against lawful content based on business or other preferences.
Tuesday’s session was somewhat more focused than previous hearings, but was unfortunately cut short due to a scheduled floor vote. Although it didn’t go into as much depth as we’d have liked, the hearing offered valuable perspectives on an often contentious subject.
Witnesses on the panel included law professors Peter Jazsi and June Besek, author Naomi Novik representing the Organization for Transformative Works, songwriter and musician David Lowery of Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven and Kurt Wimmer of the Newspaper Association of America.
As we mentioned, fair use is a unique legal exception allowing artists and others to make use of copyrighted material without obtaining permission from the author or rightsholder. But fair use doesn’t mean you can just use whatever you want whenever you please—there are four specific factors that courts weigh to make determinations about the “fairness” of a use. (Check ‘em out here.)
Fair use has produced a lot of debate, from 2 Live Crew’s “Oh Pretty Woman” parody to controversies over mass digitization to the recent Beastie Boys vs Goldieblox dispute. As ranking member Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) noted, the flexibility of fair use is a strength. A weakness is that that it doesn’t always provide perfect clarity. This might be why fair use tends to be poorly understood by the general population.
If you follow our work, you know that FMC are longtime supporters of a public performance right for AM/FM broadcasts. The reasons are simple: we think it’s crazy that recording artists in America recieve no compensation for the use of the work on good ol’ fashioned radio. The situation is even more galling when you consider that the rest of the developed world pays performers and sound copyright owners (often labels, but can be artists) for over-the-air plays. The US, as an exception, is in the not-so-terrific company of Iran and North Korea in not paying performers squat.