Are you a musician? Do you live in a town with an awesome music scene? Are you or any of your peers enjoying recognition in your community or beyond? Do you get airplay on your local commercial radio station?
If you live in Los Angeles and your band is Red Hot Chili Peppers, you can skip the last question. If you are among the rest of musical humanity, we’re guessing the answer is “not so much.”
A more important question to ask is why even the most celebrated local and regional bands can’t crack commercial playlists in their own backyards. This has much less to do with talent or popularity and everything to do with media ownership.
Love is in the air! All this week, we’ll be doing some fun Valentines contests and giveaways for all FMC friends and sweethearts. There will be chances for you to win CDs & T-shirts — as well as great opportunities for you to show your love for musicians by becoming a FMC supporter! read more
If you’re tuned into the music-tech-policy punditsphere, you’ve probably come across debates about “brand-supported piracy.” Put simply, this is when major corporations have their products advertised on sites that offer music, movies and TV shows to which they don’t have the rights. This doesn’t sit well with creators and content companies, who are frustrated at third parties making money from unauthorized access to their works.
As longtime champions of a legitimate digital marketplace where artists are compensated and fans can easily find lawful content, we understand the concerns. read more
Once upon a time, a performing artist signed with a record label (let’s call the artist Jimmy Hendricks, and the label Toe Jam Records). Hendricks had a pretty decent career, touring around the country, but his record didn’t make much of a splash, failing to receive significant airplay or “move units,” in recordbizspeak. Then, in 2010, an up-and-coming hip-hop artist dropped a pitch-shifted guitar lick from Hendrick’s tune “I Enjoy Rock ‘n’ Roll” into his bangin’ new track. The hip-hopper loved what this lick did for his song, but was justifiably worried about being sued for infringement.
Post authored by FMC Communications Intern Olivia Brown]
Like it, or despise it with the white-hot fury of a thousand collapsing suns, Fox’s show “Glee” remains a high-profile musical source for many, especially in the under-50 demographic. Its cover songs routinely show up on the iTunes charts, and as of last February, the cast of “Glee” was the eighth-best-selling digital artist of all time, according to SoundScan. They have also far surpassed the record for most charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100, which formerly belonged to Elvis Presley.
“Glee” is powered by covers, probably more so than its actual plot. People expect new arrangements and interpretations, and then snap them up on iTunes. But what happens when those attention-grabbing and sales-generating arrangements were not actually created specifically for the show? Does “crowdsourcing” arrangements — that have a good chance of charting — from musicians without permission or attribution run afoul of copyright?
[Post authored by FMC Communications Intern Olivia Brown]
When musicians travel with instruments, they often have to gamble with the safety of their most prized possessions. While some airlines are more understanding and allow musicians to purchase extra seats so that they can carry their instruments onboard instead of stowing them with other luggage in the cargo hold, many artists are forced to check their gear — too frequently resulting in damage. And size and weight requirements can be unpredictable.read more
All of us at FMC were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of programmer, writer, and activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide on Friday. Swartz was facing prosecution for an incident where he used MIT servers to download a large volume of articles from JSTOR’s database of academic journals; he had also written extensively about his long struggle with depression.
Swartz’s contributions to online culture were numerous and wide-ranging. He was a child prodigy who co-developed RSS and went on to cofound the popular site Reddit. As an activist, Swartz is best known for co-founding Demand Progress and battling against SOPA-PIPA, but his activities extended beyond internet openness to a range of social and economic inequality issues. read more
Digital music biz superstar Ian Rogers recently announced his move to become the CEO of “Daisy” — a new project that’s being built out of streaming subscription service MOG, which was acquired by Beats Electronics in 2012. Beats, is of course, known for its headphones and for being the brainchild of hip-hop legend Dr. Dre and music executive Jimmy Iovine. read more