by Griffin Davis, Communications Intern & Kevin Erickson, Communications Associate
In the wake of the FCC’s vote last Thursday to bring forward a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology convened yesterday to question FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on recent FCC activities, with an emphasis on the ongoing debate over net neutrality. read more
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to bring forward a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on net neutrality—a process meant to preserve an open and accessible Internet. FCC Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of opening a 120-day comment period in which the public is invited to weigh in on the proposed rules.
The proposal, which had been previously amended in the face of unprecedented response from creators and the public, asks questions about the best way to prevent Internet Service Providers from picking winners and losers online. read more
Since then the internet has erupted in widespread and passionate public outcry, generating tens of thousands of emails & phone calls. Protestors have encamped in front of the FCC building for six days straight. Musicians, actors, comedians and other creative professionals are raising their voices. The independent label community (represented by the American Association of Independent Music) has once again come out swinging in favor of protecting the online playing field, joining a broad array of activists, organizations and companies.
On May 7, 2014, Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced H.R. 4588, the Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act [PDF], which aims to get performers and labels paid when their music is played on AM/FM radio.
This proposed legislation is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it demonstrates the growing bipartisan consensus that performing artists deserve compensation when their music is used in over-the-air broadcasts. Second, it shows how members of Congress who have disagreed on many issues—including the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)—can come together to do the right thing by creators.
Back in November, the National Music Publishers Association, the trade group representing major publishers targeted 50 prominent song lyric websites they contended were reproducing and transmitting song lyrics without permission. At the top of their list of offending sites: Rap Genius.
Now Billboard reports that Rap Genius has finally made peace with the NMPA and a licensing deal has been struck.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Conservation Biology Institute and Portugal. The Man have teamed up to create a song that could go extinct unless it’s reproduced.
“It’s all about actively doing something. If you don’t do anything, the song won’t be around anymore,” said Zachary Scott Carothers, bassist of the Alaskan rock group.
Actively doing something is at the center of the bands Earth Day-inspired Endangered Song project. The single song, entitled “Sumatran Tiger,” was manufactured only on lathe-cut, polycarbonate records which degrade more quckly than normal vinyl discs. The more the song is played, the more the record will wear out. Unless the song is digitally reproduced and shared (with the permission of the performers, songwriters and copyright holders, of course), it will become extinct as the records degrade, mirroring the fate of the Sumatran tigers.
In a broadcasting landscape increasingly characterized by homogenized playlists and consolidated corporate ownership, college radio has remained a breath of fresh air; a place on the dial where you can find wild sounds and fresh perspectives that commercial stations wouldn’t touch. At the same time, college radio is under new pressures, as short-sighted college administrators slash station budgets, sometimes even selling off licenses in an attempt to overcome financial shortfalls. And some college stations have drifted from their historic mission and closely emulate commercial radio, or aren’t even staffed by students.
But “saving” college radio isn’t just about keeping stations on the air and true to their mandate. It’s also about preserving the cultural and sonic artifacts associated with college radio, and keeping them safe from the ravages of time and neglect.
From explicit lyrics that scandalized Tipper Gore in 1984 to lawsuits against YouTube&The Pirate Bay in 2007, Prince Rogers Nelson has never been afraid of controversy. Last week the genre-defying musician proved once again that he hasn’t run out of ways to shock us: he signed a new deal with Warner Brothers Records. read more
On Wednesday, April 23, reports indicated that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to significantly modify broadband Internet service and the level playing field it once provided to creators and other entrepreneurs.