The court fights involving the use of recordings made before February 15, 1972 continue to rage on. Earlier, we told you about a ruling from a California court in a case brought by Flo & Eddie (formerly of the Turtles) against satellite broadcaster SiriusXM. Now the duo has filed another suit, this time against Pandora. (There is also separate litigation from the major labels against Pandora and SiriusXM in other courts). read more
If you follow this blog, you know that FMC spends a lot of time thinking about metadata, a shorthand term that can mean a lot of things including the information about who wrote a song, or who played on a recording. We’ve looked at the problems from different angles, examined the wide range of possible solutions, and attended metadata conferences. This month’s Future of Music Policy Summit will have some special sessions that tackle metadata, so we asked FMC’s director of programs Jean Cook six questions about the topic.
Urban Ouftitters is now claiming to be the “world’s number one vinyl seller.” According to Buzzfeed, Calvin Hollinger, chief administrative officer for the Philadelphia-based clothing retail chain made the claim in a meeting with analysts yesterday: “Music is very, very important to the Urban customer…in fact, we are the world’s number one vinyl seller.”
Hollinger’s claim hasn’t been sourced or verified, but even if technically true, it could easily be misleading; the reality is that independent record stores certainly sell more vinyl than Urban Outfitters, but they don’t have a single corporate owner. (Update 9/29/2014: Ed Christman at Billboardconfirms that indie store market share is far larger than Urban Outfitters, and also discovers that Amazon, not Urban Outfitters, sells the largest volume of any single corporate retailer.)
Yesterday, a California federal court ruled against Sirius XM in a lawsuit brought by Flo & Eddie of 60’s hitmakers The Turtles regarding the satellite radio company’s failure to pay royalties for the use of recordings made before February 15, 1972.read more
In some ways, I’m the perfect target for U2’s big new release partnership with Apple. U2 was my favorite band all through junior high and high school. I dutifully collected all their singles, and I still have my ticket stub and sweatshirt from the 1998 Popmart tour. Yet my interests drifted elsewhere as I got older; I’m part of the reason their last record sold relatively poorly, as I still haven’t heard it. Theoretically, a free copy of Songs of Innocence might rekindle my fandom.
But: it’s complicated. U2’s avowed commitments to social justice were a big part of what got me interested in activism and policy at a young age. It feels a bit jarring now to see the band whose liner notes got thirteen-year old me to join Amnesty International so closely associated with a company that’s facing protests both for inhumane factory conditions abroad and low contractor wages domestically.
The ambivalence doesn’t stop there. The Apple/U2/Universal Music Group partnership has also prompted some unexpected backlash. Still, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been successful on the most basic levels; the band was reportedly well paid (over $100 million in marketing, plus a flat royalty fee), at least 36 million people have accessed the music, the new iPhone has set new sales records and everyone’s still talking about U2 and Apple two weeks later. Including our own Casey Rae, who joined Chris Richards of the Washington Post and Catherine Mayer of TIME Magazine—both of whom have recently written about U2—on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on Sept. 23. (Listen to the archived broadcast).
You may be feeling some U2 fatigue, but we think there’s still a need to ask deeper questions about what this deal means, and what it doesn’t.
If you have ever been to any big city like New York, Paris or London, you will know what it means to be surrounded by art and culture every hour of the day. These cities pride themselves on being hubs for creativity and cultural exchange, filled with art venues both historic and modern. It is no surprise then that these cities have also become centers for global tourism, forever attracting new generations looking for opportunities to participate.
It’s also not surprising that investment in the arts has become a strategy employed by local governments as part of a broader economic recovery agenda. But rather than supporting only large institutions such as ballets and symphonies, some are now turning to genres that historically haven’t received much government support.
While last week’s internet slowdown protest brought Net Neutrality to the headlines, resulting in the most comments to the FCC on any topic ever, this week is going to be equally busy and important for defenders of the open internet. For those who need a refresher, net neutrality is the principle that all legitimate web traffic should be treated equally by internet service providers; it’s fundamental to how the internet can function as a democratic platform where all voices can be heard, and especially important for independent musicians and labels. Read on for the full details!
Today, you may have noticed that a whole bunch of your favorite websites (us included!) are participating in a symbolic “Internet Slowdown.” This day of action brings together a very diverse group of companies, organizations, and individuals to stand up for real net neutrality. Net neutrality is the principle that all legitimate web traffic should be treated equally by internet service providers; it’s fundamental to how the internet can function as a democratic platform where all voices can be heard.
An overdose death or a major security incident is any concert promoter’s nightmare, marring what should be a joyous communal event. But one major festival is choosing an unusual way to respond to tragedy: essentially blaming teenagers for their security issues and banning anyone under 18 from attending their event.
About 60,000 people annually attend each day of the Ultra Music Festival in downtown Miami every March; at this year’s event a security guard was trampled by gatecrashers, and a 21-year old man died of an accidental overdose, the second such incident in the event’s 16 year history. Organizers announced this week that no one under 18 would be allowed at the 2015 festival, saying in a statement “This decision has been made to reinforce and promote the safety of all Ultra Music Festival fans and to ensure the overall enjoyment of all future attendees.”