On Tuesday, April 12 join us in Washington for a DC Policy Day. This
will be like a one-day version of our Policy Summit, but with a laser-beam
focus on four issues that are emerging in the Courts, Congress and at the
Copyright Office. By bringing together key stakeholders – musicians,
advocates, policymakers, technologists, academics – we will once
again generate a meaningful, well-balanced discussion on the issues that
will impact musicians and the music community in 2005 and beyond.
Over the course of the day, experts representing a
wide range of perspectives will discuss and debate four emerging policy issues:
…all with a focus squarely on their impact on musicians, performers,
songwriters, and citizens. For detailed descriptions of the panels and
a day schedule.
Stellar panelists already confirmed! ––––––—
FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein
Claudia Bach, AdvisArts Consulting
Ann Chaitovitz, National Director of Sound
Jeffrey Cunard, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP
Jim Griffin, CEO, Cherry
Peter Jenner, manager and Secretary General, Intl Music Managers’ Forum
Maiolo, Lee-Moore Insurance
Margot Nassau, Royalties and Licensing Manager,
Hannah Sassaman, Prometheus Radio Project
Jule Sigall, Associate Register for
Policy & International Affairs,
US Copyright Office
John Simson, Executive Director, SoundExchange
Gigi Sohn, President, Public Knowledge
…with many more invites to be confirmed.
Space is limited, so reserve your seat now
This event is going to be held at the Barbara Jordan
Conference Center, which is on the second floor of the Kaiser Family
Foundation Public Affairs Center at 1330 G Street NW, Washington, DC. This
is just a half-block from the Metro Center subway stop, and easily accessible
by cab. Directions here
The room seats about 150 people, so register
now to reserve your space.Suggested donation: $25
Scholarships Available for Working Musicians and Students
One of the unique aspects of our events is our determination
to involve artists, both as performers and as active policy participants.
We urge all working musicians to join us for this event. Because
of the size of the room, the number of scholarships is limited, so go
here to apply.
Webcasting in the Works
We are also making arrangements for this to be streamed
in real time over the web and archived on the web for post-event viewing. Stay
tuned for details!
FMC continues to bring the best and brightest people
working in music, law, policy and technology together to discuss the
most critical issues impacting our community and reframe these complicated
questions to benefit musicians and citizens. Don’t
forget to register now
FMC is also proud to announce that we are working with the prestigious
Tribeca Film Festival to produce a panel on the connection between film
This is the fourth annual Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by Robert
De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff. Last year’s Festival
included over 250 films from 42 countries, as well as panel discussions,
filmmaker events, gala premieres of major studio releases, the Family
Festival, a music concert at Battery Park, and many other highlights.
Our panel will discuss the issues at the intersection of music and film. Immediately
following the panel there will be an ASCAP Songwriter’s Café in
the lower level of the Knitting Factory.
Please plan on joining us in New York City for this special event!
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, New York City
for this panel will be handled by Tribeca Film Festival.
…but we will also post details about this event as it develops
on our website. More info to follow!
In December, American University professors Pat Aufderheide and Peter
Jaszi released “Untold Stories: Creative Consequences of the Rights
Clearance Culture for Documentary Filmmakers.” The study explores
the problems that documentary filmmakers face in getting and controlling
rights for the copyrighted works used in their films and the consequences
for cultural creativity.
The report includes excerpts from interviews with dozens of documentary
filmmakers in which the filmmakers explain the myriad problems associated
with clearing the rights for sound clips, video, songs, and TV footage
used in their films. In some cases, the cost of licensing a clip
of music – even the smallest snippet – can be thousands of
dollars. The filmmakers note that the cost of licensing can consume
a vast majority of their film’s budget and hours of time, but that
without the proper clearances, distributors or cable/TV networks will
not pick up the film.
The report also articulates the longer-term problems with rights clearance. For
example, Eyes on the Prize is an award-winning documentary series
on the Civil Rights Movement. The documentary has been commercially
unavailable for the past 10 years because many of the licenses that were
acquired in the mid-1980s have now expired. There is a scene where
a group of people sings Happy Birthday to Martin Luther King,
Jr. Happy Birthday is under copyright and the owners demand licensing
fees for its use in any film. Originally Eyes
on the Prize secured
a short-term license for use of that song, but that, along with other
sample licenses, has expired.
Since the release of this report and the subsequent focus on the purgatory
status of Eyes on the Prize, this licensing issue has taken on
a new, higher profile. Downhill Battle created a civil disobedience
campaign called “Eyes on the Screen” that encouraged folks
to download a bittorrent version of the documentary and watch it during
Black History Month. However, their action was protested quickly
by Blackside Productions, the documentary’s production company,
which argued that they had no “fair use” claim to distributing
the film in such a way. Despite this, some in the civil rights
movement have supported Downhill Battle’s efforts. Lawrence Guyot,
former leader of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party said: "I
would call upon everyone who has access to ‘Eyes on the Prize’ to openly
violate any and all laws regarding its showing."
While this particular legal battle continues, so do ongoing questions
about how to balance the needs of a creative community – filmmakers,
documentarians – against the rights of creators to control the
use of and generate revenues from their works. “Untold Stories” suggests
that facilitating the clearance process would reduce costs and encourage
creative works, as well as creating a way for filmmakers to share “best
practices” on these issues. The report also urges a remedy
to dealing with “orphan works” older photos, music,
historic advertising art whose ownership is unknown, something that the
US Copyright Office has on its radar right now. This is an eye-opening
report that is worth reading to understand the complex nature of the
licensing process that permeates the film, TV and music industries.
“Untold Stories”: http://centerforsocialmedia.org/rock/index.htm
Battle’s Eyes on the Screen: http://www.downhillbattle.org/eyes/
opposition to Downhill Battle’s campaign from
the nephew of the producer of Eyes on the Prize http://www.sharp-tools.net/archives/000191.html
Putting Eyeballs on Copyright Law
Veterans of the civil rights movement
convene with copyright reform activists for a screening of Eyes on the
Prize. Those gathered say corporations that control copyrights should
not control the dissemination of history.
Katie Dean, Wired, February
Eyes on the Prize Hits P2P
Katie Dean, Wired, January 27, 2005
A Struggle for Rights
Eyes on the Prize mired in money battle
By DeNeen L. Brown and
Hamil R. Harris, Washington Post, January 17, 2005
Bleary Days for Eyes on the Prize
Eyes on the Prize, the landmark documentary on the civil rights movement, is no longer broadcast or sold new in the United States. It’s illegal.
By Katie Dean, Wired News, December 22, 2004
Copyrights Keep TV Shows off DVD
WKRP in Cincinnati rocked America’s TV screens when it was on the air,
but it will probably never be released on DVD because of prohibitive
music-licensing fees. It’s not alone.
By Katie Dean, Wired News, March 1,2005
On February 16, 2005, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed
legislation that sharply raises fines on TV and radio stations and entertainers
who violate decency limits on air. Until now, the penalty had been $32,000
for a station and $11,000 for a performer. That has now been lifted to
$500,000 for the station and the performer.
In good news for artists, at the urging of AFTRA, AFM and other recording
artist groups, language was added to the House bill to create fairer
standards for fines against performers. It requires the FCC to hand out
a fine only if a performer “willingly” and “intentionally” utters indecent or profane language. The FCC is also to take into account
the “financial impact” on a performer who is fined and their
ability to pay.
While this does not water down the size of the fines or diminish the
chilling effect that this legislation will have on speech in general,
the recent amendments at least protect musicians and other performers
from fines that might have resulted in, say, a song with an expletive
being played on a radio station – something that the recording
artist would have no control over. It also recognizes that performers – the
vast majority of them, in fact – would not be able to pay a $500,000
fine, and that the FCC must take ability to pay into consideration.
Now a similar indecency bill has been introduced in the Senate, but
unlike the House version, the Senate version of the bill does not contain
the fines on performers provision.
On March 9, FMC sent a letter to key Senators expressing our concerns
about S. 193, the Broadcast Decency
Enforcement Act of 2005. The
letter articulates our belief that there are serious unintended consequences
to this legislation which may be borne particularly hard by non-commercial
broadcasters and performers. Individual performers who have no control
over the broadcast airwaves may be fined for programming actions out
of their control. Non-commercial stations may self-censor and not air
important political or controversial topics for fear of fines. Entire
genres of music may be boycotted for fear of being labeled indecent. We
also urged the Senate to not impose fines on performers.
Please read FMC’s letter here.
House Approves Modified Indecency Bill
In an overwhelming bipartisan show of support for tougher indecency
fine penalties, the House of Representatives passed a modified Broadcast
Decency Enforcement Act, H.R. 310, by a vote of 389 to 38.
By Bill Holland,
Billboard.com, February 16, 2005
As reported in the last newsletter, on February 8 the FCC hosted a panel
discussion on the status of Low Power FM where current LPFM licensees
spoke about the successes and challenges they’ve faced with their stations.
In conjunction with this 5th anniversary of LPFM, Senators McCain, Leahy,
and Cantwell introduced the Local Community Radio Act of 2005 – legislation
to expand the service into more populated and urban areas.
FMC supports the passage of the Local Community Radio Act. The
expansion of LPFM would assist in bringing localism, diversity, and competition
back to the public airwaves. As we look towards transitioning to digital
audio broadcasting, it is important to stress the value of LPFM.
Low Power Movement Makes Waves
Sens. McCain, Maria Cantwell and Patrick Leahy introduce the Local
Community Radio Act, which would abolish the Congressionally-mandated third-adjacent
channel protection full-power radio broadcasters currently have against
low power FMs.
Rick Karr, NPR, February 9, 2005
McCain Introduces Low Power FM Legislation
On the fifth anniversary of a Federal Communications Commission rulemaking
that authorized the creation of the Low Power FM radio service, a trio
of senators introduced a bill that would enable the FCC to license scores
more LPFM stations by eliminating third adjacent channel protections.
By Paul Heine, Billboard Radio Monitor, February 8, 2005
In the last newsletter we talked about Bridgeport v Dimension Films, the case in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding de minimis sampling. A
note from Marjorie Heins from the Free Expression Policy Project corrected
us on the status of the case. It has not been appealed to
the Supreme Court as we wrote; the January 20 amicus brief filed by the
Brennan Center for Justice and Electronic Frontier Foundation urges the
court to reverse their original ruling and reinstate the de minimis rule.
The Brennan/EFF brief argues that the de minimis rule is a longstanding
and essential component of all copyright law, including sound
recordings. The rule allows artists to sample small amounts from
earlier work to produce new creations.
The brief responds to a lawsuit brought by Bridgeport Music and other
owners of the song “Get off Your Ass and Jam.” A chord
of that song was sampled in the track “100 Miles and Runnin.” A
federal district court judge found the borrowing of this chord to be de
minimis and not in violation of copyright law. A three-judge
panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision. However,
after receiving a petition for rehearing, the judges agreed to reconsider. The
Brennan Center/EFF brief urges them to reverse their original ruling
and reinstate the de minimis rule.
We’ll let you know about the status of this case as it proceeds.
More about it here:
Why Wilco Is the Future of Music
Great things happen when a band and its audience find harmony.
Lessig from Wired magazine, January 2005
MGM v Grokster will be argued at the Supreme Court
on March 29. A copy of the musicians’ amicus brief and all others
are available on
Artists Break With Industry on File Sharing
Some Musicians Say Web Services Can Be Valuable Means of Distribution
Jonathan Krim, Washington Post, March 1, 2005
Unions Decrying Illegal Downloads Asking High Court for Relief
“Unauthorized free copying and distribution of copyrighted sound
recordings and films on the Internet directly harm…creative artists,” the
nation’s entertainment unions have told the U.S. Supreme Court.
Armbrust, Backstage.com, February 10, 2005
RIAA: Mass DAB Copying Is Unfair Use
Abstract: The Recording Industry Association of America told the FCC
that it needed to adopt copy-protection measures for digital-audio broadcasting.
John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, February 11, 2005
Expert Advice: The US Copyright Office’s Rob Kasunic on Internet
In the digital environment, where massive infringement is so
easy to accomplish with the click of a mouse, enforcement alone
is seldom enough to reassure creators."
By Blane Warrene, TechNewsWorld,
February 8, 2005
NEW BUSINESS MODELS
Downloading: The Next Generation
[…] "In digital there is a ‘long tail’ of tracks that will
sell," Sony’s Hesse said. "There is a great opportunity here
to go even deeper in the catalog. People will actually find this stuff." Added
EMI’s Cohen, "The whole promise of this unlimited digital shelf
is playing itself out." […]
By David McGuire, Washington Post,
February 28, 2005
Web Only Album Wins Grammy
Jazz composer Maria Schneider took
home a Grammy on Sunday for her album "Concert
in the Garden," without selling a single copy in a record store.
Reuters, February 13, 2005
Artist Earnings and Copyright: A Review of British and German Music
Industry Data in the Context of Digital Technology
are often said (1) to enable a qualitatively new engagement with already
existing cultural materials (for example through sampling and adaptation);
and, (2) to offer a new disintermediated distribution channel to the
creator. A review of secondary data on music artists’ earnings
and interviews with artists indicate that both ambitions have remained
largely unfulfilled. The article discusses to what extent the structure
of copyright law is to blame, and sets out a research agenda.
Kretschmer, First Monday, Issue 10.1
MP3Tunes Shuns Digital Rights Management
MP3tunes.com introduced its digital music service on Wednesday, offering
300,000 songs at 88 cents each from mostly independent and unsigned artists.
Matt Hines, CNET.com, February 9, 2005
Start-ups blur lines between radio, music swapping
Imagine iTunes’ sharing functions available across the public Internet.
Net radio’s resurgence pushes technological—and legal—boundaries.
March 4, 2005
Public Radio Turns Off The Music
Public radio stations in Washington and other cities are dropping classical
music from their lineups, replacing it with news and talk shows, especially
the increasingly popular offerings from National Public Radio.
By Chris Baker, Washington Times, February 26, 2005
The Resurrection of Indie Radio
FM never sounded so freaking good.
How the coming digital boom – and Big Radio’s bottom line —
is driving the new golden age of multichannel, microniche broadcasting.
By Charles C. Mann from Wired magazine, February 2005
How to Be an IPod Radio Star
He’s gone from MTV to MP3, and now he’s leading a grass-roots rebellion
called podcasting. Why amateurs may soon rule the airwaves (begin download
By Annalee Newitz from Wired magazine, February 2005
Future of Radio Is Downloadable
A new station in Berlin is attempting to redefine music broadcasting
for the interconnected internet age. The key will be MP3s and cell phones,
not the old-fashioned radio.
By Jason Walsh, Wired, February 15, 2005
The Hot 100 Is Going Digital
For the first time, Billboard magazine will include songs sold by download
in its weekly calculation of the nation’s top hits. The change reflects
the booming popularity of digital music players like Apple’s iPod, which
has accounted for dramatic increases in download sales.
By David Bauder,
Salon.com, February 11, 2005
Eliot Spitzer’s Payola Investigation Hits Clear Channel, Entercom,
Eliot Spitzer has taken his payola investigation to the
next level as radio giants Clear Channel, Entercom and Infinity have
received subpoenas in the New York State Attorney General’s ongoing payola
probe into the music industry’s promotion practices.
For those who will be in Austin, TX sometime in the next two weeks for
South by Southwest, FMC’ s Jenny Toomey and Michael Bracy are both
speaking on panels. We’d love to see you!
Jenny is moderating the Artists’ Give Advice Panel, with Robyn
Hitchcock, Nona Hendryx, Mary Lou Lord, Jon Langford and Todd Snider
March 18 at 3:30 PM
Michael is on The Shape of Things to Come
Saturday, March 19 12:00 noon
Jenny is also on the Health Care for Musicians panel
19 1:30 PM
And news about a cool new feature at this year’s SXSW:
SXSW’s Torrent of Free Tunes
The South by Southwest music festival is embracing file sharing and
iPods big time. It’s offering more than 750 free MP3s on BitTorrent in
an iPod-friendly format.
By Katie Dean, Wired, March 8, 2005
Hello! FMC is offering an unpaid internship in DC for the summer
of 2005. This internship is a great opportunity to learn about the issues
at intersection of music, technology, law, and policy. We would
love someone with practical computer wizardry skills. Please email wendy [at] futureofmusic [dot] org with
a resume if you’re interested.
You can always send an email to suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org with your comments.
Thanks as always,
Donate to the Future of Music Coalition!
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accepted at any level at https://www.futureofmusic.org/donate.cfm