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.
When we interviewed Kristin Thomson back in October, the Future of Music Coalition was in the midst of a landmark research project designed to illuminate just how musicians make their livings in the 21st century. The earliest of those results have started to be published at money.futureofmusic.org, but Kristin Thomson and Erin Mckeown were kind enough to give us a walk through of some of their findings this morning. read more
Living for a good decade in Washington, DC, I was very familiar with the “do it yourself” music culture. In fact, I was an avid participant in a community that was constantly putting on shows, releasing records, silk-screening t-shirts, making our own packaging, and supporting each other. I loved it. read more
A short while ago, we hipped you to an amazing concert/webcast from Erin Mckeown, which took place at Lincoln Hall in Chicago on October 20. (We watched it from our lair, and it ruled).
Well, Erin has just posted a clip fom the webcast where she talks about her support for the open internet before launching into a positively ripping cover of “Who’s Watching the Watcher” by LaBelle. Check it out:
We’re super-psyched that one of our favorite musicians, multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Erin McKeown is taking her support of the open itnernet on the road! One show in the Windy City (also known as Chicago) promises to be particularly exciting.
Erin is currently touring to commemorate the10th anniversary of her debut, Distillation, and has chosen Chicago as the location for a live webcast from Lincoln Hall on October 20 at 9 p.m. EST. Get your virtual tickets right here. read more
Here’s the good news: more and more people are recognizing that the open internet is crucial to everything from innovation to free speech. Musicians and independent labels depend on net neutrality too — it’s what lets them compete on a level technological playing field with the biggest companies. read more
Net neutrality isn’t just an issue for policy wonks and communications lawyers, and the boys from R.E.M. want the FCC to know just how crucial a neutral ‘Net remains for artists of all stripes. Or, to put it another way: it’s the end of the world as we know it (without network neutrality).
The effort to get bands involved in the process has been an ongoing one for the Future of Music Coalition, which is behind the latest push to have artists weigh in before the comment period closes soon. The Coalition has put together a very nice tool for crafting and submitting comments to the FCC, and it has the great virtue of providing guidance without offering a form letter as an option. read more
In this age of satellite and Internet radio, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of small, noncommercial terrestrial radio stations to independent artists.
“There is a real disparity between people who can access the Web and satellite radio and those who can’t,” musician Erin McKeown says. “There are also a lot of people who listen to the radio in their cars out of habit, and it’s easier for them to flip to a new channel than convert to satellite.”
McKeown and others who say they owe their careers to small, noncommercial stations are celebrating a recent victory. On Oct. 15, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Local Community Radio Act of 2009, which eases requirements on channel separation between low-power and full-power FM stations, paving the way for more LP FMs to appear on the radio dial. The legislation will now go before the House of Representatives for a full floor vote.
LPFMsâ€”which typically have a range of three to seven miles with transmitters of up to 100 wattsâ€”have long been an important vehicle for ethnic, religious and local community programming. And LP FMs, especially those affiliated with colleges and universities, have provided vital exposure for niche music genres and independent artists.
Getting the bill out of the House committee represents a huge step forward, according to Michael Bracy, policy director at the Future of Music Coalition.
“We had success getting the legislation through the Senate before, but this is the first time we got it past the House committee,” Bracy says. “There was a lot of consensus and not a lot of debate, either, which bodes well. I feel pretty optimistic it will pass the House in the next month and get through the Senate and signed by the end of this session. If this all happens, the licensing window would be late 2010 or early 2011.” read more