If you’re hep to the internet, you’ve probably come across a wave of information — and even outrage — on the Senate’s PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA) and its House companion, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). These controversial pieces of legislation have the stated goals of curbing foreign “rogue websites,” but the initial versions of the bills would have done way more than that. Hence the widespread disapproval. read more
Moments ago, the United States Senate voted in favor of preserving an open and accessible internet. This is an important victory for musicians and other entrepreneurs, as it helps to ensure competition and free expression online.
We’d like to thank the thousands of musicians who have gone on record at the Federal Communications Commission, in Congress and elsewhere in support of these basic and necessary rules. We’ve always known that artists care about these issues, but it’s truly remarkable to see so many step up and make their voices heard. read more
The internet is at risk today as the Senate debates a resolution that would strip the FCC of its rulemaking authority to preserve its openness. S.J. Res. 6, similar to a House measure passed in April, needs only a simple majority to pass. The vote, expected Thursday, November 11, is likely to be very close. read more
Since its inception, the internet has represented a powerful tool for the exchange of information and ideas. In recent years, it has also contributed greatly to the emergence of novel platforms for the dissemination of creative content. It is as members of the arts community who have come to depend on these structures that we write to you today.
Creators, in particular, depend on open internet structures to engage in a variety of ways, including direct interaction with audiences, fans and patrons, as well as collaboration with other artists. From musicians to filmmakers to writers to independent labels to arts and service organizations, today’s creative community depends on the internet to conduct business and contribute to the rich tapestry that is American culture.
Today’s creators are taking advantage of technologies fostered by the internet to deliver a diverse array of content to consumers, while creating efficient new ways to “do for ourselves” in terms of infrastructure. The access and innovation inspired by the web helps us meet the challenges of the 21st century as we contribute to local economies and help America compete globally.
It hasn’t always been so. Traditionally, the media landscape relied heavily on hierarchical chains of ownership and distribution, controlled by powerful gatekeepers such as large TV and movie studios, commercial radio conglomerates, major labels and so forth.
It would be tremendously disadvantageous to creative entrepreneurship if the internet were to become an environment in which innovation and creativity face tremendous barriers to entry due to business arrangements between a select few industry players.
This is why we support clear, enforceable and transparent rules to ensure that competition and free expression can continue to flourish online. Although many of us feel strongly that the recent FCC Order does not go far enough in its protections (particularly with regard to mobile broadband access), we recognize the importance of having a process in place by which concerns can be addressed and transparency pursued.
We believe that Congress has a role to play in establishing guidelines that preserve a competitive, accessible internet where free expression and entrepreneurship can continue to flourish. We also believe that stripping the FCC’s ability to enforce these core principles as proposed in S.J. Res. 6 runs counter the values shared by members on both sides of the aisle, as well as prior and current FCC leadership. Therefore, we strongly urge against a broad repudiation of the Commission’s Order.
Future of Music Coalition
National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture
Lawmakers who back legislation that would crack down on piracy and counterfeiting on foreign websites pushed back Wednesday against critics who say that the measures could undermine the growth of new technologies and services on the Internet.
A group of artists held a competing news conference on Wednesday to voice their fears about collateral damage that the bills might cause. Supporters of the piracy legislation tried to allay their fears. … read more
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, has quietly backed off a controversial proposal that would have required the Secretary of Education to monitor college’s anti-piracy efforts.
Reid’s proposal, which was folded into the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, included a provision mandating the 25 schools with the most piracy violations begin filtering P2P filesharing networks on their campus. Critics, including the Digital Freedom Campaign and some educators, charged such filtering would inevitably catch perfectly legal filesharing as well as unauthorized downloads.
Jennifer Stoltz, a spokesperson for the Digital Freedom Campaign, said in a public statement: read more
Today’s Senate Commerce Commitee hearings on media ownership, localism and diversity found several Senators stepping up the anti-consolidation rhetoric. Can a showdown with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin be far off? read more
Last week, it was the Senate Judiciary Committee’s turn to direct its attention to the debate about the public performance right for sound recordings.
A little primer: When you hear a song on regular radio in the US, the composer/songwriter/publisher are compensated for that “public performance” via ASCAP/BMI/SESAC, but the performer and record label are not. read more