@colaboratorpcn: Douglas Caballero interviews Chris Castle (Part 3) “Is Today a Good Time to Be a Musician?”

MusicTechPolicy Monthly Newsletter is Out!

The MusicTechPolicy Monthly Newsletter for March is out!  This month is devoted to a single topic:  What Congress can do about the tens of millions of address unknown NOIs being received by the Copyright Office.

The email newsletter is free to subscribers of the MTP blog, so if you’d like to receive it once a month, please subscribe to the blog in the subscription box!

Thank you!

#irespectmusic and #savesoho Join Forces in London, Tuesday, April 18!

April 17, 2017 1 comment

IRM London

BBC 6 Music’s Matt Everitt hosts this very special event.

The Save Soho pop-up venue returns to The Union Club for a special meeting bewteen two artists, both well known for their activism in the music sector. Blake Morgan, from New York – founder of #IRespectMusic and Tim Arnold from London – founder of Save Soho.

This will be a chance to hear both artists perform as well as hear each of them discuss their passion for protecting the rights and freedoms of the creative communities in the UK and the U.S with their campaigns.

The Reservation continues the Soho tradition to support emerging artists.. For this event we are delighted to welcome singer Sara Strudwick in her debut London show.

Make your reservation now….


Ex-Google Head of Comms Leaves Über

April 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Remember Rachel Whetstone?  She was the Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Policy at Google until 2015 when she took a comparable job at Über, replacing the former manager for President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, David Plouffe.  While at Google she also coined the “crying baby” gif for a now-forgotten post she wrote.

Another fun fact–in typical Google style, influence peddling begins at home.  Rachel Whetstone is married to Steve Hilton, a close advisor of the former UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

In other words, Rachel Whetstone was the brains behind Googles’ “torture the artists” campaign–and is a member of what Graham Greene might call the untorturable class.  Ms. Whetstone left the sanctum sanctorum of Google to join Über to torture the Teamsters, other taxi drivers and mount Über’s genius $10 million Austin ballot proposition disaster.  Because, you know, there’s torture and then there’s torture.

According to Recode:

Sources close to the car-hailing company said that the decision to leave was multi-faceted, including Whetstone’s lack of appetite for even more drama after running comms at Google for many years before her stint at Uber.

In an email to her staff, Whetstone referenced that drama, talking about “always-on jobs” that are exciting yet exhausting, too.

 There has been some recent tension between her and [Uber CEO Travis] Kalanick, with some investors blaming bad press for Uber’s woes (wrong!), although sources said that was expected given all the controversies at the company of late. That includes a massive investigation into allegations of pervasive sexism at the company, as well as a troublesome lawsuit initiated by Alphabet that alleges that the company stole self-driving car technology.

Well, there’s drama and then there’s drama.  At least she wasn’t held accountable for the bad press for Google’s rev share deals with nasty people.  And look at the bright side–no indictments yet.

Her replacement is another ex-Googler, Jill Hazelbecker.  Recode quotes an internal Uber email to staff from Mr. Kalanick with this bit about Ms. Hazelbecker:

Rachel is passing the reins over to her longtime right hand Jill Hazelbaker, our newly minted Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Communications. For those of you who haven’t met Jill, her background is in politics and she brings deep experience in policy, communications and tech.

MTP readers may recall Ms. Hazelbecker as the former campaign spokesperson for the New Jersey Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Tom Kean, Jr. as chronicled in the New York Times (see BlueJersey’s Troll Hunt):

A liberal blog, BlueJersey, says it has evidence that someone in the Kean campaign — possibly his spokeswoman, Jill Hazelbaker — has been posting deceptive comments anonymously on its site, using several aliases.

Ms. Hazelbaker flatly denied the accusation this afternoon: “They say I’ve posted on the Web site. I’ve never e-mailed them nor posted on the Web site.”

Juan Melli of BlueJersey says his site’s logs show that comments posted by at least two aliases, cleanupnj and usedtobeblue, share an Internet Protocol address — — with the I.P. address listed in an e-mail message sent by Ms. Hazelbaker to a third party. An I.P. address is a unique number somewhat analagous to a phone number or street address, though I.P addresses can be shared under some circumstances.

Computers can be shared too. Asked if anyone in the Kean campaign had ever posted at BlueJersey or sent it an e-mail message, Ms. Hazelbaker said: “I don’t know.”


@filmcolony, @JasonKliot and @BADave487: Enough with the back and forth. H.R. 1695 [Appointment of Copyright Office head] is a no-brainer.

After visiting Capitol Hill, where we spent the entire time speaking to policymakers about the importance of copyright to the creative communities, we are gravely concerned. Last month, in a positive step for creatives, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), along with 29 co-sponsors, introduced the Register of Copyrights Selection […]

via @filmcolony, @JasonKliot and @BADave487: Enough with the back and forth. H.R. 1695 [Appointment of Copyright Office head] is a no-brainer. Get it done. — Artist Rights Watch

Don’t forget to sign the petition! 

Chris Castle’s Colaborator Podcast Pt. 2: Is “Conversion” From Free to Subscription Correlation or Causation?

via Chris Castle’s Colaborator Podcast Pt. 2: Is “Conversion” From Free to Subscription Correlation or Causation? — Music Tech Solutions

via Chris Castle’s Colaborator Podcast Pt. 2: Is “Conversion” From Free to Subscription Correlation or Causation? — Music Tech Solutions

Reps. Issa and Deutch Introduce the PROMOTE Act

Congressmen Darryl Issa and Ted Deutch introduced the PROMOTE Act today, a bill that “grant[s] owners of copyright in sound recordings the exclusive right to prohibit the broadcast transmission of the sound recordings by means of terrestrial radio stations, and for other purposes.”

The bi-partisan PROMOTE Act is great news and, as Congressman Issa said:

calls the bluff of both sides in the debate over performance rights. The terrestrial stations playing these works without compensating the artists argue that airtime provides exposure and promotional value, while the artists argue the status-quo allows radio stations to profit on artists’ performances without providing any due compensation. Our bill puts forward a workable solution that would allow those who would otherwise be paid a performance right to opt out of allowing broadcasters to play their music if they feel they’re not being appropriately compensated.

This is a great way to start the negotiation over Fair Play, Fair Pay and resolving the pre-72 issues.

Here’s the SoundExchange statement from Michael Huppe, SoundExchange CEO:

The PROMOTE Act is a positive step forward in the effort to reform a broken and unfair system. On behalf of the 130,000 artists and rights owners we represent, we thank Rep. Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) for supporting the right of America’s creators to be paid when their recordings are used by the $17 billion radio industry. We will persist in our efforts to meaningfully engage with the radio industry to find a solution to this glaring inequity under U.S. law.


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