What’s the Agenda at @TheAgenda?

November 13, 2018 Leave a comment

Google’s European charm offensive on “Article 13” has come to Canada in search of earned media.  They got it last night on a previously-credible news show called The Agenda in the “Struggling Artists and Copyright Rules” episode.  (For readers outside of Canada, the Agenda is one of the top news magazine television programs in Canada, hosted by the erudite Steve Paikin.)

Both Canada and the European Union are going through very different copyright reform policy revisions which could not be more different, but The Agenda was determined to hold up Big Tech’s objections to the European Copyright Directive as some kind of example for the Canadian review of its 2012 Copyright Modernization Act which is being conducted largely in the normal course as required by statute.  

By contrast, the Copyright Directive for the Single Digital Market (often called “Article 13”) bears little resemblance to the Canadian review.

If you watched The Agenda last night with the EFF’s Cory Doctorow, the Canadian science fiction author, and Canadian artists Miranda Mulholland and Donald Quan, you really would not have much of an idea.  

I’ve actually appeared on The Agenda and was very impressed with the amount of objective preparation the show’s producers put in and the thoroughness with which they approached the subject.  This kind of staff work is critical to preserving Steve Paikin’s credibility and how he conducts interviews with multiple persons, sometimes phoning in from out of the studio.

Given my experience with the program, I was quite taken aback by the sloppiness of the questioning that verged on propaganda from multinational corporations at several moments despite Miranda and Donald’s best efforts.  What I saw was the complete opposite of my own experience.  Here’s a few examples, more to come.

—Julia Reda represents Germany in the European Parliament?  Let us be clear—Julia Reda may have a German constituency, but Julia Reda hardly “represents Germany” if the implication is—and I think it was—that Julia Reda’s views are representative of Germany as a whole.  She is the sole Member of the European Parliament from the Pirate Party and her views are not only very pirate, but were also voted down by substantial majorities.  

—the use of neuvoo.ca, which appears to be a crowd sourced job site as evidence of creator “annual income”.  I’ve quickly looked over the neuvoo site and can’t find the name of a live person attached to it, so we don’t really know much about it.  The site appears to be aggregating job postings from other sites (like Uber), so I’d really like to see the methodology.  Having said that, the neuvoo annual income numbers (like $61,798 for a writer compared to the Writers Union of Canada number of $9,380) seem greatly inflated and counterintuitive.  If there’s a good reason to believe a job aggregator as opposed to the union representing job categories, I’m all ears.  But the real question I have is why The Agenda didn’t use government statistics as the comparison, or at least mention some of the research work done by the industry or other countries or cities (such as the Austin Music Census).

—the failure by Steve Paikin to mention Cory Doctorow’s long time involvement with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  The EFF lobbying group was not only disclosed by Google in court documents as a recipient of corporate donations but benefited to the tune of $1 million in a cy pres award that is of the type that is currently under review by the United States Supreme Court.  Google, of course, is on Julia Reda’s side of the Article 13 vote and is today lobbying the European Parliament against Article 13, making many of the same arguments as Cory Doctorow did on The Agenda.

We’ll be looking into this deeper, but it doesn’t take much of a cynic to question why Steve Paikin would allow his program to be coopted in the effort to oppose Article 13.  I for one don’t believe Mr. Paikin is that kind of guy, and I think that he’s very careful about being used.  I know he certainly was careful when I was on the show.

This leads one to the inescapable conclusion that either his producer was in the tank for Google or was incredibly sloppy.  Either conclusion is equally unfortunate.

We’ll come back to this soon.

Save the Date: Nov. 28 Music Modernization Act at the Dallas Bar Association

November 11, 2018 Comments off

If you’ll be in Dallas, Texas on November 28, I will be discussing the Music Modernization Act at a luncheon sponsored by the Dallas Bar Association Entertainment & Sports Law Section.  The meeting is scheduled for noon at the Belo Mansion,
2101 Ross Avenue in Dallas.

The talk will focus mostly on the Music Licensing Collective and Digital Licensee Coordinator in Title I, but will also cover the Wyden Loophole in Title II for pre-72 recordings.

More information on the Dallas Bar Association site.

Read Highlights of Managing Change Under the Music Modernization Act’s Music Licensing Collective in the current issue of the Texas Entertainment & Sports Law Section Journal.

 

Preserving the Bond

November 11, 2018 1 comment

France can be deceptively cold and really rather miserable in the late fall.  This can be particularly true of the French mountains and the Vosges Mountains are no exception.  They’re not particularly high mountains by comparison to Colorado, but they’re high enough to feel the altitude if you’re used to living at sea level.  

A strategic fact about the Vosges Mountains is that towns like Bruyères and Biffontaine are about 75 miles from Strasbourg, and Strasbourg is a stone’s throw from Germany.  And that’s where the 1st of the 141st (First Texas), a unit of the 36th Infantry Division (T-patchers), was heading in late October 1944 when they ran into the 244th Infantry Division of the German Army and other German units.

The Texans had fought their way through North Africa, Sicily and the Italian invasion, but got surrounded in the Vosges.  They were cut off from resupply or reinforcements to the extent that they had to be supplied by air drops because no one could get to them.  Vastly outnumbered, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was ordered to rescue the Texas outfit.

In the Battle of Bruyères, the 442nd continued to distinguish themselves in brutal sacrifice for their brothers in arms.  As Daniel Inouye told the story, the 442nd lost more men than they ultimately rescued.  But let the citation of Barney Hajiro of the 442nd speak for him and his brothers:

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private Barney F. Hajiro, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company I, 3d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, attached to the 36th Infantry Division, in action against the enemy on 19, 22, and 29 October 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres and Biffontaine, eastern France. 

Private Hajiro, while acting as a sentry on top of an embankment on 19 October 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres, France, rendered assistance to allied troops attacking a house 200 yards away by exposing himself to enemy fire and directing fire at an enemy strong point. He assisted the unit on his right by firing his automatic rifle and killing or wounding two enemy snipers. On 22 October 1944, he and one comrade took up an outpost security position about 50 yards to the right front of their platoon, concealed themselves, and ambushed an 18-man, heavily armed, enemy patrol, killing two, wounding one, and taking the remainder as prisoners. On 29 October 1944, in a wooded area in the vicinity of Biffontaine, France, Private Hajiro initiated an attack up the slope of a hill referred to as “Suicide Hill” by running forward approximately 100 yards under fire. He then advanced ahead of his comrades about ten yards, drawing fire and spotting camouflaged machine gun nests. He fearlessly met fire with fire and single-handedly destroyed two machine gun nests and killed two enemy snipers. 

As a result of Private Hajiro’s heroic actions, the attack was successful. Private Hajiro’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit, and the United States Army.

The 442nd was the most decorated unit in the history of the U.S. Army with 8 Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medal of Honor recipients and 18,143 other medals.  Barney Hajiro also received the French Legion of Honor, the British Military Medal and the Bronze Star.  And all of the 442nd were made honorary Texans by Governor John Connally.

You can’t be in National Airport in Washington DC for very long (especially on a Friday) without noticing a few enlisted men and women, often Marines, hanging around a gate.  If you have the time, you’ll soon see an “Honor Flight” disembarking from that gate and what is often a long line of veterans filing out to sustained and enthusiastic applause from the transiting passengers and staff.  The enlisted service members are there to meet the flight and assist the vets in wheel chairs.  These flights are often comprised of World War II vets who are visiting DC to view their new World War II Memorial.  As some of you know all too well, there are fewer of them every year.

We always think of the 442nd a couple of special times each year as do many others who sent their boys off to Camp Bowie and then to World War II as T-Patchers.  It’s easy to say that we owe a debt to the 442nd that can never be repaid, but I don’t think the vets look at it that way.  It’s more of a bond that should be preserved by kindness, respect and devotion.  Preserving their memory is a recognition of that bond.

 

post-513-1240313460

Hill 555 Monument, Bruyeres, France

 

COUNTDOWN TO MODERNITY (11/5/18)–The Progress to Production Chart for the Mechanical Licensing Collective

November 5, 2018 Comments off

As best we can tell from the outside looking in, this chart has the dates for key events in the critical path to launch for the Mechancial Licesing Collective as required by the Music Modernization Act–the “Countdown to Modernity.”

This chart is a work in progress, and if anyone sees anything wrong in it or something that should be clarified or corrected, please let us know.  It should be considered a draft, but we hope that it will solidify over the next few weeks.

To our knowlege, no one else has published a chart like this.  The main takeaway from this chart should be the clock is ticking and time is going by.  Our prediction?  Time will become the MLC’s biggest enemy, if that hasn’t already happened in the drafting of the Music Modernization Act.  What we don’t see in the MMA is any discussion of what happens if a deadline is blown for whatever reason.

But mark your calendars–we see the first key date as January 7, 2019.  That’s 64 days from now and holidays count.

ARTIST RIGHTS WATCH
COUNTDOWN TO MECHANICAL LICENSING COLLECTIVE LAUNCH
WEEK 4

KEY DATES SCHEDULE FROM ENACTMENT DATE (10/11/18)

TO LICENSE AVAILABILITY DATE (1/1/21)

EVENT ACCCOMPLISHED WHO OWNS? TIME EXPIRED   BEFORE LAD TIME REMAINING TO LAD
REQUEST FILING TO BE MLC STATUS UNKNOWN—Deadline  1/7/2019 COPYRIGHT OFFICE 90 DAYS 726 days
DESIGNATION OF MLC STATUS UNKNOWN—Deadline  7/7/2019 COPYRIGHT OFFICE 270 days 545 days
FORMATION OF MLC NONPROFIT STATUS UNKNOWN MLC 4 weeks 112 weeks and 5 days
SUBSTITUTION OF BLANKET LICENSE FOR ALL EXISTING COMPULSORY LICENSES AUTOMATIC 1/1/2021 COPYRIGHT OFFICE 789 days
MLC BUDGET STATUS UNKNOWN

(Assume deadline of 1/7/19)

MLC/DLC/CRJ 112 weeks and 5 days
INITIATE ASSESSMENT PROCEEDING w/CRJs [MUST COMMENCE NO LATER THAN 7/7/2019]

STATUS UNKNOWN

MLC/DLC/CRJ 271 days 545 days
ASSESSMENT RULING [PUBLISHED IN FR NO LATER THAN 7/7/2020] MLC/DLC/CRJ 637 days 179 days
APPEAL OF ASSESSMENT RULING 30 DAYS AFTER PUBLICATION OF ASSESSMENT RULING MLC/DLC/CRJ/ DCCOA 667 days 149 days
MLC BUSINESS PLAN STATUS UNKNOWN

(Assume deadline of 1/7/19)

MLC/CO 90 DAYS 726 days
ANNOUNCED BOARD NOMINEES STATUS UNKNOWN

Update on Nominations (Deadline November 15, 2018):  NMPA and NSAI are accepting nominations for board seats.  Songwriter board selection by Steve Bogard (NSAI), Rick Carnes (SGA), Lynn Gillespie Chater (SGA), Dallas Davidson (BMI), Chris DeStefano (NSAI), Bob DiPiero (BMI), Dan Foliart (ASCAP), Adam Gorgoni (SONA), Michele Lewis (SONA), Paul Williams (ASCAP)

(Assume deadline of 1/7/19)

MLC 90 DAYS 726 days
APPOINTED BOARD STATUS UNKNOWN

(Assume deadline of 1/7/19)

MLC/CO 90 DAYS 726 days
APPOINTED DLC STATUS UNKNOWN—Deadline  7/7/2019 COPYRIGHT OFFICE 270 days 545 days
ENGAGED  MLC VENDORS STATUS UNKNOWN

(Assume deadline of 1/7/19)

MLC 90 DAYS 726 days
PAID MLC VENDORS STATUS UNKNOWN (ASSUME 7/7/2020 IF NO APPEAL OF ASSESSMENT) MLC 270 days 545 days
ANNOUNCE MLC DATA STANDARDS STATUS UNKNOWN MLC/DLC
REGULATIONS* STATUS UNKNOWN COPYRIGHT OFFICE
COMMENTS AND REPLY COMMENTS ON REGULATIONS STATUS UNKNOWN ALL
EXPLANATION OF OPERATIONS: HOW TO REGISTER WITH MLC AND COST OF REGISTRATION STATUS UNKNOWN

(Assume deadline of 1/7/19)

MLC/CO 90 DAYS 726 days
REGISTRATION START DATE STATUS UNKNOWN

 

MLC=Mechanical Licensing Collective

DLC=Digital Licensee Coordinator

CRJ=Copyright Royalty Judges

DCCOA=District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals

CO=Copyright Office

LAD=License Availability Date

*Topic areas to be updated as announced

Please take the New Survey on Music Subscription Royalties

November 3, 2018 Comments off

The survey link is here, thanks!

See SPOT Fall–Does the Decline of Spotify’s Stock Price Mean Anything? — Music Tech Solutions

November 2, 2018 Comments off

What’s happening with the Spotify stock price? Chris Castle argues that the main downward driver for SPOT is the market catching up to the Spotify inflated DPO price and its subsequent insider-heavy stock sales.

via See SPOT Fall–Does the Decline of Spotify’s Stock Price Mean Anything? — Music Tech Solutions

Ethical Pool: More for few or fewer for more – The Results of a Comparative Study on Pro Rata and User Centric Distribution Models from Finland — Music Tech Solutions

October 31, 2018 Comments off
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