Archive for April, 2017

@ascap #StandWithSongwriters to Capitol Hill to Demand Congress Roll Back Government Regulation of Songwriters

April 25, 2017 Comments off

[Editor Charlie sez: Remember when the government set the price of mechanical royalties at $0.02 in 1909 and “forgot” to raise it until 1978?  And then–in 1978–started giving songwriters  increases based on inflation (Consumer Price Index) with no compensation for the government’s past mistakes?  Gee, thanks government.  If they’d given inflation adjustments in 1909, minimum statutory would be at least $0.50.  And then they froze the $0.091 minimum statutory rate again in 2009 when inflation has been about 14% since then.  Gee, thanks again government.  And why do they call it “minimum” statutory rate as if anyone is getting paid more than statutory when the reality is songwriters almost always get paid less than statutory?  Big thank you to ASCAP and the songwriter delegation, you can tweet support to #standwithsongwriters!]

via @ascap #StandWithSongwriters to Meet with Congress on Rolling Back Government Regulation of Songwriters — Artist Rights Watch

The Circle [aka the Google Movie] is coming April 28!

April 24, 2017 Comments off

Fighting for a Straight Count: Does Streaming Accounting Cost More than the Royalties?

April 24, 2017 Comments off

When you drill down on exactly what goes into tracking and accounting for songs and recordings on streaming services one thing becomes apparent:  No matter how much you automate, those systems are expensive and the royalties are minuscule.  This is in large part because of the revenue share method of royalty payments that creates a vastly more complex accounting world than a simple per-use penny rate would require.  It’s time to make that change to simplify the reporting so that the transaction cost of accounting does not exceed the royalty paid.

via @musictechsolve: Does Streaming Accounting Cost More than the Royalties?

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

April 21, 2017 Comments off

MusicTechPolicy Monthly Newsletter is Out!

April 18, 2017 Comments off

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 Comments off

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.”


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