Archive for August, 2017

SoundExchange Reaches Out to Help Texas Flood Victims

August 30, 2017 Comments off

Press Release

For SoundExchange members based in Houston and throughout the Gulf Coast, SoundExchange wants to make sure you receive your royalties in this time of tragedy.

sound exchange logo

SoundExchange’s Senior Director of Artist and Industry Relations Linda Bloss-Baum sent the Texas Music Office a statement today that reads:

“Our next royalty distribution will be made in late September.  If you currently receive your SoundExchange royalties via physical checks, you can update your account so we can send you your royalties via Direct Deposit. We hope this makes it easier for you to access your royalties at this difficult time. To update your account, please complete our Direct Deposit form.

“We will also need either a voided check OR a bank authorization letter. If you use a bank authorization letter, the bank authorization letter should be on bank letterhead with your account information (routing number and account number). It should indicate the name on the account, and be signed by a bank official.

“We have a dedicated member of our industry relations team standing by to expedite getting our artists and rights holders set up to receive their royalties via direct deposit.  Please send the form and support document to and we will rush to get it processed for you.”

Our Passionate Possession

August 30, 2017 Comments off

This is what’s happening in the towns the media doesn’t talk about.



I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.

― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America


flag Texas Come and Take It

A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Victims w/ Guy Forsyth & Friends (Aug. 31, Antone’s 9:30 pm)

August 29, 2017 Comments off


This Thursday, 8/31/17 Legendary Blues Club Antone’s (305 East 5th Street, Austin) will host “A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Victims with Guy Forsyth, Carolyn Wonderland & Friends” starting at 9:30.

Acting quickly, locally based but world traveling Austin music icon Guy Forsyth has donated his already booked show to the Red Cross to help raise money for the unprecedented disaster still unfolding on the Gulf coast.

“This is heartbreaking, and the only way to deal with something of this scale is find a way to help.” said Forsyth this morning. “So this is what we do, Texans take care of their own. Carolyn Wonderland was the first person I asked and she said yes in seconds.”

Carolyn Wonderland is known internationally for her soul saving voice and down right damning guitar playing. Other guests are expected…

Tickets on Ticketfly

To help people affected by , please visit or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.



@riaa Responds to Songwriter Groups on Moral Rights and Credit Solutions

August 27, 2017 1 comment

[We’re big Jaxsta fans at MTP and have a lot of time for that company.]

August 23, 2017

Thank you for your letter explaining your concerns with the filing we made with the U.S. Copyright Office in connection with its study of Moral Rights. 

To be frank, we are puzzled by your letter, as it appears to assume that we took a position we neither espoused, nor believe. But we’re glad for the opportunity to set the record straight and eliminate any misunderstandings.

First, let us be clear that we wholeheartedly believe that all creators of music deserve attribution for their work. As we said in our filing, we have every incentive to ensure attribution, because it’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s good business as well.

Although our member labels do not own the copyrights to musical works, and our focus is necessarily on the artists our companies represent, we fully support attribution for songwriters, and all the others who contribute to a musical recording. Indeed, we have supported initiatives over the years to improve attribution and will continue to do so.

The good news is that the opportunities for better attribution have never been more promising. Instead of hard-to-read fine print on discs and liner notes, music fans will be able to ask voice-activated appliances like Amazon’s Echo for the names of the songwriters of a recording. Public websites like Jaxsta will soon launch, providing a rich and in-depth array of information about creators. Such information may not fit on the small digital screen of a streaming service’s user interface, but it can be publicly and widely available in very convenient and accessible ways.

It is this form of attribution that was the focus of our filing with the Copyright Office – publicly visible identification, and not – as your letter suggests –metadata that may be included with a file but that is not publicly displayed to those listening to a music file or watching a music video. Even if all possible information were included in the metadata, that wouldn’t solve the attribution problem unless that information was also rendered on-screen in a form visible to the human eye. In other words, while metadata might be a means to an end, it is not an end in itself if the end is public-facing attribution.

Since it appears that you were focused more on metadata than public attribution, let us be clear: we do not oppose, indeed we support, including in metadata information about all creators of a musical recording, and we encourage the use of available mechanisms to give credit to creators. We simply believe that these measures should not be legislated, but rather should be voluntary, or based on freely negotiated contractual obligations, as they always have been in the United States.

We would welcome the opportunity to work with your organizations on voluntary mechanisms to achieve our shared objective – to maximize attribution for all creators.


Cary Sherman and Mitch Glazier

Tell your Senator to stand up to Google and support the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act #iamjanedoe

August 22, 2017 Comments off

Call your state’s Senators at  (202) 224-3121 and ask them to stand up and support S 1693 the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act!  Send an email here.


Watch Google senior executives dodge responsibility for profiting from human trafficking.


YouTube, Facebook and Moral Rights

August 20, 2017 1 comment

I was honored last year to have been asked to participate in a symposium on moral rights co-sponsored by the U.S. Copyright Office and the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property at the George Mason University School of Law.  The symposium relates to the Copyright Office Study on the Moral Rights of Attribution and Integrity.

Moral rights is a key area of the law of copyright that is sadly lacking in the United States and an important legal tool to protect the rights of artists.

Moral rights (or for the fancy people, droit moral) are largely statutory rights that maintain and protect the connection between an author and their work.  (As I highlighted in Artist Rights are Human Rights, moral rights are not economic rights like copyright, but transcend those rights.  This is why you see language in the human rights documents, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that essentially track the moral rights language.)

The two principal moral rights are the right of integrity and the right of attribution (which conversely includes protection from misattribution).  These are recognized in the Berne Convention (Article 6bis for those reading along).  Others that are not mentioned in Berne include the right of first publication (which the U.S. has a version of in the “first use” doctrine for songs under compulsory license) and withdrawal–which is a bit reminiscent of the more recent right to be forgotten.

When it comes to attribution, or what we might think of as credit, there is a form of imperfect social contract between record companies, film studios and television produces with the creative community.  This is largely thanks to years of collective bargaining with guilds such as the Writers Guild, SAG-AFTRA and the Directors Guild as anyone who has been to a Writers Guild credit arbitration can attest.  It is unlikely that any of these would trade on a creators name.

The place where we have problems, of course, is with the New Boss companies like YouTube, Google and Facebook.  These companies don’t just trade on your name, they SELL your name as an advertising keyword thus associating the artist’s name with products, works or services without the artist’s knowledge, albeit somewhat in the background.

Try boosting a post on Facebook and selecting the attributes of the audience you want to reach.  Type in the names of 5 popular artist and I feel certain that you will find them all there.

Facebook Artist Names

We also have confirmation of this business practice from the Luke Sample affidavit in a piracy case against Google where Google executives advised Sample how to maximize traffic through Google Adwords to push Sample’s pirate site:

Luke Sample

If the U.S. expands its moral rights “patchwork”, it is likely that these business practices could come under a microscope as violations of moral rights.

Spotify to be Represented by Christopher Sprigman in Nashville Case

August 20, 2017 Comments off

In what I perceive to be a defining move, Spotify evidently has engaged Professor Christopher Sprigman to represent the company in the Nashville litigation (just the Bluewater case so far).  Professor Sprigman’s appearance may signify how Spotify really feels about copyright, but we shall see.

Those familiar with Professor Sprigman’s views will understand what I mean.  I take butter on my popcorn.

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