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Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Love Your Enemies” Sermon

January 15, 2018 Leave a comment

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Gospel According to St. Matthew 5:43.

The Slippery Slope of Censorship: @HuffPost Pulls Story Critical of @Spotify Ahead of IPO — The Trichordist

January 9, 2018 Leave a comment

Artists Rights advocate Blake Morgan (#IRespectMusic) published a story in the Huffington Post this morning critical of Spotify. The story was rapidly gaining traction when it was suddenly deleted and Morgan received this email from the Huffington Post telling him he’d been censored From: Bryan Maygers Subject: Spotify’s Fatal Flaw Exposed Date: January 8, 2018 at 11:43:41 AM EST […]

Here’s Blake’s piece in its entirety.

Spotify’s Fatal Flaw Exposed: How My Closed-Door Meeting with Execs Ended in a Shouting Match

I love streaming.

I love making playlists, I love being able to download streamed music so I can listen when I’m offline, and I love being able to bring that music with me. In short, I think it’s a great distribution method.

What I don’t love is how little musicians get paid for all that streaming. It’s not fair––not even close. What’s more, middle-class music makers are the ones who are hit hardest, whose businesses are threatened, and whose families are put at risk. So how can I be against the way streaming companies treat musicians but not be
against streaming itself?

The same way I’m against the electric chair, but not against electricity.

Read the complete post on The Trichordist:  The Slippery Slope of Censorship: @HuffPost Pulls Story Critical of @Spotify Ahead of IPO — The Trichordist

@eriqgardner: Spotify Hit With $1.6 Billion Copyright Lawsuit Over Tom Petty, Weezer, Neil Young Songs [Music Modernization Act Fallout]

January 2, 2018 Leave a comment

In a curious twist, Eriq Gardner reports that the controversial Music Modernization Act has already prompted the inevitible litigation from a publisher seeking to beat the bill’s new safe harbor deadline applicable to lawsuits filed after January 1, 2018.  Wixen Pubilshing filed the new lawsuit on December 29, 2017, two years to the day after David Lowery filed the first class action against Spotify, but before the  Music Modernization Act legislation is even available on thomas.gov.

 

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The new safe harbor on p. 82 of the Music Modernization Act

 

As the new year begins, the music industry could be set for an epochal moment. Hopes are running high for the first significant reform of music licensing rules in decades. The coming year may also see Spotify go public. But before any of this happens, the Stockholm, Sweden-based streaming giant must now contend with a massive new copyright lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing, which administers song compositions by Tom Petty, Zach De La Rocha and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, David Cassidy, Neil Young, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Stevie Nicks and many others.

On Friday, Wixen Music Publishing filed a lawsuit in California federal court that alleges that Spotify is using Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” the Doors’ “Light My Fire” and tens of thousands of other songs without a license and compensation. The plaintiff is seeking a damages award worth at least $1.6 billion plus injunctive relief.

Wixen’s lawsuit is being revealed here for the first time, but the move will come as hardly a surprise to those who have been paying attention to Spotify’s growing copyright problem….

[T]he Music Modernization Act would impact copyright holders suing over mechanical reproduction after Jan. 1, 2018, which helps explain the New Year’s Eve filing.

“We are very disappointed that these services will retroactively get a free pass for actions that were previously illegal unless we actually file suit before Jan. 1, 2018,” said Wixen president Randall Wixen in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “Neither we nor our clients are interested in becoming litigants, but we have been faced with a choice of forfeiting rights and damages, or taking action at this time. We regret that this otherwise admirable proposed bill has had this effect, and we hope that Spotify nonetheless comes to the table with a fair and reasonable approach to reaching a resolution with us. We are fully prepared to go as far forward in the courts as required to protect our clients’ rights.”

Read the post on The Hollywood Reporter

Read the Wixen complaint here

Read the Music Modernization Act here

hypebot: Songwriter’s Guild Sounds Alarm Over “Serious Problems” In Music Modernization Act of 2017

January 2, 2018 Leave a comment

[Important comments on the controversial “Music Modernization Act of 2017” which is essentially Take Two of the failed Section 115 Reform Act of 2006.  The bill was evidently under negotiation behind closed doors for months but was made public a few days before Christmas.  This confirms the long standing rumor that Big Tech is getting control over the mythical and debunked “global rights database.”  Independent songwriters were evidently essentially excluded from the process, which has raised concerns from songwriter organizations like the Songwriters Guild of America.  Extra points if you can figure out which pre-IPO DiMA member benefits the most from the bill!]

Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriters Guild of America, expresses his organization’s serious concerns with much of the Music Modernization Act of 2017, which seeks to reform music licensing, although not in ways which the SGA believes will benefit songwriters.

_______________________

Guest post by Rick Carnes, president of Songwriters Guild of America 

[Editor: Read The Music Modernization Act of 2017]

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Dear Representative Collins:

I write as president of The Songwriters Guild of America, Inc., the nation’s longest established music creator organization run solely by and for music creators, representing thousands of professional music creators and their heirs.

Thank you for forwarding a copy of the draft Music Modernization Act of 2017 [the day before it was introduced] for our review prior to its introduction, which was much appreciated. We continue to believe that reform of the music licensing process is and must continue to be an exceptionally high legislative priority – second only to the need to raise music royalty rates to equitable levels that will sustain our community. We applaud your sincere efforts and the efforts of the many members of Congress who have been hard at work trying to fashion solutions to these challenges over the past several years, and hope to continue working closely with them until those worthy and important aims are met.

While it was impossible for us to fully digest and analyze the more than one-hundred-page draft legislation in the short amount of time provided, we wanted in fairness to point out to your office that while there are many good points about the draft, including the section 114 performance rights-related reforms, our initial review indicates that there are a number of very serious problems that will need to be addressed before SGA and thousands of its music creator colleagues can support the bill.

Just by way of example, enactment of the proposed bill as currently constituted would –to the best of our knowledge—represent either one of the first times or the very first time in history that any Government has acted to sanction the creation of a music copyright licensing and royalty collective over which creators themselves would not share at least equally in governance. That is a concept that we cannot support.

There are many other problems too numerous to detail in this short letter, but they include serious fairness, transparency and practical issues related to the proposed processes of setting up the licensing collective, the distributing of unidentified monies on a market share basis and the need to better protect music creator economic rights in that context, the vague nature of any optout mechanisms, the granting of relief from statutory damages liability to prior willful infringers, the scope of the musical composition database (including songwriter/composer information), the provisions concerning shortfall and other funding aspects of the collective, the absence of direct distribution of royalties by the collective to songwriters and composers, the vague nature of the audit activities to be optionally conducted by the collective, and the complications in that and other regards raised by obvious conflicts of interest issues.

Read the post on Hypebot

@brentknepper: No One Makes a Living on Patreon — Artist Rights Watch

December 29, 2017 Leave a comment

This is consistent with the findings in the Austin Music Census–Pandora’s infamous “musician middle class” has been hollowed out and unsigned artists fall into poor and poorer

Patron Income Distribution

In 2016, Patreon boasted that 7,960 users were now making over $100 a month, which struck me as such an insignificant monthly income to brag about. Around the same time, the company reportedly had 25,000 creators, meaning only 31 percent of Patreon’s users were making over a hundred bucks….Even if creators are struggling to make money, investors see Patreon as a goldmine. In September, Patreon announced a $60 million dollar investmentfrom venture capital firms, bringing its total funding to $107 million, according to Crunchbase.

via @brentknepper: No One Makes a Living on Patreon — Artist Rights Watch

Eric “Uncle Sugar” Schmidt Ankles the Google Chocolate Factory

December 26, 2017 Comments off

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According to multiple news sources, Google’s Eric Schmidt (who MTP readers may know as “Uncle Sugar”) has stepped down from his job as Executive Chairman of the Chocolate Factory.

You remember Uncle Sugar, right?

The New York Post tells us: ‘

[T]he timing of Schmidt’s sudden move — along with the fact that Alphabet waited three days to disclose that Schmidt had told the company he was stepping down, according to a filing — raised questions.

Schmidt is a known womanizer despite being married for 37 years to Wendy Schmidt, who said in 2012 they started living separate lives because she felt like “a piece of luggage” following him around the world.

News outlets have been sniffing around Schmidt’s former flames looking for a Harvey Weinstein-like bombshell, a source close to Schmidt told The Post. But sources say there’s nothing there.

“They haven’t found s–t. Because there is no sexual harassment. There has never been any issue. They have had nothing. People have looked into it and people have not found anything,” the source said.

The source added that if something foul was afoot, Google would have canned Schmidt completely.

Right–just like they fired the Google executive team after the “Google Drugs” sting.   Oh, no, they didn’t, that’s right.  Or how they fired the Google executive team for paying what should have been personal fines with $500,000,000 of the shareholders’ money.  Oh, no, they didn’t, that’s right.  Or perhaps it was for taking the Fifth before the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and telling Senator Cornyn what sure sounded like a lie to me (and, I think, to Senator Cornyn)–that Schmidt couldn’t discuss the nonprosecution agreement between Google and the U.S. government under which Google paid $500,000,000, then the largest corporate fine in US history?

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Eric Schmidt and Google lawyer David Drummond before Schmidt refused to answer on the advice of counsel.  Crime/fraud exception, anyone?

Taking the Fifth was so off base, Schmidt (and probably his lawyers) thought it required a separate statement for the record to correct his “confusion”?

Or perhaps it was for the $250 million Google paid in a shareholder lawsuit against the Google board and executive team (then including Sheryl Sandberg) over the Google Drugs case?  Oh no, they didn’t, that’s right.

Or perhaps it was for the way Schmidt treated Meagan Smith, former Google executive and then CTO of the United States, on a panel at SXSW?  Oh, no, they didn’t, that’s right.

This is one weird little guy, that’s for sure.  And is probably the man who knows too much.  Remember, Larry and Sergy recruited him at Burning Man.  And what happens at Burning Man stays at Burning Man.

They hope.

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Please Support Tipitina’s Foundation and All Our Young Musicians

December 21, 2017 Comments off

If you’re looking for a worthy cause in this season of hope, please consider Tipitina’s Foundation.

The foundation sponsors a robust internship program, Sunday youth music workshops and the Music Co-Op Offices across Louisiana.

Tipitina’s Foundation supports Louisiana and New Orleans’s irreplaceable music community and preserves the state’s unique musical cultures. The Foundation grew out of the Tipitina’s music venue, a revered New Orleans cultural icon that continues to be instrumental in the development and promotion of Louisiana music around the world. Tipitina’s Foundation promotes childhood music education, the professional development of adult musicians, and the increased profile and viability of Louisiana music as a cultural, educational, and economic resource.

And of course the incomparable Instruments A’ Comin’ concert and silent auction that is in its 17th year having raised millions to “uplift the musical community of New Orleans and Louisiana and to insure that every child has the means to play music.”

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You can donate online here.

 

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