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@musictechpolicy: Facebook’s Music Licenses: What’s Not to Like?

November 21, 2017 Comments off

Facebook pays no royalties for the music that gives significant value to the platform. That’s often a surprising proposition for artists and songwriters, much less the general public.

Yet it is true—hitmakers and new artists, pros and amateurs alike do not get a penny from Facebook and the company doesn’t even attempt to license their work. Why should a multibillion dollar multinational corporation that anchors a large piece of the Internet economy and whose founder is planning on running for President of the United States get to pay music makers in exposure bucks?

The answer is that Facebook, like YouTube and many other user-generated content platforms hide behind the legacy DMCA “safe harbor” and its nonnegotiable, unconscionable, adhesion contract that controls the use of its platform.

Rumor has it that Facebook is evidently coming to the table and is in at least semi-active negotiations with at least some labels and publishers.

One may well ask what took so long—but if it were not for Universal Music Group’s pursuit of Facebook’s infringements through DMCA notices, it’s likely that Facebook would be blithely rolling on its monopolist juggernaut.

On the other hand, this is actually a good time to be negotiating these deals give the Congressional scrutiny of Facebook’s involvement in the 2016 Presidential election campaigns. We have the benefit of public statements by Facebook representatives under oath regarding what they can do and what they so far refuse to do which may come in handy in licensing negotiations.

These negotiations with rights owners may result in what will seem like a very big pop of up-front cash—but is it? And whatever the number, how will that money be distributed to the artists and songwriters that make it happen?

Must Read: @oliviasolon: Ashamed to Work in Silicon Valley: how techies became the new bankers

November 11, 2017 Comments off

[Editor Charlie sez:  Meet the 1% of the 1%]

When Danny Greg first moved to San Francisco to work at Github in 2012, he used to get high-fives in the street from strangers when he wore his company hoodie.

These days, unless he’s at an investor event, he’s cautious about wearing branded clothing that might indicate he’s a techie. He’s worried about the message it sends.

Greg is one of many people working in tech who are increasingly self-conscious about how the industry – represented by consumer-facing tech titans like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Twitter and Uber – is perceived: as underregulated, overly powerful companies filled with wealthy tech bros and “brilliant assholes” with little regard for the local communities they occupy. Silicon Valley has taken over from Wall Street as the political bogeyman of choice, turning tech workers – like it or not – into public ambassadors for the 1% [of the 1%].

“I would never say I worked at Facebook,” said one 30-year-old software engineer who left the company last year to pursue an alternative career. Instead, at dinner parties he would give purposefully vague responses and change the subject. “There’s this song and dance you learn to play because people are quick to judge.”

Like Wall Street before, the tech industry is a justifiable punchbag. “MBA jerks used to go and work for Wall Street, now wealthy white geeks go to Stanford and then waltz into a VC or tech firm.”

Read the post on The Guardian

Must Read: @zvirosen Critiques Florida Flo & Eddie Ruling: Another Season, Another Common-Law Copyright Opinion — Artist Rights Watch

October 30, 2017 Comments off

The Turtles state law case in Florida on pre-72 case against SiriusXM gets a road bump from a results-oriented decision from the Florida Supreme Court.

via Must Read: @zvirosen Critiques Florida Flo & Eddie Ruling: Another Season, Another Common-Law Copyright Opinion — Artist Rights Watch

University of Georgia Announces Blockchain-Free Artists’ Rights Music Conference With Actual Artists

October 25, 2017 Comments off

Terry College at University of Georgia continues to break ground with its Music Business program.   Today they announced an Artists’ Rights Symposium that looks to be free of product pitches, blockchain promoters, AI cultists, dull venture capitalists, tedious Ted Talks hedgehogs, and the other shifty carnies of post-digital music eventspace.   And someone must have forgot to consult the music conference handbook cause actual artists will be in attendance!

The Symposium subtitle “Who You Gonna Call” appears to be riffing on the most unusual aspect of the conference: attempting to pair artists with folks that have badges, subpoena power or access to other levers of state and federal power. Should be fun.

Mark your calendars Jan 22-23. Terry College of Business University of Georgia, Athens GA 30602.  Reception Jan 22 at The 40 Watt Club.  Open to public but seats limited.  Contact the Music Business Certificate Program for more information. 706-542-7668.

ARTISTS RIGHTS SYMPOSIUM
Jan 22-23
WHO YOU GONNA CALL?

An examination of resources available to music creators beyond copyright infringement lawsuits

The rapid change in the digital music industry has left music creators and music industry rights holders confused, unaware of the extent of their intellectual property rights, and often unable to enforce those rights. Traditionally music creators and rights holders have resorted to federal copyright infringement lawsuits to rectify these problems.  Unfortunately these lawsuits are expensive, time consuming and inefficient.  The purpose of this symposium is to examine other tools that are available to enforce music creators’ rights beyond federal copyright infringement lawsuits.

Some of the subjects that could be covered are strategies that rely on voluntary agreements; best practices; federal, state and local legislation; moral rights; human rights; international intellectual property agreements; trade treaties; antitrust enforcement; corporate responsibility campaigns; activism; consumer education; internet governance; and conspiracy statutes.

The organizers hope to bring together academics and practitioners with a wide variety of backgrounds including (but not limited to) copyright and entertainment law, technology, public policy, economics, law enforcement, journalism, activism and international relations.

Jonathan Taplin, author, manager, film producer and Director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at University of Southern California has agreed to keynote the discussion and help moderate panels. Sandra Aistars directs the Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Program at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia School of Law and has also agreed participate as well.  Other confirmed guests include: artist advocates such as Blake Morgan (#IRespectMusic), Kay Hanley and Michelle Lewis (Songwriters of North America) and  legendary music producer T-Bone Burnet; state and federal legislators and staff; representatives from law enforcement; international relations and public policy experts; and various prominent academics.

The Symposium will take place over two days Jan 22-23, 2018.  Jan 22th will be an evening reception 7-9pm at The 40 Watt Club, January 23 will consist of 4 discussion sessions beginning at 9:30 AM.  The symposium panels will take place at 200 Moore-Rooker Hall, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, Athens GA 30602.

 

@mekosoff: Silicon Valley’s Tech Gods Are Headed for a Reckoning How Facebook and Google became mercenaries—and now casualties—in the information war. — Artist Rights Watch

October 25, 2017 Comments off

Others in Silicon Valley described [and royalty deadbeat] Mark Zuckerberg as out of touch with reality, unaware of the damage his brainchild has done.

via @mekosoff: Silicon Valley’s Tech Gods Are Headed for a Reckoning How Facebook and Google became mercenaries—and now casualties—in the information war. — Artist Rights Watch

@KRSfow: Future of What Podcast on the Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act

September 16, 2017 Comments off

Episode #94: Recently, a bill was introduced by Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner which calls for the creation of a comprehensive database of compositions and recordings. The “Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act” claims to make things easier for coffee shops, bars and restaurants who want to license music to play in their establishments. To many in the music industry, the bill seems like a wolf in sheep’s clothing with the potential cause big problems. On this episode we dig deep into the bill with Future of Music Coalition’s Kevin Erickson and attorney Chris Castle.

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Bruce Houghton: Why Didn’t Google Shut Down YouTube-MP3 Sooner? — Artist Rights Watch

September 7, 2017 Comments off

By many measures, YouTube streamripping became the #1 source of music piracy, widening the riff between the music industry and the online giant. But the shuttering of #1 ripper YouTube-MP3 came only after legal action from some injured parties – the major record labels.

via Bruce Houghton: Why Didn’t Google Shut Down YouTube-MP3 Sooner? — Artist Rights Watch

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