[Editor Charlie sez: Our old nemesis Lawrence Lessig is pressed back into service to lead Google’s charge against justice for pre-72 recording artists. True to form, Lessig trots out his own opinions about copyright masquerading as law–opinions that have been shot down twice by the US Supreme Court as Neil Turkewitz teaches us. Ever the victim, Lessig gets cranky when he’s called on it.]
My issue with Larry Lessig is that he is fighting to preserve injustice while claiming to represent the public interest, and that he has such little regard for the truth. Like most zealots, he believes that the ends justify the means. And since the ends he seeks are, from his perspective, so important, they justify extreme means. I find fault with both his desired ends, and with the modalities he is prepared to adopt in pursuit thereof. His defense of the worst aspects of the exploitation economy are both incomprehensible and inexcusable.
Let’s explore. On May 18, Larry Lessig published an article in Wired entitled: CONGRESS’ LATEST MOVE TO EXTEND COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IS MISGUIDED. In it, Lessig sets out the World According to Lessig, (hereafter referred to as WAL), and boy does it bear little similarity to the world the rest of sentient life occupies. Lessig was responding to a bill passed by the House of Representatives and currently in the Senate entitled CLASSICS that would address a gap in federal law that allows certain music services to avoid paying performers and labels for music created prior to February 15, 1972 (the date when federal copyright law first protected sound recordings). Now I say he was “responding,” to the legislation, but that is a bit generous, since his criticisms suggest that he in fact did not read the legislation, or more importantly, take the time to understand the surrounding legal environment in which the legislation is situated. And of course, it goes without saying that Lessig was unmoved by the actual injustice of the present situation.
Read the post on Medium
[Editor Charlie sez: An excellent post debunking the “Luddite” moniker that Big Tech likes to hang around the neck of anyone who disagrees with them. Neil Turkewitz rejects that criticism through a review of commentary by artist rights advocates Maria Schneider, David Lowery, Miranda Mulholland and East Bay Ray. No, it’s not 1999 anymore….]
As advocacy by artists for the digital future of the arts becomes more and more common and articulate, making it somewhat more difficult for copyright skeptics to play artists and labels against each other (although not for want of trying), I see more and more suggestions that these artists are somehow anti-technology and that they are trying to turn back the clocks to the “good old days” rather than to embrace the opportunities of the present and future. I am in constant communication with artists, and must observe that I don’t hear too many artists romanticizing the past. One, it wasn’t that great. But more importantly, they tend to be less concerned about themselves and more focused on creating the conditions for the next generation of artists to prosper and to own their own futures. No one wants to return to the past. They are not ruing the intersection of commerce and culture — they are railing against a framework that denies them the right to determine the contours of their careers.
Read the post on Medium
Otis Redding sat on the dock of the bay in 1967. Roy Orbison sang for the lonely in 1960. Miles Davis was kind of blue in 1959. These artists’ iconic recordings live on today and are frequently played across streaming services, satellite radio, and FM radio.
While Redding, Orbison, and Davis have passed away, their estates are among many still fighting for fairness. That’s because they recorded classic songs and albums before the date of the great music divide: Feb. 15, 1972.
An oversight in copyright law left recordings made before this date unprotected. Nearly every music service in the U.S. has discovered that this means they don’t have to pay for pre-’72 music, so they don’t. Most music from before 1972 is thus not paid for when it is played on digital radio, satellite radio, and, obviously, terrestrial radio.
Read the post on the Washington Examiner
Smokey Robinson is one of the best witnesses for artist rights. Mr. Robinson was on stage yesterday in the clinch at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Music Modernization Act, the new omnibus package that finally includes all of the pre-72 protections and closes that loophole for Big Tech.
via @Smokey_Robinson Gives Moving Defense of Artist Rights at @SenJudiciary Hearing on MMA — Music Technology Policy
Warner Music Group has quietly launched a digital music distribution service that is a direct competitor to Tunecore, CDBaby and DistroKid. Level Music, which WMG has never announced it’s involvement is live online, accepting artists and offering some additional service.
Read the post on Hypebot
I know it’s shocking that anyone in the music business would try to juice the charts. But sometimes there actually is a more innocent explanation for apparent conspiracy. According to some press reports, about a year ago a Norwegian newspaper suddenly became interested in the credibility of the reported number of streams of two TIDAL […]
via Careful What You Wish For: Are TIDAL, Beyoncé and Kanye getting smeared? — Music Technology Policy