The 116th U.S. Congress and Democratic majority in the House of Representatives are barely two months old, yet special interest groups working against the interests of music creators are already up to their old tricks.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and its army of highly paid lobbyists are asking Members of Congress to cosponsor a bill that they have the nerve to call the Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA). In past Congresses, many lawmakers have been deceived into cosponsoring this legislation, being told that it is a non-controversial sense-of-Congress resolution aimed at protecting local radio stations. In fact, it is an anti-creator, anti-property-rights bill.
LRFA seeks to perpetuate an anomaly in U.S. copyright law under which terrestrial broadcasters (AM/FM radio) are allowed to use creators’ music to sell highly-profitable advertising with zero compensation for the artists who created that music. There is no other music distribution platform that is allowed to get away without paying creators. There is no other country in the economically developed world that permits radio to abuse creators’ property rights this way.
Several major companies have reportedly pulled advertisements on YouTube following a report that the comment sections on the site have been used to facilitate “a soft-core pedophile ring.”
Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Walt Disney Co. has joined Nestle and video game maker Epic Games in pulling advertising from YouTube, days after a YouTube user named Matt Watson uploaded a video explaining how YouTube comment sections are used to identify and share exploitative videos of young girls.
Watson said in his video that YouTube’s algorithm has helped facilitate the ability of pedophiles to trade social media contacts, provide links to “actual child porn” and trade “unlisted videos in secret.”
Bloomberg News cited “people with knowledge of the matter” in reporting that Disney has since withheld its advertising spending from YouTube.
Google’s top policy executive [Karan Bhatia] is reorganizing the company’s worldwide influence operation, according to an internal email obtained by Axios.
Why it matters: The long-planned shake-up comes as the search giant faces newly hostile regulators around the world.
Facebook deliberately broke privacy and competition law and should urgently be subject to statutory regulation, according to a devastating parliamentary report denouncing the company and its executives as “digital gangsters”.
The final report of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee’s 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news accused Facebook of purposefully obstructing its inquiry and failing to tackle attempts by Russia to manipulate elections.
“Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use every day,” warned the committee’s chairman, Damian Collins.
Almost three years after the law firm Michelman & Robinson filed a putative class-action lawsuit against Rhapsody International on behalf of David Lowery and fellow songwriters Victor Krummenacher and David Faragher for infringing their mechanical rights, a deal to end the case is moving forward.
Late Friday night (Feb. 15), the firm filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California a motion for preliminary approval of a settlement that will get self-published songwriters $35 for every composition Rhapsody played that’s registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and $1 for every unregistered composition the service played at least 24 times. Like the case against Spotify settled in 2017, this involves the service’s failure to properly license and pay for songwriters’ mechanical rights — and bringing it to a close will allow Rhapsody to move forward with less uncertainty….
Although many streaming services have infringed mechanical rights, this could mark the last major class-action lawsuit on the subject, since the Music Modernization Act offers streaming services a safe harbor from lawsuits for statutory damages for mechanical rights infringements filed after Dec. 31, 2017 under most circumstances.
The EU has finally settled on the wording of its Digital Single Market copyright reform package, a three-years-in-the-making effort, greeting the agreement with a sizzling rebuke of the “misinformation campaigns” around the measures….
In a press conference today announcing the measures, MEP and Conservative legal affairs spokesman Sajjad Karim said the process had highlighted a disturbing development in the “political culture”.
“The ability of some of the platforms to carry out campaigns [against the legislation] is a good thing,” Karim said. “But the way some of these have been carried out really has been against the grain of how a democratic society should function.”
Individual staff members had been targeted, he said, by “elements that have misled the public about what we’re trying to achieve, and we’re sure will mislead the public as to what we have actually achieved. It strengthens our resolve to make sure we don’t allow European citizens to fall victim to that sort of misinformation.”
Let’s get the basics out of the way early. Influencer marketing is nothing new. Marilyn Monroe being gifted a dress to wear to a media event where she’ll be photographed? Influencer marketing. Every band you’ve ever seen wearing shoes they were gifted for free or paid to wear? Influencer marketing.
The difference now is who the real influencers are… You may be surprised to hear they’re mostly people you have never heard of, that have built trusted online relationships with thousands (or even millions) of people across social networks. They have more influence over what sells or gets into the cultural zeitgeist than just about any TV advert you can name.
In the digital world, it started with bloggers, which evolved into vloggers and then smartphones and social networks combined with advertising and got clever. Now there are thousands of hugely influential people online, globally, every hour of every day.