@musictechsolve: Christopher Sabec and Rightscorp Tackle Songwriters’ Copyright Office Problem

Rightscorp has created a solution to help songwriters fight the oppressive mass filing of millions of “address unknown” NOIs through a little known procedure at the Library of Congress and Copyright Office. Rightscorp CEO Christopher Sabec fills us in.

via Mass NOI Update:  Christopher Sabec and Rightscorp Tackle the Copyright Office Problem  — Music Tech Solutions

@stevelohr: Data Could Be the Next Tech Hot Button for Regulators

Wealth and influence in the technology business have always been about gaining the upper hand in software or the machines that software ran on.

Now data — gathered in those immense pools of information that are at the heart of everything from artificial intelligence to online shopping recommendations — is increasingly a focus of technology competition. And academics and some policy makers, especially in Europe, are considering whether big internet companies like Google and Facebook might use their data resources as a barrier to new entrants and innovation.

In recent years, Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft have all been targets of tax evasion, privacy or antitrust investigations. But in the coming years, who controls what data could be the next worldwide regulatory focus as governments strain to understand and sometimes rein in American tech giants.

The European Commission and the British House of Lords both issued reports last year on digital “platform” companies that highlighted the essential role that data collection, analysis and distribution play in creating and shaping markets. And the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development held a meeting in November to explore the subject, “Big Data: Bringing Competition Policy to the Digital Era.”

As government regulators dig into this new era of data competition, they may find that standard antitrust arguments are not so easy to make. Using more and more data to improve a service for users and more accurately target ads for merchants is a clear benefit, for example. And higher prices for consumers are not present with free internet services.

Read the post on The New York Times

@emilyaheil: Jeff Bezos is the anonymous buyer of the biggest house in Washington

My parties all have big names
And I greet them with the widest smile
Tell them how my life is one big adventure
And always they’re amazed
When I show them ’round my house, to my bed
I had it made like a mountain range
With a snow-white pillow for my big fat head
And my heaven will be a big heaven
And I will walk through the front door

Big Time, written by Peter Gabriel

Washington’s Kalorama neighborhood just keeps getting swankier: Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeffrey P. Bezos [of the Internet of Other People’s Things] has bought the former Textile Museum, a 27,000 square-foot property, intending to convert it into a single-family home, according to a person with knowledge of the sale.

Bezos’s neighbors will include President Obama and his family, who are renting a property nearby for their post-White House home, as well as future first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, incoming presidential adviser Jared Kushner.

Read the post on…where else…the Washington Post (owned by royalty deadbeat Jeff Bezos)

[Amazon has filed millions of “address unknown” NOIs to avoid paying songwriters.]

@jonathantaplin: Forget AT&T. The Real Monopolies Are Google and Facebook.

The proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner has drawn censure from both sides of the political aisle, as well as a Senate hearing that looked into the potential for the combined company to become a monopoly.

But if we are going to examine media monopolies, we should look first at Silicon Valley, not the fading phone business.

Mark Cuban, the internet entrepreneur, said at the meeting of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee last week that the truly dominant companies in media distribution these days were Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon.

“Facebook is without question in a dominant position, if not the dominant position, for content delivery,” he said.

Look at the numbers. Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and Facebook are among the 10 largest companies in the world. Alphabet alone has a market capitalization of around $550 billion. AT&T and Time Warner combined would be about $300 billion.

Read the Post on The New York Times

@edchristman: @IrvingAzoff’s Global Music Rights Files Suit Against Radio Industry Body Over Monopolistic Practices

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The radio industry is about to learn what many others already have — when you push Irving Azoff, he pushes back. Usually harder.

After nearly two years of negotiations over licensing rates for radio song plays, the Radio Licensing Music Committee (RMLC) recently “ambushed” Global Music Rights (GMR) — the nascent U.S. performance rights organization launched in late 2013 by Azoff, in conjunction with MSG Entertainment and with former ASCAP executive Randy Grimmett at the helm — with an antitrust lawsuit filed in the U.S. Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania on Nov. 18.

That was followed by the filing, on Dec. 6, Daniel Petrocelli and his firm O’Melveny & Myers of an antitrust suit on behalf of GMR against the RLMC in the U.S. Central District Court of California. Petrocelli stresses that the suit is not retaliatory, but was filed to fight the RLMC’s “collusive tactics to depress [the] prices” that radio stations pay songwriters.

Azoff, the legendary artist manager who began GMR because he felt songwriters were getting shortchanged in performance licensing, tells Billboard that he takes “artist rights very seriously. I grew up around guys named Lew Wasserman[former head of MCA, now known as Universal Music Group] and Steve Ross [who created Warner Music Group], who taught me to respect talent. We feel that they [the RMLC] violated respect for talent. We didn’t start this fight, but we aren’t going away.”

Read the post on Billboard

@andreworlowski: Team Trump snubs Big Internet oligarchs

[Editor Charlie sez: No more White House Spotify playlists?]

Team Trump has announced the composition of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum – and there’s no place for internet oligarchs like Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos or the world’s fifth-richest man, Mark Zuckerberg.

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch has a seat, as does Ginni Rometty, head of everything at IBM. The forum is headed by Stephen A Schwarzman, co-founder of private equity giant Blackstone.

“The panel will be a strong voice on Team Trump for corporate America and the interests of the 1 per cent,” writes Larry Kumer of the Fabius Maximus blog, noting that for a populist President-elect, there’s no representation for organised labour.

But it’s not merely corporate – that much can be expected from a CEO President-elect. DC sources tell us that Trump’s antipathy towards Big Internet is based on jobs. A second Trump term depends on jobs growth; while internet companies such as Amazon, Google and Uber destroy jobs, manufacturing industries create them.

It’s a sign of which corporations Team Trump thinks can generate jobs. Outgoing President Obama couldn’t get enough of Big Internet, and today many agencies reflect Google’s agenda. The Google Transparency project has documented the busy revolving door between DC and Mountain View, and the amount of Google-friendly policy activity has become frantic in recent months. Examples include ripping up the rules for TV licensing – which proved too much even for the Democrat FCC Commissioner with the swing vote to approve – and locking the Register of Copyright out of her office.

Read the post on The Register

Amazon Steals from Songwriters, Profits from Piracy and Reports Say It Plans on “Disrupting” the Ticket Business

Remember when Amazon first started?  Jeff Bezos sold one and then two products:  Books and music.  After giving him his start, Bezos now is engaged in one of the most massive rip offs of songwriters short of outright piracy through the Library of Congress loophole….although he’s got that piracy base covered, too, by selling counterfeit CDs.  

Now we hear that Bezos is planning on “disrupting” the ticketing business.  “Disrupting” is Silicon Valley code for “I found a loophole to rip you off.”

Another multinational tax dodger trying to rip off the music business…again.  This is a guy who just doesn’t get that he’s not wanted, clearly.

According to sources including Complete Music Update and Recode:

Amazon seems set to ramp up its operations in the ticketing space, given a series of job ads spotted by Recode, one of which said the new appointments were part of an effort to “position Amazon Tickets as the world’s premier destination for purchasing tickets”.

Amazon first started dabbling in ticket sales in the UK last year, initially selling theatre tickets and subsequently moving into music and comedy events. The new recruitment drive seems to be part of a bid to expand the ticketing business into other European and Asian markets, while some new ticketing hires at the firm’s HQ in Seattle could also mean ambitions in the American market too.

Recode notes that one posting outlines an ambition to shake up the ticketing business, saying: “Our vision goes beyond just selling tickets as we aim to disrupt the entire live entertainment experience, including what happens before, during and after the show. The ticketing business is ripe for innovation and improvement, as much of the industry has not fundamentally changed since the 1970s”.

Read the story on Complete Music Update.