@mikefcable: Taplin: Facebook, Google Amazon Are ‘Coming After You’

[Editor Charlie sez:  Professor Taplin gave a thought provoking keynote for the Artist Rights Symposium hosted by David Lowery at the Terry College of Business January 23.   Based on his book Move Fast and Break Things, many in attendance got a new perspective on the influence of Big Tech and particularly Facebook and Google in our lives and in the careers of artists. ]

With a new focus on acquiring content that was previously relegated to pay TV services, social media and tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google are focusing more on disrupting traditional pay TV, director of USC’s Annenberg School of Media Innovation Lab and author Jonathan Taplin told an audience at theopening keynote of the NCTC Winter Educational Conference here.

Taplin, whose book Move Fast and Break Things traced the monopolization of the internet by Google Facebook and Amazon, noted that while over the years those three companies focused on other business segments, they are increasingly honing in on the video business. Facebook’s $610 million bid for streaming rights to Indian Cricket matches – it lost out to Fox – is just one example of how serious the tech giants are becoming about video.

The largest corporations of the world — Google, Amazon and Facebook —  are going to be the new gatekeepers, Taplin said.

In addition to Cricket rights, Facebook has tried to incorporate its GUI into set-top boxes as part of the Federal Communications Commission’s “Unlock the Box” initiative back in 2016, which has since fizzled in the new administration but could surface again. Taplin said giving Facebook access to set-tops cold decimate pay TV’s local ad business.

“They’ll keep trying that,” Taplin said. “So, you’ve got to be careful.”

Adding to the pressure is that the next generation of TV viewers have grown up with 100-Mbps broadband connections, creating their own media systems without cable.

“You have to be aware that this notion of cord-cutting is real,” Taplin said. “These companies are coming for your business.”

Taplin said operators can fight back in several ways, offering skinnier programming bundles in response to competition and reliable, high-speed data connections. He added that the traditional method of delivering and buying programming also will change in the future.

The current ecosystem where distributors are forced to buy large bundles of programming from content providers, even those shows that have little viewership, has to change, he added.

“A lot of those channels don’t pass the ‘who cares’ test,” Taplin said. “You have to stand up to the channels that nobody is watching.”

Read the post on Multichannel News

@copyright4u: Can a tweet be protected by copyright? If so, who owns the copyright?

Answer: Yes, a tweet can be protected by copyright.

This is a question that’s been in the news recently, after the text of a shirt worn by Frank Ocean and sold by an online retailer was discovered to have been copied from someone’s tweet without authorization.

Read the post on the Copyright Alliance

@RobertBLevine_: ‘YouTube Can Do Better’: Cee Lo, Evanescence, Rush Among Artists Calling for DMCA Action

Comments for the U.S. Copyright Office study of the “safe harbors” of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) were due February 21, and dozens of media and technology companies and organizations dutifully submitted filings. In what may be a first, however, a few dozen musicians also signed a video message that was submitted to the government on their behalf.

Unlike most such filings, which tend to consist of pages of anecdotes and arguments, the video — titled “YouTube Can Do Better” — couldn’t be much simpler. Over a half-minute of silence, white letters against a black background spell out “Dear U.S. Copyright Office,” then the names of the few dozen acts who endorsed the message, then “YouTube Can Do Better.” It doesn’t directly mention the Copyright Office’s study of the DMCA safe harbors. The list of acts is wide-ranging, including The Black KeysCee Lo GreenEvanescenceJohn MellencampRushT Bone Burnett, and many more.

Read the post on Billboard

@americanpublish: The Association of American Publishers (AAP) Names Maria A. Pallante as President and CEO

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) announced today that the former United States Register of Copyrights, Maria A. Pallante, will succeed Tom Allen who is retiring as President and CEO. Pallante, who will join AAP on January 17, 2017, is widely-known as an intellectual property expert with a distinguished record of public service.

“Maria is a creative, forward-thinking leader who has earned the deep respect of Members of Congress as well as intellectual property experts around the world,” said YS Chi, Chairman of the AAP Board of Directors. “The Board believes she is an excellent choice for President and CEO as she brings to AAP considerable expertise in many of the issues facing the publishing industry.”

Pallante headed the U.S. Copyright Office from June 1, 2011 – October 29, 2016. During her tenure, she administered an increasingly complex legal system of programs, practices, and regulations and assisted executive branch agencies with trade, treaties, and litigation. She was a key advisor to the U.S. Congress, working closely with lawmakers to evaluate the efficacy and balance of the Copyright Act and to address issues at the intersection of law, business, and technology. Pallante and her staff produced extensive policy studies, legislative recommendations, and strategic plans during the past few years, working with a vast stakeholder community and thousands of public comments.

Prior to her appointment as Register, Pallante held two senior positions in the U.S. Copyright Office: Deputy General Counsel (2007–2008) and Associate Register and Director of Policy and International Affairs (2008–2010). From 1999 to 2007, she was intellectual property counsel and director of licensing and branding for the worldwide network of Guggenheim Museums, headquartered in New York. Earlier in her career, she worked briefly for the Authors Guild and National Writers Union, respectively, and was in private practice in Washington, DC.

“I am deeply inspired by the values of the American publishing industry,” Pallante said. “Publishers promote literature, literacy, education, and research around the world, while advocating for free speech, creating jobs, and making considerable contributions to the global marketplace. It will be a privilege to represent these interests in matters of policy, trade and business.”

Pallante holds a law degree from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Misericordia University, which also awarded her an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

@hypebot: 23% Of CDs Sold On Amazon Are Counterfeit, Say Investigators

Two weeks ago the The Association of Independent Music has issued an strong warning regarding a “serious counterfeit operation selling large numbers of CDs” using Amazon’s FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) system:

“It appears that this product is manufactured in China, but is almost indistinguishable from the genuine article to the extent that even the legitimate manufacturer cannot tell without very close examination.

The RIAA did their own investigation with staggering results. The record label trade group placed orders on Amazon in a range of categories from new releases to greatest hits. Out of the 194 CDs delivered, 44 or 23% were counterfeit – including 18 CDs in orders fulfilled by Amazon itself, not a third-party vendor. If the order was for a “greatest hits” package, the percentage of counterfeits jumped to 78%.

Read the post on Hypebot.

Howard Berman: A tribute to an outstanding Register of Copyrights

Dr. Carla Hayden, the newly installed Librarian of Congress, removed Maria Pallante from the position of Register of Copyrights on Friday, Oct. 21. The move was sudden, resulting in the extensive speculation over the decision that we have seen since. Lost amid this speculation is the fact that Pallante served the nation well for nearly six years as an outstanding Register of Copyrights.

Over the course of my 30 years in Congress — and especially during my tenures as chairman and ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet — I had the opportunity to work with several Registers, all of whom I relied upon for independent, expert counsel. As Register, Pallante continued that fine tradition, bringing a strong vision for the future of the Copyright Office and the American copyright system in the rapid technological advances of the 21st century….

Whatever the basis for Dr. Hayden’s decision to remove Register Pallante, we should not overlook that Maria Pallante served the Copyright Office, the Library of Congress, the Congress and the nation with rare vision, dedication and fairness. We can only hope that her successor has those qualities in equal measure.

Read the post on The Hill

Must Watch: @gfhenderson: The Broken Promise of a Golden Age [At the Economic Club of Canada]

[Editor Charlie sez: This is a must-watch speech from Graham Henderson, a long-time supporter of artist rights from his base in Toronto.  

David says: “This is amazing. Graham Henderson is amazing. Canadian musicians have much better advocates than we US musicians have here in DC. In fact what have our advocacy groups in DC ever accomplished? I mean seriously!”]

On November 1, Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, delivered a moving address to the Economic Club of Canada on the erosion of creators’ rights in the digital age, and what can be done to re-establish a fair working environment.

Canada’s cultural industries were well represented with attendees from Sony Music Canada, Warner Music Canada, Universal Music Canada, The Motion Picture Association of Canada, the Writers’ Union of Canada, SOCAN, CIMA, CMPA, The Screen Composers Guild of Canada, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Canada’s Walk of Fame, Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Re:Sound, and TD Music. Guests from Ryerson University, OCAD, Humber College, CGC Education, Colleges Ontario, and York University represented the education sector. MPPs Monte McNaughton, Lisa MacLeod, Rick Nicholls, Lisa Thompson and Steve Clark were also in attendance.

We were happy to have been joined by local musicians as well, including Miranda Mulholland, Amanda Martinez, Caroline Brooks of the Good Lovelies, Murray Foster, Alysha Brilla, Jay Douglas, Sonia Aimy, and Sally Shaar of Ginger Ale & The Monowhales.

The Economic Club of Canada’s President and CEO, Rhiannon Traill, who took on the role five and a half years ago with vision and passion, introduced Graham’s address. Rhiannon thanked Graham for the support he has shown for the Economic Club of Canada and for her as President and CEO, and praised Graham as a champion for Canadian culture.

“You’re about to hear a very important speech, and I am really, really proud to be hosting it,” she said. “Graham is an advocate, he is an innovator, he is a collaborator, a bridge builder, a visionary, and a truly great Canadian dedicated to advancing and protecting our country’s music, arts, and culture.”

Below is the full video of Graham’s speech, titled The Broken Promise of a Golden Age: How creators got squeezed out in the digital era, and what can be done to restore their rights.