@andreworlowski: “President Zuck” Fundraiser Opens for Business–“I’m Commander-in-Chief, bitch!”

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A fundraising vehicle to help get the world’s fifth richest man Mark Zuckerberg elected as President of the United States will now take your money.

The Super Political Action Committee (PAC) is called (inevitably) ‘Disrupt for America‘ and describes itself as “a progressive advocacy group focused on pragmatic, grassroots activism with an emphasis on social media, organized assembly, and open discourse and debate.”

These particular ‘progressives’ are a forgiving lot: Zuckerberg’s early business card at Facebook gave his job description as “I’m CEO, bitch”, and the frat boy culture manifested itself early on, according to former employees.

But that’s all water under the bridge now.

Read the post on The Register

@musictechpolicy: Just Say No: Will Spotify Still Be Seeking Forgiveness During Its IPO?     

While Spotify’s technocrats may be breathing a sigh of relief after the company’s most recent multimillion dollar settlement with songwriters, it is well to remember that the company is probably not anywhere close to out of the woods.  As others have learned the hard way, once you replace the rights of songwriters and artists with your own lust for IPO riches, the lawsuits can go on for a very long time indeed.  You would think that after nearly 20 years of massive infringement online, the obvious answer would suggest itself to the “get big fast” group:  Don’t use music you don’t have rights to use.

Yes, that’s right.  Just say no.

The typical reason given by interactive services about why their need to offer unlicensed music exceeds their desire to offer only licensed music is because of competitive pressure from YouTube.  Why do they feel this competitive pressure?  Because their investors tell them at every board meeting that they should feel it.  But let’s be clear–I doubt that Tim Cook gets Eddie Cue in a headlock over the issue over at the Infinite Loop.  If you agree, then that kind of narrows it down.

But entertain that idea for a moment, however ill founded.  Why is YouTube able to sustain this competitive position that supposedly makes otherwise licensed services soil themselves with fear of being undercut and overrun by YouTube?

That’s right–the “DMCA license”, or YouTube’s absurd use of the “safe harbors” granted to them under the U.S. Copyright Act which YouTube likes to think makes them bullet proof.  (Which is also what Cox Communications thought until they weren’t and is probably what Facebook thinks, too.)

So get that straight–some would say that The Golden Child (aka Spotify) is to be allowed to limp their way to the increasingly inexplicable goal of some kind of big financial reward (or “exit”) in an IPO of whatever stripe while we are all asked to look the other way and allow them the same shite arrangements that YouTube enforces through lobbying, litigation and unprecedented monopoly position (aka crony capitalism).

And you thought it was all about the “Value Gap”?  Apparently not.

Read the post on MusicTechPolicy

@stuartdredge: @BASCA_UK @CrispinHunt “Rules Won’t Break the Internet, they’ll Mend It”

YouTube and Facebook were squarely in the sights of Crispin Hunt, chairman of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), as he delivered the opening address at yesterday’s Ivor Novello Awards in London.

I want to thank YouTube and Facebook for cracking the funniest joke online: the one where they pretend they’re just a dumb pipe and not the biggest and best streaming services on the planet. You guys! You’re killing us… literally!” said Hunt.

However, he also praised three audio-streaming services for the role they’re playing in the music industry.

“On the other hand, I want to thank Apple and Spotify for teaching us how to sell music that isn’t trapped in plastic. And hopefully for saving the music industry in the process,” said Hunt.

“And let’s not forget Deezer for trying out a user-centric payment model, so that money from death-metal fans actually goes to death-metal bands, and not to Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. Ed and Taylor don’t need anybody else’s money, they’re quite brilliant enough. We should all join Deezer now!”

Read the post on MusicAlly

@ryanlcooper: Google is a monopoly — and it’s crushing the internet

Five to 10 years ago, independent bloggers used to be able to getby on internet advertising, like the broadsheets of yore. But that changed quite quickly, and for two big reasons: Facebook and Google. They now gobble up the vast majority of internet advertising dollars — about 85 percent, as my colleague Jeff Spross writes — and a great many media outlets have been forced to move to direct subscriptions or other business models.

Google and Facebook manage this because they are platform monopolists. They can exert tremendous influence through their control of how people use the internet — and crush productive businesses in the process. Like any monopoly, it is long since time that the government regulated them to serve the public interest….

The upshot here is that both Google’s overwhelming search dominance and their profitable exploitation thereof are almost wholly unmerited in terms of their actual product. Google is a fine tool, but what defines the company is luck. Its profits come from a largely unearned strategic position within a socially-created communication medium. Devouring a small business that provided Google and the internet writ large with quality research simply to keep people fenced onto their own portion of the internet is just one particularly egregious example how this position can be abused.

Read the post on The Week

@jonesjourno: SONGWRITERS FIGHT APPLE, SPOTIFY, GOOGLE, AMAZON AND PANDORA OVER STREAMING RATES

Over 2,000 songwriters have signed a petition demanding better mechanical royalties for interactive streaming from Google, Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Pandora.

The campaign has launched ahead of a court hearing in Washington today (March 8) where the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) will determine rates for the next five years.

The tech giants are expected to argue to reduce the amount they pay, while the National Music Publisher’s Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association International will lobby for an increase.

Read the post on MusicBusinessWorldwide

@musictechpolicy: New Boss Royalty Deadbeat Facebook Wants to Stiff Everyone

A Facebook music license portfolio is a golden opportunity to at least start to get out of the shite revenue share world once and for all, a world we were condemned to long ago by the New Media idiotocracy who bargained away creator’s birthright. Facebook is stealing recordings, videos, song titles and artist names. Why should they get a pass without some serious zeros attached to it? Zeros to the left of the decimal place for once.

via New Boss Royalty Deadbeat Facebook Wants to Stiff Everyone — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

@lucas_shaw: Facebook Tries to Offer Music Labels a YouTube Alternative

[More news from royalty deadbeat Facebook trying to mimic royalty deadbeat YouTube for the same old shite revenue share deal.  Are we going to get the okie doke hillbilly deal yet again?]

The world’s largest social network has redoubled its efforts to reach a broad accord with the industry, according to interviews with negotiators at labels, music publishers and trade associations. A deal would govern user-generated videos that include songs and potentially pave the way for Facebook to obtain more professional videos from the labels themselves….

Facebook’s interest in music rights is inextricably linked to its growing interest in video. Having siphoned ads away from print, online companies have recently targeted TV, which attracts about $70 billion in advertising a year. While Facebook faces competition from Twitter Inc. and Snapchat Inc., its main rival is Google, and music is one of the most popular types of videos on Google’s YouTube service. Facebook declined to make an executive available for an interview.

Read the post on Bloomberg