T Bone Burnett on Google’s Nashville Charm Offensive Coming Soon to a City Near You

Google seems to know it has a problem here in Tennessee. That’s why it’s out in the community sponsoring musicians’ workshops, funding “digital inclusion fellowships,” and making big promises about wiring the city with low cost internet – even as local pastors question whether all of our citizens including those in minority communities will get access.  And unions question the company’s push for shortcuts and special rules for its projects that will cost us local jobs.

But for music creators, this is all a sideshow, a corporate feel good effort designed to yank our gaze away from the basic facts – Google is putting all its power and might into killing legal reforms artists and songwriters need to survive.

But we still have a voice.

We must continue to urge Congress to reform the DMCA so the next generation of songwriters, artists, and performers can thrive. We must continue to look skeptically at Google’s effort to paper over issues and distract our institutions and communities from its unfair exploitation of our work.

And we must pursue all avenues and remedies in Congress and the courts – like the landmark win on songwriter royalties that rejected the Google-friendly DOJ’s bogus ruling on “fractional” licensing of our work.

Read the post in The Tennesseean

Google Shills and Pandora’s MIC Coalition Want DOJ to Appeal BMI Ruling–Soviet Style — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

 

ccia-mic-coalition

Right on cue, one Google Shill after another is floating the idea that the U.S. Department of Justice should appeal their latest oopsie to the Second Circuit.

Talk about ungrateful–Judge Stanton, the BMI Rate Court judge was also the judge in Viacom v. YouTube and the accompanying artist-oriented class action against Google.  In the YouTube case, Judge Stanton ruled for YouTube.

Back then he was hailed by Google Shills everywhere as a great jurist, the peoples’ judge and hero of the disruptive class, because he poked a finger in the eye of bourgeois artists.

Talk about your sore losers–Judge Stanton went from #hero to #goat in record time as CCIA’s Matt Schruers told Bloomberg…

via Google Shills and Pandora’s MIC Coalition Want DOJ to Appeal BMI Ruling–Soviet Style — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

Liberty Doesn’t Defend Itself: Complaint in SONA vs. Department of Justice — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

More to come, but here is a copy of the complaint in the Songwriters of North America, Michelle Lewis, Thomas Kelly and Pamela Sheyne case against the Department of Justice, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former Google lawyer Renata Hesse asking for declaratory relief on the DOJ’s violation of songwriter Constitutional rights with 100% licensing.

via Complaint in SONA vs. Department of Justice — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

Download SONA’s legal filing here.

@sisario: Songwriters Sue Justice Department Over Licensing Rules

On Tuesday, [Michelle Lewis, Kay Hanley] and Songwriters of North America, an advocacy group she helped found a year ago, sued the Justice Department, saying that the agency overstepped its authority and that its ruling violated the property rights of songwriters by potentially nullifying private contracts between writers who have worked on the same song. The suit is the latest step in an extensive campaign by the music industry to fight the ruling, but it is the first organized response by songwriters.

Read the story on the New York Times

A Guide to the Department of Justice Ruling on “100% Licensing” — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

The recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Justice in the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees sent everyone scratching their heads as to what do we do now?  The authors provide a helpful chart for songwriters, motion picture and television producers and other music users to see how bad it really is.

via A Guide to the Department of Justice Ruling on “100% Licensing” — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

@davidclowery: Like a Meth and Vodka Fueled Low Grade Stripper Google Doesn’t Give a Shit and Goes Hog Wild in Last Days of Obama Administration

Perhaps that’s a tad bit hyperbolic.  I mean it’s probably unfair to compare Google to meth-heads and low grade strippers.   Clearly Google and its DC proxies are much more dishonest and dangerous!

Let’s  do a quick round up of all the Obama Administration lame duck favors being called in by Google.  And remember this is just copyright and it’s still just the pre-lame duck session.  The election hasn’t even happened.  It’s gonna be insane after the election.  Taxpayers will be lucky if there’s any office furniture left in federal offices by the time inauguration day rolls around.

Read the post on The Trichordist

 

@MattBoone29: Death of the American Songwriter

Follow Ghost Town Troubadors on Twitter @ghosttowntroubs and visit their website at www.ghosttowntroubadors.com (h/t to David Lowery for the link)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – Raising awareness of the struggles of American songwriters, the Ghost Town Troubadours played an intimate show Monday night at the Fox Theater.

The group is comprised of four hit songwriters who, while talented musicians in their own right, have spent much of their careers writing for other artists.

Their two-week tour from Nashville, Tennessee to Los Angeles comes amidst a major shakeup in the music industry as it shifts from selling songs to streaming them.

That new business model has created many issues when it comes to licensing music and how artists and songwriters get paid.

Because of this, the United States’ two main performing rights organizations, BMI and ASCAP, requested that the Department of Justice (DOJ) change parts of a consent decree that was first issued in 1941.

The two-year review ended on Aug. 4, with the DOJ denying the request.

The ruling was a blow to songwriters, who receive fractions of a penny each time one of their songs is played through a streaming service such as Pandora or Spotify.

“We’re the only trade industry in America that’s governed. Our rate is set by the government,” said Aaron Benward, a songwriter and member of the Ghost Town Troubadours.

The Troubadours, which include Benward, Danny Myrick, Regie Hamm and Travis Howard, decided to do something about it, embarking on a two-week tour, stopping at a city each night to play a show. Their mission was to share not only their music, but also their stories.

Read the post on Bakersfield Now