@musictechpolicy: Why Can’t Pandora Find Over One Million Songwriters for its Spotify Competitor?

Pandora Media, Inc. has launched its long-awaited Pandora Premium on-demand competitor to Spotify according to reports from journalists who previewed the platform.

Pandora built Pandora Premium on top of its 2015 acquisition of RDIO’s assets in a controversial bankruptcy and is reportedly leveraging its Music Genome technology that allows Pandora to build on-demand playlists based on an artist’s name or work. Premium evidently transposes Pandora “stations” to Premium “playlists” with what sounds like largely the same functionality, including transferring “thumbs up” ratings in the historical interactive/noninteractive webcasting service. The Premium service evidently uses prior choices to recommend future music in the known-unknown dichotomy. And of course it sounds like you can download all the tracks.

What is different about Pandora’s on-demand service is that it implicates a license for songs that Pandora did not have to obtain for its webcasting service—the mechanical license for on-demand services and downloads. Pandora is evidently negotiating direct deals with major publishers and also is trying to encourage other songwriters to sign up to a “standard” mechanical license.

According to Rightscorp CEO Christopher Sabec, Pandora has filed approximately 1,193, 346 “address unknown” NOIs with the Copyright Office between April 2016 and January 28, 2017. I have been informed by other sources that representatives of Pandora have stated that the company intends to pay statutory royalties retroactively for any songwriter who comes forward and complies with the formality of registration, but I have yet to see a public statement by Pandora of this intention.

@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

@danacimilluca: Sullivan & Cromwell Hires Former Justice Department Antitrust Head Renata Hesse [aka Songwriter Enemy #1] as Partner in D.C.

Remember the ex-Googler Renata Hesse who managed to get both herself and the Department of Justice sued by SONA over Hesse’s grotesque mishandling of 100% licensing?  Like a good little bureaucrat, she leaves the songwriters to clean up her mess while she skips out to the big money.  Don’t let the revolving door hit you.

And good job avoiding a confirmation hearing…that won’t happen again.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is hiring Renata Hesse, formerly head of the antitrust division at the Justice Department, as the law firm prepares for a continued wave of complex, cross-border mergers and other deals.

Ms. Hesse, 52 years old, will join Sullivan & Cromwell as a partner in Washington, D.C., the firm plans to announce Monday. The move is noteworthy not just because of Ms. Hesse’s stature in legal circles, but also because it is rare for Sullivan & Cromwell and other elite law firms to bring in partners from the outside. Until January, Ms. Hesse was acting assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division at the Justice Department, a position she has held twice.

Read the post on the Wall Street Journal

@neilturkewitz: Fair Use, Fairness and the Public Interest

In honor of Fair Use Week, let’s begin by unmasking the false premise underlying much of the celebration of fair use — that is, that the basic objective of the copyright system is to achieve a balance between the “public interest” on the one hand, and the interest of private copyright owners on the other. In this formulation, the “public” interest is exclusively defined as the ability to get copyrighted materials as cheaply as possible, with free obviously being the best (since it is the cheapest) option.

Many of the organizations celebrating fair use would have you believe that copyright protection and the public interest are diametrically opposed. This is merely a rhetorical device, and is a complete fallacy. Groups like EFF, Public Knowledge and re:Create employ emotive rhetoric in an attempt to demonize copyright, and to suggest that “copyright” protection is somehow a “special interest.”

Read the post on Medium.

@davidclowery: Don’t You Have More Important Things to Do? DOJ Should Drop the 100% Licensing Push

Now that most of the DOJ lawyers who pushed the 100% licensing rule on songwriters are gone, who’s gonna deal with all those feral cats that former Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse was feeding? Last year, in what can only be described as an elaborate Kabuki, a small group of DOJ lawyers led by […]

via Don’t You Have More Important Things to Do? DOJ Should Drop the 100% Licensing Push — The Trichordist

@iom: Defending Copyright in the Context of Trump

Well, here we go.  I’ve been waiting for this shoe to drop, and it looks like Josh Tabish, campaigns director for Vancouver-based OpenMedia, has decided to be among the first to throw a loafer. In an editorial for Wired, he warns that “the copyright barons” are coming now that Trump is in the White House.

It has a been a challenge, to say the least, to try to disabuse people of the notion that contemporary copyright enforcement really can coexist with a free and open internet and not stifle free speech. And that was while Obama was president—a left-of-center moderate who was very close with Google. But ever since Trump won, I’ve been waiting for the same anti-copyright narrative to dial the volume up to eleven because now we have a ballgame.  Stand by for a litany of articles and blogs under the theme:  See! All it takes is a draconian, right-wing president, and the copyright industry will get what they want and destroy the freedom-loving internet!!!!

Read David Newhoff’s post on The Illusion of More

@musictechpolicy: Jean-Michel Jarre Identifies the Value Transfer

“The biggest flaw I want to highlight today is what is known as the “transfer of value” or the “value gap.” To survive and thrive, creators must be fairly paid for their works. Yet today, some of the world’s major digital music services are building large businesses on back of creativity while paying next to nothing in return. This is not fair. It is a market distortion. And it is holding back growth in the creative sectors.”

via Jean-Michel Jarre Identifies the Value Transfer — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY