A Must Read by Stephen Carlisle: Enjoy the Silence

Many times, I am asked to speak to student law associations and sometimes to artist associations. At these, there are frequent questions about the future of the arts in the era of unfettered internet exploitation. My response is usually in the form of a question:

“Did you hear that?

(Silence)

“Let me ask you again…did you hear that?”

(More silence and murmurs of confusion)

“That’s the sound that Spotify makes when it has no content.”

Which brings us to an Act introduced by Congressmen Darryl Issa and Ted Deutch on April 5, 2017. 1 The bill, informally known as the Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act (PROMOTE Act) and more formally known as HR 1914, would for the first time create a legal right for the owner of a sound recording to pull their recordings from terrestrial radio airplay.

The bill itself is not complicated, running a mere 4 pages. It creates an addition to the exclusive rights contained in 17 USC 106, a seventh right, namely:

“[T]o prohibit performance of a sound recording publicly by means of a broadcast transmission (as that term is defined in section 114(k)) by a terrestrial radio station.”

However, that right may not be exercised if the following occurs:

“An owner of copyright in a sound recording may not exercise the exclusive right under paragraph (7) of section 106 to prohibit the broadcast transmission of the sound recording by a terrestrial radio station with regard to—

(A) a terrestrial radio station that pays the applicable royalties under terms described in paragraph (2);

IF AND ONLY IF:

[T]he royalties and terms described in this paragraph shall be identical to those regarding a license for eligible nonsubscription transmission services for audio transmissions under subsection (f)(2).”

For those of you non-lawyers amongst my faithful reading public, this means that a regular, over-the-air radio station must pay to the owners of a sound recordings a royalty equal to that which is paid by Pandora and similar services. If the radio station refuses to pay the money, the sound recording owner gets to pull their sound recordings from airplay.

Sheer genius, I tell you.

Read the post on Copyright.Nova.edu

@tnnnaterau: Fair Play Fair Pay Act reintroduced in Congress, would make radio pay artists

The Fair Play Fair Pay Act, legislation that would require broadcasters to pay artists and record labels when their songs are played over the air on the radio, was reintroduced on Thursday.

The bill is offered up on the eve of a possible broader copyright reform proposal from the House. Music industry stakeholders are hopeful that reform includes a performance royalty for terrestrial radio, because the United States is regarded as the only advanced country in the world that does not pay royalties to artists and labels to broadcast their songs.

Broadcasters are opposed to the bill and have successfully staved off past efforts to create a radio performance royalty. U.S. copyright law pays songwriters and their publishers when songs are played over the radio, but unlike streaming or other forms of consumption, artists are left out.

Read the post on The Tennessean

@JAGladstone: @theblakemorgan: The Singer-Songwriter on his Campaign to Respect Musicians Rights

“Spotify says they can’t turn a profit because they have to pay artists too much. But the owner of Spotify is worth $310 million,” says singer-songwriter with a derisive laugh.

“I mean, let’s be honest,” says Morgan, who performs at The Lost Church on Saturday night. “If musicians know how to do anything, its how to count!”

Since 2013, when his heated e-mail exchange with Pandora CEO Tim Westergrin over performers’ royalties was shared in the Huffington Postand went viral (huff.to/2kRzXto), Morgan has become at least as well known for his activism on behalf of other musicians as for his own recorded music.

But Morgan’s subsequent founding of the #IRespectMusic campaign, public speaking at music industry events, and extensive lobbying of congress in support of the “Fair Play Fair Pay Act” and “Songwriters Equity Act” are natural outgrowths of a personal ethos that’s been integral to Morgan’s career since early on.

Read the post on The Bay Area Reporter

@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.

@RadioCleveKKG: Paradigm Shift

[Editor Charlie sez:  Karoline Kramer-Gould is the bravest person we know.  Karoline was the long time Music Director of Cleveland’s tastemaker college AAA station WJCU who spoke out about her views on the issue and the tactics of the all-powerful National Association of Broadcasters in the NAB’s opposition to paying artist royalties for the sound recordings they built their business on.  Karoline became a vocal advocate for the bi-partisan Fair Play Fair Pay Act and to date is the only person who actually put their job on the line for artists which is what can happen when you speak truth to power.

Karoline spoke truth to power when she co-authored a letter with recording artist Blake Morgan (of the #irespectmusic campaign) to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte expressing her support for Fair Play Fair Pay in opposition to the powerful NAB. The letter to Chairman Goodlatte is reproduced in Chris Castle’s interview with Karoline published in the Huffington Post.

Karoline left WJCU shortly after speaking out, and was invited to meet with many Members of Congress about the bi-partisan Fair Play Fair Pay act in support of artist pay for radio play.  She now reflects on her experience in a blog post we reproduce with Karoline’s permission from her blog at karolinekramer.com.  And don’t forget to sign the petition at IRespectMusic.org!]

Paradigm Shift:

noun

1. a dramatic change in the paradigm of a scientific community, or a change from one scientific paradigm to another.

(From Dictionary.com)

A friend who works as a radio promoter called me last week to catch up. During the conversation, he asked me if I’m still looking for work in radio. I told him I didn’t think so. He was sad and tried to encourage me to continue to look for work in that field. He said he misses me. That a lot of promoters miss me. That I have so much to offer to radio.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that conversation.

Two weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to create and program a new Internet radio station. I declined. There was one simple reason. I don’t want to work in radio again.

I miss discovering and sharing new music. I miss the weekly chats with label folks and indie promoters. I miss artist interviews and concerts.

I love the time I spent in radio. I learned a lot. I made wonderful lifelong friends.

I used to think I couldn’t really be happy if I wasn’t working in radio. Now I know that I can finally be happy because I’m NOT working in radio any longer.

Most folks who work in radio have always worked in radio, starting in college. I didn’t start working there until I was in my 30s. I was a business professional in love with IT.

When I first started in radio, I was amazed at a lot of things that seemed normal there – things that would never fly in any other field. Behaviors, ideas, hierarchies. Outdated methodology for charts and advertising. I thought that radio people lived in a bubble. I still do. I loved the bubble. But now that I’m no longer there I can look at it and once again see how out of touch the industry is.

When the letter supporting #FairPlayFairPay and subsequent Huffington Post article came out in October, 2015, it struck a chord with the general public and musicians all over the world. I received hundreds of tweets and messages of support and encouragement. That overwhelming support was balanced by the near silence from the radio industry.

I left the radio station I was working with and began applying for jobs in the radio field. I didn’t receive rejection letters, just silence. At first I thought I was overthinking it – that there was something else going on, it wasn’t the letter and article. I wasn’t that important. But the longer I’ve been confronted with that silence, the more it confirmed my fears that I closed the door on that career path by speaking out.

When that realization hit, I was angry. Strike that. I was livid. I was furious that those who worked for larger stations in bigger markets didn’t say anything or acknowledge what I did. Their silence, to me, spoke volumes about their being complicit in the attempt to deny artists their basic rights – to be paid fairly for their work.

I cursed those taste-maker programmers I knew. They had an opportunity to join me. To raise their voices and add to the strength of the musicians. What kept them silent? Fear of upsetting the status quo? Or was it the biggest trap of all – safety? Perhaps they are safe and comfortable where they are and can’t fathom losing it?

I don’t know the answer. I only know that their silence speaks volumes to me. The people who claim to love music and artists, yet continue to work in a field that denies artists fair compensation, are showing us whose side they are on: their own.

On. Their. Own.

I will never join them in that complicit silence again.

#IRespectMusic

 

Blake KKG Conyers
Blake Morgan, Karoline Kramer-Gould, Rep. John Conyers

@frazerrice: Podcast #9: Blake Morgan, CEO of ECR Music, Driving Force of #irespectmusic

Insightful podcast from Frazer Rice with Blake Morgan on his uplifting business philosophy behind ECR Music Group, his perspectives as an artist and songwriter and the #iresepectmusic movement!

It was a genuine pleasure to speak with Blake Morgan about the state of the music industry . . . we spoke for an hour and could have kept going for much longer!

Native New Yorker Blake Morgan is a recording artist, record producer, and the founder and owner of ECR Music Group, a global music company which operates under an elemental principle unprecedented in the music world: all of its artists and labels own one-hundred percent of their master recordings.

On the heels of his sold-out eight-month run at New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3, Blake Morgan now embarks on his first large-scale West Coast solo tour of the United States. The New York Times calls Morgan “Disarmingly unselfconscious,” while Billboard Magazine writes, “Blake Morgan has a voice that was made to be heard on the radio…inspired songwriting and passionate performances.” The Washington Post adds, “He’s got killer pop-rock instincts, something that leaps out at you…a natural when it comes to fashioning sharp melodies and catchy choruses.” Blake Morgan’s 2016 West Coast Tour will run from August 22nd until September 3rd, with Morgan performing ten concerts in nine cities. Morgan returns to Rockwood Music Hall’s Stage 3 on September 14th, for Season Two of his ongoing artist-in-residence concert series in New York City.

Read and listen on FrazerRice.com and don’t forget to sign the petition for artist pay for radio play!

IRMAIV Large