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.
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Rightscorp has created a solution to help songwriters fight the oppressive mass filing of millions of “address unknown” NOIs through a little known procedure at the Library of Congress and Copyright Office. Rightscorp CEO Christopher Sabec fills us in.
via Mass NOI Update: Christopher Sabec and Rightscorp Tackle the Copyright Office Problem — Music Tech Solutions
The proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner has drawn censure from both sides of the political aisle, as well as a Senate hearing that looked into the potential for the combined company to become a monopoly.
But if we are going to examine media monopolies, we should look first at Silicon Valley, not the fading phone business.
Mark Cuban, the internet entrepreneur, said at the meeting of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee last week that the truly dominant companies in media distribution these days were Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon.
“Facebook is without question in a dominant position, if not the dominant position, for content delivery,” he said.
Look at the numbers. Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and Facebook are among the 10 largest companies in the world. Alphabet alone has a market capitalization of around $550 billion. AT&T and Time Warner combined would be about $300 billion.
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The radio industry is about to learn what many others already have — when you push Irving Azoff, he pushes back. Usually harder.
After nearly two years of negotiations over licensing rates for radio song plays, the Radio Licensing Music Committee (RMLC) recently “ambushed” Global Music Rights (GMR) — the nascent U.S. performance rights organization launched in late 2013 by Azoff, in conjunction with MSG Entertainment and with former ASCAP executive Randy Grimmett at the helm — with an antitrust lawsuit filed in the U.S. Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania on Nov. 18.
That was followed by the filing, on Dec. 6, Daniel Petrocelli and his firm O’Melveny & Myers of an antitrust suit on behalf of GMR against the RLMC in the U.S. Central District Court of California. Petrocelli stresses that the suit is not retaliatory, but was filed to fight the RLMC’s “collusive tactics to depress [the] prices” that radio stations pay songwriters.
Azoff, the legendary artist manager who began GMR because he felt songwriters were getting shortchanged in performance licensing, tells Billboard that he takes “artist rights very seriously. I grew up around guys named Lew Wasserman[former head of MCA, now known as Universal Music Group] and Steve Ross [who created Warner Music Group], who taught me to respect talent. We feel that they [the RMLC] violated respect for talent. We didn’t start this fight, but we aren’t going away.”
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[Editor Charlie sez: Thank you Howard, Mark and their attorney Henry Gradstein!]
The Turtles and SiriusXM may not quite be “Happy Together,” but they’re one step closer now that they’ve settled a California federal lawsuit over oldies royalties on the eve of trial.
Pre-1972 sound recordings aren’t protected by federal copyright. So, until recently, rightsholders weren’t being compensated for hits played on digital channels like SiriusXM Radio’s ’60s on 6.
Two of The Turtles, Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, who are known as Flo & Eddie, won summary judgment in 2014 when the court found Sirius’ use of their music violates public performance rights. The trial was set to determine exactly how big of a check Sirius would have to write to fairly compensate the artists.
Details of the settlement are scarce, but attorneys filed a joint notice with the court on Monday.
Read the post on The Hollywood Reporter.
For the last few years, Barclays’ annual research reports about the music industry reflected the challenges of a business in transition — or, more specifically, one that had slowed a rapid decline but had not returned to growth. In 2014, as track sales fell, the bank’s report declared that “Streaming Killed the Download Star”; the 2015 edition was titled “Swimming Upstream.” But the bank’s latest research report, published in October and titled “Dancing Days Are Here Again,” starts with much better news: “2016 is the year recorded music appears to be turning a corner.”
However, it’s not time to pop the bubbly just yet. As streaming grows, sales of downloads and CDs are plunging — by 22.1 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively, in the first nine months of 2016, according to Nielsen Music — and it still remains to be seen just how many casual fans will pony up for subscriptions when music is available for free on YouTube and Spotify’s ad-supported tier. While streaming has been great for the major labels, its economics are rarely as rewarding for songwriters, publishers and even some labels and artists. And so far, none of the companies in the streaming business are making money.
In other words, if this is a turnaround, then it’s a fragile one. “We’re in recovery,” says Michael Nash, Universal Music Group executive vp digital strategy. “It’s one day at a time.”
Read the post on Billboard.