Posts by Justin Kaufman

Trying to Make it in Music? Why Artists Should Oppose the UMG-EMI Merger

It is hard enough to land a job in a profession that accepts applications. So imagine chasing a career that depends on getting discovered. This is the reality for artists who aspire to sign a record deal with a major label. The four major record labels – Sony, EMI, Warner, and Universal (or UMG) – do not typically accept unsolicited submissions from artists. And to make matters worse, if UMG is successful in its bid to acquire EMI, artists could face an even steeper climb to success.

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The 1201 Hearings- Protecting Business Models or Promoting Creative Progress?

Last week, a revolving door of digital media users took turns pleading with the Copyright Office for permission to use their content. Teachers and documentarians sought the right to create high-quality video clips for use in their classrooms and documentaries; the visually impaired argued for the right to enable read-aloud functionality on eBooks and enjoy movies with narrated visual descriptions; and Public Knowledge, advocating for the public at large, sought a right to copy lawfully owned DVDs for personal use (e.g. to play a DVD movie on an iPad, or similar device).

How did we arrive at this place, where copyright users must ask permission to use lawfully acquired content in non-infringing ways? The short version of the story goes like this:

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What is the ITU? The Struggle for Internet Governance

Another storm is brewing over Internet governance. Several countries, including Russia, China, and India, have proposed empowering the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – a specialized agency of the United Nations – to oversee various aspects of Internet governance. The issue will come to a head in December, when the 193 member states of the ITU convene at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai to vote on these proposals.

This raises three important questions: who regulates the Internet today, what is the ITU, and what is at stake in December? 

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