Items tagged "Music Licensing"

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DOJ Questions Industry Assumptions in Licensing Musical Works

August 20, 2015 Copyright Reform , Music Licensing

In the tech policy world, there’s a tendency to assume that changes to industries and markets come from technology. The focus is on the new gadget (or vastly cheaper or more reliable version of it) that upsets existing ways of doing things. For instance, the advent of cheap CCDs led to ubiquitous camera phones, changing the way most of us buy and use cameras. Film has become an exception rather than the rule; purpose-built digital cameras have to aim for a more dedicated market; even museums have changed how they present themselves.

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Where Does All the Money Go? In Music Industry, the Need for Transparency Remains

August 14, 2015 Music Licensing , Transparency

Not long ago, SoundExchange board member and musician David Byrne highlighted a key point that the loudest voices in music policy keep talking around: no one is saying how much money goes where.

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Weird Lines: What happens when you legally used a now-illegally-made work?

March 13, 2015 Copyright Reform , Music Licensing

The hot takes on the Blurred Lines copyright infringement suit are out, and you may have already seen them. The verdict is “bad news for music;” it’s “legally and musically…a disaster;” its particular use of experts in trying to draw the legally necessary distinction between the musical composition and the sound recording was a complete mess. I read these and nodded along with their analysis, for the most part. But a further, nerdy question still burned:

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Vote for Public Knowledge’s SXSW Panels

August 11, 2014 Creative Commons , Digital First Sale , Music Licensing , Open Source

The time for selecting South by Southwest panels has come around again! This year, Public Knowledge has submitted three different panel ideas, and we need your help to make them a reality.

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What is a Consent Decree and Why Does ASCAP Need to Keep It?

July 29, 2014 Antitrust , Music Licensing

Everyone agrees that musicians and writers should be paid fairly for their work; it’s fair and it encourages the distribution of music. Right now, the consent decrees are necessary to ensuring fairness and stability in the music industry.

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New PKThinks White Paper: Rewind, Reclaim: Copyright Termination and the Music Business

March 12, 2014 Copyright Termination , Music Licensing

The right of authors to tear up 35-year-old contracts that licensed or sold their copyrights empowers artists to negotiate better deals and may even fight inequitable power structures in the music industry as a whole.

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On “Blurred Lines,” Copyright Infringement, and “Sample Trolls”

August 20, 2013 Copyright , Music , Music Licensing

 

Robin Thicke pushes back against copyright litigation threats.


Robin Thicke is apparently being accused of infringing copyrights in Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways” in his single “Blurred Lines.” Apparently in response to demands that he pay licensing fees to the estate of Marvin Gaye and Bridgeport Music, Inc. (the company that has bought up the rights to Funkadelic’s songs), Thicke is asking a court to state conclusively that he’s not infringing copyrights.

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Convoluted Laws for Pre-1972 Music Can Restrict its Availability

August 19, 2013 Copyright , Music Licensing

Members of the band The Turtles, best known for their 1967 song “Happy Together,” have filed a class-action lawsuit against SiriusXM, saying that the satellite radio company is violating the rights they have in their sound recordings by playing their music to satellite radio subscribers without permission.


Sound Recording Copyrights are Recent, and More Limited

This might seem to be a strange oversight on the part of SiriusXM, except that normally, radio services don’t need to get permission to play music. This is because copyrights for recording artists are a relatively recent phenomenon. In fact, recording artists didn’t have *any* copyright rights in their works until 1972. Even after 1972, when Congress decided to expand copyrights to include recorded sound (copyrights in sheet music had been allowed since the 1830s), it did so in a limited manner. Recording artists could prevent others from reproducing, making derivative works of, or distributing copies of their works, but they couldn’t stop anyone from publicly performing them. 

That included broadcasters, who were free to play records over the air without permission or payment to the people who made the records. Even much later, when Congress decided to expand recording artists’ rights to include public performance “by means of a digital audio transmission,” it also included a statutory license for that right, meaning that satellite radio and webcasters, who make digital audio transmissions, don’t have to get permission from recordings artists—but they do have to pay for the use of their songs. (These statutory licenses in section 114, which are calculated differently depending upon the type of broadcaster, are the source of a lot of the conflict you might be hearing about internet radio rates.)

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Congressional Fight for Internet Radio: Round One Goes to Fairness! Round Two, Consumers?

November 30, 2012 Music Licensing , radio royalties

To the average observer Wednesday’s House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on Internet music royalties may have simply looked like a typical DC fight between large industry interests over how to split up a dollar.  While that may be partly true, it is also important to remember how these decisions can impact what music that we (the consumers) have access to and the choices we have in how we listen to it. Public Knowledge provided that voice of what is important for both consumers and artists through a written statement for the record.  However, the main event on Wednesday was the oral testimony by an industry-dominated panel, so lets get to the blow-by-blow.

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The Internet Radio Fairness Act: What It Means for Radio, Musicians, and You

November 6, 2012 Limitations & Exceptions , Music , Music Licensing , radio royalties

Last week we broke down the details of the Internet Radio Fairness Act, the recently proposed bill that aims to update the compulsory licenses for online radio services. This week we’ll be delving more into the real world impacts of IRFA.

At the end of the day, the proposals in IRFA are a good start toward promoting a healthy, competitive radio marketplace, but there are still a couple of missing pieces that the bill must include to truly be technology-neutral and to fairly balance the interests at stake in the radio marketplace.

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