What do artists like Katy Perry, Debbie Harry, Lionel Richie and hundreds of others have against one piece of legislation? Along with many in the creative community, they’re calling for reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA was drafted in 1998 — before platforms like Napster and YouTube existed — with the intent of bringing copyright up to date with the digital age. Unfortunately, according to those calling for reform, the outdated act has allowed tech giants to profit from copyright infringement while artists’ own earnings plummet. On this episode, we dissect the issue and discuss solutions with Richard Burgess, CEO of A2IM, RIAA’s Senior Executive Vice President Mitch Glazier, Perry Resnick of Music Managers Forum, and musician and lawyer John Strohm.
When people hear about the Recording Academy, some scratch their heads in wonder, while others immediately recognize them as the organization that puts on the Grammy Awards every year. However, both of these responses bely the true effort and intent behind the organization, as they are just as involved in awards shows as they are in advocacy for musicians on Capitol Hill and beyond. After several successful years of doing the music industry lobbying day, “Grammys On The Hill,” the Recording Academy decided to take the model that they had developed for Washington, D.C. and bring that back to musician’s home districts. This year represents the second time that “Grammys In My District” has happened, and we speak with three different players inside the organization about what’s different about this year’s event, and catch some soundbytes of the event that took place in Seattle on October 14.
On April 13, Congressman Jerrold Nadler introduced the “Fair Play, Fair Act” (H.R. 1733) into congress. The bill itself is designed to create a level performance royalty for artists across all listening platforms, instead of having different amounts paid to artists depending on whether or not the audience chooses to listen on terrestrial radio, satellite radio, or online. In this episode, Portia speaks directly to the congressman about the creation of the bill, and then toggles over to Ted Kalo of musicFIRST to talk about the likelihood of the bill’s passing. Valerie Day of the band Nu Shooz (best known for their 1986 hit “I Can’t Wait”) closes the hour with a frank discussion about how much she’s made from thirty years of radio play in the U.S.
This month, the FCC ruled internet radio company Pandora could buy a small radio station in Rapid City, South Dakota. So why does Pandora want to run a small, Top 40 station in one of the nation’s smallest markets? It turns out this small station could reap big rewards for Pandora. We talk NMPA CEO David Israelite, Paul Resnikoff of Digital Music News, and Casey Rae of the Future of Music Coalition.
How are artists making money in the new economy? Some artists are fighting the corporations and winning: The Turtles and the pre-1972 copyright debate. What is SoundExchange and why does everyone love them? (Hint: They are not the Nigerian prince!) Why is there no performance royalty for commercial radio play and what are we going to do about it? Plus: featured record label Dualtone Records, home of The Lumineers and others!