While little attention was given by the U.S. population at large, the creative class, and musicians in particular, paid close attention to the wars waged over the EU’s new copyright directive, known colloquially as Article 13. Although is has yet to be ratified, and passed into law by its member states, Article 13 has the potential to close the “safe harbor” loophole for UGC giants like YouTube, Soundcloud, etc., which would make them wholly responsible, and liable, for all previously copyrighted material published on their platforms.
Recently, a bill was introduced by Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner which calls for the creation of a comprehensive database of compositions and recordings. The “Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act” claims to make things easier for coffee shops, bars and restaurants who want to license music to play in their establishments. To many in the music industry, the bill seems like a wolf in sheep’s clothing with the potential cause big problems. On this episode we dig deep into the bill with Future of Music Coalition’s Kevin Erickson and attorney Chris Castle.
Think the music industry is confusing? Here’s where things get really hairy for songwriters. The Department of Justice recently issued a statement upholding consent decrees that regulate performing rights organizations BMI and ASCAP. These decrees were originally intended as an antitrust measure, but many feel they are outdated and come with many costs. David Israelite, CEO of the NMPA, says this decision will devalue songs, implicate the property rights of songwriters and limit their creative process. We asked musician and industry critic David Lowery (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven) and lawyer Chris Castle to help us further understand the ramifications of the DOJ’s stance.
Could two multi-million dollar lawsuits be the downfall of one of music’s most popular streaming services? Earlier this year, two class-actions were brought against streaming giant Spotify by musicians David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick. The plaintiffs allege that Spotify knowingly distributes copyrighted material without obtaining the proper licenses. So what do these suits mean for musicians and the industry as a whole? We discuss with lead plaintiff Melissa Ferrick, lawyers Howell O’Rear and Chris Castle, and musician and music lawyer Christiane Kinney.