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Future of Music Coalition blog

Future of Music Coalition blog
up to date news regarding music technology and policy
Articles: 1, 2


NCE filing window extended
2007-10-21 03:21:00
The FCC announced Friday that it has extended the filing window for noncommercial FM radio applications that opened Oct. 12 (PDF of Public Notice). The window was slated to close Friday, but after encountering some database problems, the commission said it will accept applications until 2 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, Oct.
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FMC Seeks Operations Coordinator
2007-10-18 22:22:00
Future of Music Coalition seeks an Operations Coordinator to manage our office, provide administrative support to Executive Director, be responsible for organizational accounting and budgeting, including year-end reporting and payments to vendors, and assist with creation of FMC publications and documents.Knowledge of Quickbooks, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Filemaker are necessary. Experience with audio & video software and editing, podcasts, blogger, youtube is desirable. Very good understanding of FMC programs and related issues is helpful, but not necessary. This is a full-time DC-based position.For complete job description and details on how to apply, please visit:
Speak up for more low-power radio
2007-10-17 22:01:00
We've already told you about our excitement over the radio stations that nonprofits around the country are applying for this week. But there's another campaign afoot to get new voices on the airwaves - and it needs your help.You might know about the noncommercial, low-power FM stations that air music and cover community news and public affairs, providing unique local services all over the country. (Check out our fact sheet for details.) But opportunities to get these stations on the air are limited. Federal restrictions now in place require LPFMs to give their full-power neighbors a wide berth, keeping community broadcasters off the air in bigger cities.Yet an independent study has proven these restrictions unnecessary, and legislation now pending in Congress would loosen these limitations and give more low-power broadcasters access to the airwaves. FMC joined musicians, community broadcasters and public interest advocates in June to publicize this effort.By calling or writing you...
More About: Radio , Power , Speak , Adio
Coming Soon: new website and new Communications Director!
2007-10-13 16:44:00
We're going to turn off blog comments for a while, for two reasons:1. we're in the process of hiring a new Communications Dire ctor . Blog posting and comment management is typically this person's job, and without that person in place we're unable to devote the proper attention to it. Luckily we should have the new Communications Director in place by early November.2. we're nearly finished with a complete website overhaul at We're very excited about this project because, not only will the blog be integrated with the website itself, the new architecture will make it much easier for you to navigate and search FMC's filings, articles, campaigns, events and podcasts/webcasts.We'll have comments up and running again as soon as we get the website overhaul done and the new communications director in place. We'll keep blogging in the interim but while comments are disabled, feel free to contact us at suggestions@futureofmusic.orgwww.futureof
More About: Website , Rect
What Does Radiohead's Pay-What-You-Can Plan Mean for the Rest of Us?
2007-10-12 22:10:00
Yesterday's edition of public radio's Marketplace featured FMC's own Michael Bracy, discussing Radiohead's pay-what-you-like pricing of its new album, In Rainbows:The political statement may be that the system is broken. And that the layers and layers of bureaucracy, and all the different gatekeepers that have been in the middle between musicians and music fans -- well that goes away. Now that doesn't mean that this is the solution -- this sort of voluntary tip jar model where everything's available for free and people pay for it if they want to pay for it. That's not a long-term, systematic solution for the challenges of how artists get paid in the
More About: Rest , Plan , Adio
Grant shows artists need for health insurance
2007-10-12 05:16:00
The New York Times ran an interesting article yesterday that detailed how 50 artists spent $50,000 grants from United States Artists . USA is a new organization that tries to fill the gap for individual artist funding, as opposed to grants for organizations. Not surprisingly, more than 60 percent said they spent part of their money on art supplies, while 48 percent spent part of the money on housing and meals.What was really surprising is that 26 percent said they spent part of the funds on health care. In fact, Wesley McNair, a 68-year old poet that received a grant, had put off buying eyeglasses because he didn't have the funds. Lourdez Perez, a singer and songwriter, had put off going to the doctor, so she used part of the money for a visit.It may come as a surprise to many musicians, but there are health insurance options out there even if you aren't employed full time. FMC runs its HINT hotline to help artists scope out such options. Musicians can call up and get a half hour a...
More About: Health , Insurance , Health Insurance , Grant
Coming soon: new life on an old medium
2007-10-11 16:29:00
The dearth of musical variety on the airwaves these days is much bemoaned and well documented. In 2002 an FMC study provided early evidence that the deregulation of the radio industry had resulted in less musical diversity among stations, a situation that hadn't changed much by 2006. So it's no wonder that frustrated music lovers are turning off their radios and plugging in their iPods, flipping to satellite radio or taking refuge in the blissfully eclectic world of webcasting. But don't give up on old FM radio just yet. It could soon welcome a wave of sonic innovators. Today, for the first time in seven years, the Federal Communications Commission will accept applications for FM radio stations in the noncommercial band. That's the lower end of your FM dial, 88.1 to 91.9 MHz, where funky college stations and refined public radio affiliates rub elbows. There's lots of room around the country for even more noncommercial stations, and at long last the FCC will award broadcast lic...
More About: Life , Medium , New Life
Verizon, free speech, and net neutrality
2007-10-08 04:23:00
It seems like a month can't go by with a telecom promising to protect free speech on one hand, and then violating it on the other. The latest example comes from Verizon , which blocked a request from Naral Pro-Choice to send text messages to its supporters. Verizon said it doesn't allow issue oriented programs to use its network. But when its denial became public in late September, Verizon reversed its course. Here's a full rundown from the New York Times.Verizon's transgression comes after ATT censored Pearl Jam's political statements during a webcast of the band's Lollapalooza show in Chicago. These moves are significant violations of free speech, but they also call into question the telecoms' commitment to remaining unbiased arbiters of Internet content. After all, they want to be put in charge of prioritizing web traffic. If Verizon can't be trusted to deliver a simple text message without censorship, why should they be trusted to determine which web sites have the best s...
More About: Free , Net Neutrality , Free Speech , Speech
A musician needs your help
2007-10-08 03:43:00
George Grantham, the drummer of Poco, suffered a stroke 3 years ago, but his medical bills are still mounting. His daughter, Gracie, is helping raise money for his medical bills by selling donated music paraphernalia from some of the top names in the music industry on eBay. Information about Grantham's condition can be found at Poconut. Here's a little bit about Grantham and the campaign from Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member John McEuen: "In this day of higher and higher value for things of sho biz history, this is a good chance to latch on to something cool, at a good price, for a great cause, and help someone who brought great music to so many. POCO opened for us. their first L.A. gig, at the Troubadour...and blew us away. A year later we went looking for a singing drummer like George, who was always thought of as the Ringo of country-rock." The number of artists without health insurance is a major problem in the music industry. FMC runs a hotline called HINT that allows artists t...
More About: Musician , Needs
Complete Policy Summit media coverage
2007-10-08 02:59:00
We previously posted a few of the articles generated by our Policy Summit , but here is a complete rundown of the summit coverage for your reading
More About: Media , Complete , Coverage
ATT drops free speech
2007-10-03 05:22:00
ATT's slogan is "fewest dropped calls," but that may not apply to people who have anything bad to say about the company. Slashdot is reporting that ATT is reserving the right to cut off service to people that paint the company in a negative light:"AT&T's new Terms of Service give AT&T the right to suspend your account and all service "for conduct that AT&T believes"..."(c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries." After cooperating with the government's violations of privacy and liberties, I guess AT&T wants their fair share. AT&T users may want to think twice about commenting if they value their internet service."Of course, it's not the first time ATT has cut the cord on free speech. At Lollapalooza over the summer, ATT censored some of Pearl Jam's lyrics during a webcast. ATT at first blamed the incident on an over zealous censor it had hired, but that story was knocked down after other bands came for...
More About: Free , Free Speech , Speech , Drop
Report from Chicago
2007-09-25 19:26:00
On September 19, FMC's Jenny Toomey and Jean Cook headed to Chica go to host the Rock the Media party at Delilah’s in Chicago. The culmination of a week’s worth of trainings in advance of the final FCC Media Ownership hearing in Chicago, the party brought media activists and music lovers together to enjoy local hip hop from DJ Sean Doe, and a rousing performance by Jon Langford and Co. Sitting in with the band was FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein on harmonica, who played Johnny Cash covers late into the night.The next day, over 800 people turned out at the hearing the next day at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition HQ on the south side of Chicago. From that evening, here's one of the most eloquent voices for hip hop, KRS-1, voicing his concerns about media ownership to the FCC.Listen to his entire statement here.For more amazing and inspirational testimony from some of the over 200 local community radio advocates visit Stop Big Media. For Chicagoans, you can view coverage of the en...
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FMC receives grant to study payola
2007-09-23 00:44:00
The Social Science Research Council gave FMC a grant to study the impact of former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's payola investigation. Of course, Eliot Spitzer got more than $30 million in settlements from some of the nation's largest broadcasters and record labels a few years back to settle allegations that they had engaged in payola.The New York Times described some of the shenanigans in an article from 2005 after the Sony BMG settlement:To disguise a payoff to a radio programmer at KHTS in San Diego, Epic Records called a flat-screen television a "contest giveaway." Epic, part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, used the same gambit in delivering a laptop computer to the program director of WRHT in Greenville, N.C. - who also received PlayStation 2 games and an out-of-town trip with his girlfriend.In another example, a Sony BMG executive considered a plan to promote the song "A.D.I.D.A.S." by Killer Mike by sending radio disc jockeys one Adidas sneaker, with the promis...
More About: Study , Grant
Germany bans copying of CDs
2007-09-23 00:32:00
In a move aimed at cutting down on pirated content, it appears Germ any is about to take a really hard line stance as Variety reports: BERLIN — Germany's upper house of parliament on Friday approved a controversial copyright law, which makes it all but illegal for individuals to make copies of films and music, even for their own use.The Bundesrat pushed aside criticism from consumer protection groups and passed the law, which makes it illegal for anyone to store DVDs and CDs without permission. The law also covers digital copies from IPTV and TV broadcasts.Consumer groups and the Green Party had campaigned in vain to include a "bagatelle exemption," so that the measure would not "criminalize" youths and other private users. The law is set to take effect in 2008.The law goes beyond previous legislation brought in by the German government to help the entertainment industry. Germany's federal justice minister Brigitte Zypris claimed that the legislative reform brought German law int...
News from FMC's Policy Summit
2007-09-23 00:07:00
Not to brag, but our annual Policy Summit went off very well this week with speakers such as Sen. Byron Dorgan, Copyright Office head Marybeth Peters, musician Bob Mould and a raft of really other great and insightful people. Here's some of the coverage, so if you missed it you can catch up on some of the proceedings. We will have podcasts, as well as some audio and perhaps video forthcoming of the summit.Rob Pegoraro over at The Washington Post's Faster Forward blog has a good run down of Day 1 of the summit.If you want to see what the summit looked like, Todd Beals has posted a number of pictures on his Flickr account. You can go here to find it.Bonus coverage: It's not about the summit, but interesting nonetheless. The Freakonomics guys at the NY Times talk with music industry heavyweights about the future of the
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FCC Hearing on Media Ownership today
2007-09-20 15:39:00
Today's the day to begin making the nation's media more equitable. The FCC will host a hearing in Chicago to take public testimony as it reviews its media ownership rules. This is hugely important: removing the radio ownership caps lead to the rise of Clear Channel's radio empire and a lack of diverse media voices in many cities. If you want to testify at the hearing, you must sign up. Here's the e-mail: The hearing will be held at the PUSH Rainbow Coalition headquarters in on the South Side at 4 p.m.Here's a great Pitchfork piece on the
More About: Media , Today , Hearing , Owners , Media Ownership
Indigo Girls Bringing New Orleans Musicians Home!
2007-09-19 13:42:00
Don't you just love band's that walk the walk? We sure do. They make us jump on the bed with joy. Here is a great article in the Times-Picayune about their awesome show on Sunday night to benefit Sweet Home New Orleans in their work bringing many of the 2,500 displaced New Orleans musicians and Mardi Gras Indians back home.If you want to know more about this spectacular organization you can listen to this feature from NPR's, "All Things Considered". PS. A little bird told us that the IG's raised over 10K with this one show!
More About: Girls , Musicians , Indigo
FMC Policy Summit kicks off!
2007-09-17 14:37:00
After many long months of work, the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit kicked off this morning. FMC Executive Director Jenny Toomey and New Orleans crooner Al "Carnival Time" Johnson got things started. Jenny gave a short intro speech and Al, who lost his home to Katrina, played his powerful lament to the hurricane "Lower Ninth Ward Blues."The first panel a "State of the Union" on the music industry, featured musician Bob Mould, entertainment attorney Rosemary Carroll, Nonesuch senior VP David Bither, Superchunk member and co-owner of Merge Records Mac McCaughan, and Chairman and Founder of the Mobile Entertainment Forum of the Americas Ralph Simon. Jim Griffin, started the panel by asking David Bither of Nonesuch Records, about the zeitgeist of the record industry since many feel the bottom has dropped out with declining album sales, rampant filesharing, and other factors. What was most interesting is that while there is a lot of angst among the majors, some of the indie artis...
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FMC Policy Summit begins today
2007-09-17 12:21:00
Today is the beginning of FMC's 7th annual Policy Summit . Come join us at Betts Theatre at the George Washington University Marvin Center in Washington, DC for two days of exciting and engaging conversations about everything from network neutrality to the technologies that are bringing musicians and fans closer together. On Monday, we welcome Senator Byron Dorgan for a keynote speech (2:00 PM), and then Marybeth Peters, Register, US Copyright Office, will participate in a special conversation with USPTO's Ann Chaitovitz about her 40 years at the Office, and the impact of new technologies on the copyright system. We're also doing panels about the state of the music industry, the public performance right, broadband policy, what the FCC payola settlement means for indie labels, EU licensing, the sample license clearance process, and what major label contracts look like in the digital age.Check out the program details hereDirections to the venueLimited walkup registration is availa...
More About: Today
Hey Chicago!!!! Let's party like it's 1995!
2007-09-13 14:29:00
1995?!?Sure, you know back before the 1996 Telecommunications Act allowed extreme ownership consolidation to further ruin commercial radio and back before the Brand X case that put the future of the open internet at risk for indie musicians.That's right... in honor of the September 20th FCC Media Ownership Hearing in Chica go , FMC is hosting a "ROCK THE MEDIA PARTY" at Delilah's (2771 North Lincoln Ave).The Party begins on Wednesday September 19th, 8-11 p.m. With music legend Jon Langford and DJ Sean Doe spinning local hip hop. Here's a delicious taste of the future media once we take it back from the corporate ogre.Delilah's - Phone: (773) 472-2771*A five dollar donation at the door gets you a free drink. All money raised will go to support volunteer efforts at the FCC Hearing on September 20th.Photo courtesy or Clearly
Gonzalez at it again -- this time on net neutrality
2007-09-13 05:15:00
It appeared Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez had done all the damage he could do: authorizing illegal wiretaps, coming up with dubious legal rational for torture and lying before Congress. But Gonzalez couldn't resist lobbing one more bomb before riding into the Texas sunset.Surprisingly enough, this one has to do with net neutrality. Gonzalez filed papers with the FCC opposing net neutrality late last week claiming falsely that such regulations could hamper innovation on the Internet.Like with a lot of things (say the definition of torture), Gonzalez is way off the mark. Net neutrality actually fosters innovation on the Internet. If telecoms are free to charge companies for prioritizing their web traffic, those that can afford the fees will have a huge advantage over those that can not. This favors established businesses. Google, eBay, and other start ups were able to thrive because they competed on the same level playing field as everyone else. Imagine what might happen to the n...
More About: Time , Net Neutrality , Ality
Speak up for media diversity in Chicago!
2007-09-11 02:48:00
On Sept. 20 in Chicago , the FCC will be holding a crucial public hearing on media ownership. If you care about getting more indie music on the air, the diversity of voices on the airwaves, localism, and breaking the grip of big media conglomerates, it's important that you attend.The public hearing is the fifth of six the FCC is holding around the country as it prepares to revise rules on broadcast ownership. Public hearings can be sleep inducing, but as they go this one couldn't be more important. The FCC is reviewing limits on local television and radio ownership, limits on the cross-ownership of TV or radio stations and a newspaper in a particular market, and limits on television/radio cross radio ownership among other rules.Anyone that's watched the homogenizing effect of Clear Channel on the nation's radio landscape knows how relaxing ownership limits can have a negative impact on the media. Clear Channel became a behemoth following deregulation of the radio industry in the ...
More About: Media , Diversity , Speak , Dive
FMC Policy Summit: Only 5 days until registration closes
2007-09-10 06:53:00
It's T-minus seven to this year's FMC Policy Summit , and it's shaping up to be one of the best yet. Regis ter today to guarantee your seat, because we're very close to capacity in the theatre, and online registration will close at midnight, Friday, Sept 14. Click here to registerFMC welcomes Senator Bryon Dorgan and Senator Ron Wyden as keynote speakersOn Monday, FMC's Jenny Toomey will welcome attendees to the Policy Summit, backed by New Orleans musician Al "Carnival Time" Johnson.Marybeth Peters, Register, US Copyright Office, will participate in a special conversation with USPTO's Ann Chaitovitz about her 40 years at the Office, and the impact of new technologies on the copyright system.Attorney Rosemary Carroll, Nonesuch's David Bither, musician Bob Mould and Mac McCaughan, musician and co-owner of the independent label Merge Records – home of Arcade Fire, Spoon, M. Ward and others – will be joined by top names from law and technology to debate th...
More About: Days , Registration
This Week In News: Friday, September 7, 2007
2007-09-08 00:07:00
Music IndustryThe Music Man An interview with Rick Rubin, co-head of Columbia Records, sheds light on the music industry and how it can be saved amidst the impacts of file-sharing. by Lynn Hirschberg, The New York Times, September 2, 2007 Apple Supersizes iPod Capacities, Labels UnenthusiasticApple now offers its popular iPod with 80GB and 160GB capacities. However, labels worry that those who do fill their 160GB devices to capacity will be filling it with pirated video and audio rather than purchased content. by Paul Reskinoff, DigitalMusicNews , September 5, 2007 An Update On EMI's Digital Album ShareEMI's increased digital album market sales are believed to credited to their movement away from DRM-protected tracks. Coolfer, September 5, 2007 BMI Posts Record Revenue Totals, Artist PayoutsAlthough the CD sales are slumping, BMI recorded an 8% increase in revenue totals from last year. The increase is credited to revenue from cable and satellite radio, as well as other new med...
More About: Friday , Week
Musicians face shorter life spans than general population
2007-09-07 03:41:00
It's a bad rock n' roll cliche that many artists die before they're old, but surprisingly two new bits of information give credence to the notion that artists face more significant health problems than other people. Researchers at the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University have found that rock stars are 2 to 3 times as likely to suffer premature death as the general population.The study looked at more than 1,000 artists from England and North America spanning nearly the entire rock era of 1956 to 2005. Sadly, more than a quarter of the deaths were related to alcohol or drugs. "In the music industry, factors such as stress, changes from popularity to obscurity, and exposure to environments where alcohol and drugs are easily available, can all contribute to substance use as well as other self-destructive behaviors," the report said.The study found musicians were most likely to die in the first five years after achieving fame. Death rates were three times highe...
More About: Life , General , Face , Musicians , Pula
Jenny's Well Rounded Radio interview
2007-09-05 17:30:00
Jenny discusses copyright, future technologies, webcasting and the importance of the gray areas. "When we started, the real question was how do you use the Internet not to just build the new music digital services, but also to inform artists and to connect them so they can be a force to demand better structures for themselves." -- Jenny Toomey of The Future of Music Coalition, The Well -Rounded Radio Interview
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Clear Channel asking artists to waive royalties again?
2007-09-04 19:16:00
The newish blog TalentFilter is reporting that Clear Channel is once again after artists' royalties. This time it's in connection with a contest that L.A. station KYSR (Star 98.7) is sponsoring for bands. The contest promises the winner a spot on the station's Star Lounge CD, a Star Lounge Concert at the Guitar Center Studio, and $10,000.It's only in the legalese of the contest rules that the real "prize" is revealed -- it appears artists must waive their royalties to participate and allow Clear Channel to use their music in nearly any form. Here's an excerpt of the language:...BY SUBMITTING THE SONG, YOU HEREBY GRANT TO THE COMPANY A PERPETUAL, WORLDWIDE, NON-EXCLUSIVE, ROYALTY-FREE, SUB-LICENSABLE (THROUGH MULTIPLE TIERS) RIGHT AND LICENSE TO USE, PUBLISH, REPRODUCE, DISPLAY, PERFORM, ADAPT, MODIFY, DISTRIBUTE, HAVE DISTRIBUTED AND PROMOTE SUCH CONTENT IN ANY FORM (INCLUDING ANY TITLE OF THE VIDEO AND YOUR NAME AND LIKENESS), IN ALL MEDIA NOW KNOWN OR HEREINAFTER CREATED, ANY...
More About: Artists , Royalties
WPFW: Why Community Radio Matters
2007-08-30 23:45:00
Jenny just returned from Piety Street Recording studios in New Orleans where Damian & Tim from OK GO, Bonerama and Al "Carnival Time" Johnson were collaborating on a forthcoming benefit record to support Sweet Home New Orleans.While there she listened obsessively to WWOZ the spectacular community radio station that features a lot of local New Orleans music. Just this morning she was sent this link to a mini movie about DC's own spectacular community radio station WPFW. It was produced by Jessica Duda who is also working on a Net Neutrality documentary. It gives you a clear picture of why it's so important to expand community and low power
More About: Radio , Community , Matters , Adio , Unit
Tale of Two Cities
2007-08-30 23:10:00
Our buddies at connect the dots between a recent Washington Post Article on high-speed Internet in Japan and the fight for Net Neutrality
More About: Cities , Tale
Yet Another Reason to Get Health Insurance
2007-08-30 18:02:00
We were saddened to learn that Karl Alvarez, bassist for Descendents, ALL and The Lemonheads suffered a minor heart attack on August 11. Luckily he's recovering physically, but without health insurance he's also overwhelmed with medical bills. Alvarez's friends have set up a MySpace page and Paypal account for donations to help him pay his bills. To donate via Paypal, visit this website.Read the whole story on Pitchfork and listen to streams of Descendents and ALL's music.Here at FMC, we hate that it takes health crises like these for people to think about health insurance. After all, benefit concerts are amazing events, but you don't want your future finances dependent on them.If you're a musician and you've been meaning to look into health insurance options, check out FMC's Heal th Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT). HINT gives musicians FREE advice on health insurance from insurance experts who are also musicians.Better yet, watch this quick video chat with Alex Maiolo, HINT...
More About: Health Insurance , Reason
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