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  • May 1st, 2015 @ 8:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How will we earn a living? - GET. A. JOB.

    Because if an old song is still making money, one of the people it should be making money for should be the creator!
    Almost the entirety of a songwriter’s income comes from publishing royalties . Almost the entirety of publishing royalties comes from broadcasting and film/TV/ad licensing. When a song becomes public domain it is STILL generating income.
    Why should the creator be cut out just so Clearchannel , Google, Pandora or Disney Pictures can collect what used to go to the songwriter? And then probably the aged songwriter has to go on public assistance that you and I pay for with our taxes!
    Do you think Pandora or Spotify charges you less for streaming a public domain song? Do you think they charge advertisers less? No, they just get a bigger cut for themselves.
    All the songs in Disneys’ Guardians of the Galaxy are 40 or 50 year old.
    Do you really think Disney would charge you less if the songs were public domain? No, they just get a bigger cut for themselves.
    I personally prefer that the artist continue to receive the income stream of his product rather than that stream being diverted to the bottom line of Disney Pictures or the fuel tank of Daniel Eks private jet.
    Not because of fairness or justice but because artists put their income back into the cash ecosystem we all live in as opposed to the venture capital closed loop that the corporations are sucking all the assets of the world into.
    It’s May 1 !
    Workers of the World Unite!

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    uh... why wouldn't you take the royalties collected by the PROs?
    if your song is being played on radio or TV, the money is waiting for you.
    I guess you could choose not take it because....
    you're protesting?
    you're too 'cool'?
    religious principles?

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    labels ha!
    you’d be waiting till hell freezes over, they never pay!
    I was writing about PUBLISHING royalties, paid to songwriters by ASCAP or BMI.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: How will we earn a living? - GET. A. JOB.

    Property and cars are taxed because the government provides infrastructure to maintain those assets. We taxpayers come out well on that deal.
    I certainly pay taxes on the INCOME from my songs and if someday the government becomes an infrastructure provider for songs (like suppose they took over the functions of ASCAP or BMI ) then I would happily pay taxes for that.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 6:14pm

    (untitled comment)

    I would love to have a mechanic who took royalties !
    I could tell him: I can’t pay you up front for a new engine, but if you put one in , I’ll pay you a quarter every time I drive it.
    Please lemme know if you can find that guy! My mechanic won’t take that deal, believe me I’ve asked.
    If I could be paid for a hit song up front I would like that , who wouldn’t?
    how is one paid for a hit song? All people are created equal,
    all songs are not!
    the only way to arrive at VALUATION of a song is when it makes it’s way thru the marketplace . That process can take months or years. that’s just one of many reasons why royalty compensation is the most efficient and fair system for creators, for the public and for enterprise.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: How will we earn a living? - GET. A. JOB.

    I don’t agree with your idea of the ‘goal’ of copyright. Most people don’t nor does a single creative professional I’ve ever met.
    I assume you are referencing the Constitution, a document that also protected slavery and defined black people as 3/fifths of a person?
    The popular arts had not yet developed during the writing of the Constitution. The evolution of the artist from being a back door servant dependent on the whims of the rich to being able to take his art directly to the public and so being self sufficient without the patronage of lords and kings is a social phenomenon that developed over the course of the 19th century.
    I don’t understand your outrage that a creative person is allowed to share in the profit from his work.
    The public benefits from artists being able to sustain their careers .
    I feel deeply indebted and inspired by the careers and works of the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Bowie, Stevie Wonder and songwriters like Holland/Dozier/Holland, Burt Bacharach and Lieber and Stoller.
    The careers and works of these creators was only made possible by the control , security and freedom that they derived from owning their compositions.
    When an artist gets his royalty check , he spends it at the grocery store or buys equipment, and so enriches the community he lives in.
    As opposed to the monetization of music as practiced by Google, Pandora and Spottily where the money just gets recirculated in world of venture capital, thus reinforcing the current dilemma of the rich getting rich and the poor getting poorer.
    Many songs from 50 years ago are still valuable and making money for broadcasters , advertisers and digital distributors.
    Why do you feel a sense of injustice if some retired bluesman is able to use his royalties to buy an oxygen tank?
    Should the music of the past only fill the tank of Daniel Ek’s private jet?
    Or buy Pandora’s Tim Westerberg another yacht?

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: How will we earn a living? - GET. A. JOB.

    yes clarification needed!
    I was commenting on a discussion about individuals and their progeny. and to be even more specific, I can only speak about musical artists as that’s the only thing I have deep and hard earned knowledge of.
    Naturally when one collaborator dies the survivors still own their portion.
    Corporations don’t write songs so that’s irrelevant but I would like to say that ‘corporate personhood’ is a repellant concept and a vile abuse of the english language.
    I don’t think corporate entities should EVER own the works of artists, they should only be allowed to license them.
    Legal protection for musical artist in their dealing with a traditional label is quite evolved .
    Even if an artist is coerced into selling or giving away their publishing, they still get 50% of the income.
    Sound recordings revert to the artist after 35 years , though of course the labels are now trying hard to change that.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: compromise

    ‘middlemen from the traditional content industry’ ?
    your posting about a war that has been over for 2 years.
    here’s what’s happening in the business of music.
    the traditional middlemen (big record labels) have merged with the new middlemen (Silicon Valley/Wall St venture capitalists) in order to squash 21st century artists who own their own recordings.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 3:30am

    Re: Re: Re: How will we earn a living? - GET. A. JOB.

    understanding the concept of intellectual property requires that a person has an intellect .

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 2:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: compromise

    yes, the distinction you are referring to is the difference between working for others and working for yourself.
    what can you possible see wrong with someone being their own boss?
    when you do ‘work for hire’ the people paying you are the creator not you.
    most artists prefer working for ourselves: risking our time and resources not just for greater gain but more importantly for artistic freedom.
    if you think royalties are a bad thing , search ‘ royalty free music ‘ there’s a lot of it. but you won’t like it, nobody does.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 2:08am

    Re: How will we earn a living? - GET. A. JOB.

    copyright ownership should be for the life of the creator. not a day less, not a day more.
    only problem is; you don’t want to give an incentive to profiting from shortening a creator’s life.
    it’s probably a good idea to add 10 years so distributors aren’t tempted to murder artists so they don’t have to pay them.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re:

    the first rule a music professional learns is: don’t sell your publishing.
    assuming a song you write is recorded unusually quickly, like within weeks or months, the soonest you would see royalties would be about 3 years later.
    Of course we all know that very few songs become hits. What most people don’t realize is how much music that is well known today was initially obscure or unpopular and gradually became known as a classic.
    That’s why when I see Iggy Pop’s ‘Search and Destroy’ in a Nike SuperBowl ad I am happy knowing Iggy got the biggest check of his life. Or when I see ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ using Joan Jett’s ‘Cherry Bomb’ I’m glad that song is not in the public domain.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 12:54am

    Re: Why are artists so special?

    and how do musical creators eat?
    from royalties. publishing royalties from copyrighted works.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 12:34am

    Re: Re:

    when you say ‘IP extremists’ are you talking about Google?
    now the biggest corporate lobbyist in the United States!
    http://pando.com/2014/11/13/google-is-the-biggest-corporate-lobbyist-in-america-now-says-new- public-citizen-report/

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 12:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: compromise

    ‘Creating new works is not a job’
    thankfully the IRS disagrees with you.
    as a creative professional I can deduct my professional expenses against my income as all businesses do.
    do you want creative people to have less rights than other professionals?

  • Jun 21st, 2014 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That Story

    my dad is a jazz musician and the idea that he would be rich and famous was certainly not why he and his friends devoted their lives to music.
    I on the other hand became a rock musician at an early age so I have close experience with the delusions of grandeur that afflict so many rockers. Especially those that came of age in the late 80s and early 90s. The idea that you need to be rich and famous or you are a loser is the most soul crushing burden a person can place on their own back. We musicians can thank the internet for liberating us from the expectation of riches at least. Meanwhile reality television has convinced the rest of the species that if they are rude and sarcastic enough, they deserve to be famous!
    As far as the death of physical retailers I dont see at all that what we have gained has YET outweighed the downsides but its clear that all of us have benefited from having incredible access to the entirety of music history.
    I hope this phase of humanity will end soon, we were not meant to live our lives in front of a computer monitor.
    I believe one day we will pour out into the streets and parks and when that happens we will be listening to music!

  • Jun 21st, 2014 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: That Story

    If You Tube is now a music distributor, selling music as a PRODUCT, then ipso facto, the new You Tube will be in fact, a gatekeeper.
    Because for me to use their subscription service I have to PAY, get it? No pay no get in. Can't be part of the special people club.
    Nothing wrong with that right? Thats just business.
    (Of course if a musician expects to be paid for their music,the trolls will start up with music wants to be free, you should only make it for the love of making it.)
    I am sure Google desires to maintain the non-subscription You Tube as open to uploads as possible. The growling between the remaining indies and Google is probably just part of the negotiation process and I would be very surprised to see You Tube block or the labels to pull anything since its not in anybodys best interest.
    but going back to the subscription business of You Tube ,
    if they gently inform labels that they no longer offer revenue contracts to entities that are not in their special people club, then THAT is in fact gatekeeping, and it's perfectly understandable!
    from Billboard-
    President of the American Association Of Independent Music, Rich Bengloff, also took aim at the majors yesterday, who have signed up to YouTubes audio service on unknown terms. Speaking to Billboard, Bengloff suggested that a fear of the indie labels growing market share had led, at least in part, to the majors entering an alliance with Google that gives them preferential treatment.
    None of us know the facts and perhaps the indies are paranoid since they and we arent privy to what dealmaking went on between Google and the big labels, but
    their fear is based on well known collusion between the major labels and the streaming services where the streamers compensate the labels with cash and stock upfront so the companies will accept worthless royalty rates. If its true that Google is giving the majors the same kind of preferential treatment the other streamers are giving, then yes that would be gatekeeping also.

  • Jun 21st, 2014 @ 1:53am

    That Story

    Hey Mike Im not disagreeing that indies should upgrade their deal with Google because its as you say:
    better than the crappy ad share deal you're currently getting.
    but in 2009 you said that:
    It's not hard to make the argument that the music industry should have been THRILLED with the free service that Google/YouTube provided.
    Was the Masnick of 2009 more idealistic or the Masnick of 2014 more honest?
    Also in 2009 I think you were referring to record labels when you talked about gatekeepers but isnt Google engaging in some pretty aggressive gatekeeping now?
    Masnick: Gatekeepers are the middlemen that people generally have the biggest problem with. Those are the ones who put *themselves* rather than the creators at the center of the marketplace, they limit who can even be in the market, and they tend to take a disproportionate percentage of any money made.
    Of course 5 years ago we were all more optimistic and enthused about the possibilities of the internet. I dont think we should give up hope, but if theres gonna be progress we have to be honest about what it is and what it isnt.
    In 2009 you spoke of the enablers:
    Enablers, on the other hand, keep the creator at the center of the market, and just provide them with the tools and services that enable them to do more of what they want to do and do it better. So those are the companies who enable a content creator to create, to distribute, to promote and to monetize without having to take control over the whole process.
    its a nice idea but evidently its time has not yet arrived

  • Nov 27th, 2013 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re

    I forgive the bad language but not the poor english skills. did you notice the past tense in 'MTV didn't...' ? and I'm sure you know MTV hasn't shown videos for 20 years.
    Notice I didn't say 'Disney', I said 'record companies'
    The record companies' contracts with their artists explicitly forbids them from distributing their products for free, hence it WOULD be illegal for them to do 'what Pirate Bay does'.
    They're not my 'beloved record labels' they're ripping me off all my life but when my works are copyrighted, it gives me my only protection.
    I complete agree with your objections to copyright expansion. I am hoping to mobilize artists to promote copyright reform but it's hard in an environment of so much polarizing opinion.
    Yes the media cartels are are more criminal than Google, and I mentioned some of that in a different post.
    I could go on for days about the evil record companies and the horrors of copyright expansion and the need for permission free copyright but the day is getting too short...

  • Nov 27th, 2013 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re

    going straight to your question:
    I am surprised to find that every songwriter I ask, would be completely fine but absolutely insistent that a copyright should ONLY be for the length of the creators lifetime.
    This I would address directly the issue you mention about mining the treasures of the past that rightfully should be in public domain. I think writers especially in film, TV and theater would embrace this very enthusiastically.
    Artists pushing for reform thru the PROs could make this happen. But when you say that copyright ONLY benefits corporations you alienate the artists because we use copyrights as PROTECTION from the corporations. The ONLY thing keeping my works safe from them is the law. There's an old saying ' if your shit ain't being stole , it ain't good.'
    Copyright REFORM and ELIMINATION are such different things , they should not be in the same sentence. Reform is way overdue and I'm trying to make it happen, but elimination IS the usual class warfare between capital and labor.
    Unfortunately these reforms you and I seem to agree on will be resisted by the entrenched media companies.
    Your comments are interesting because I think they point to potential WEDGE issues between the creatives and the corporations. I think that reform can happen when it's championed by the artists because they own so much content.
    Artists have been too passive in letting the labels and studios run rampant over the public. At the time of Napster, music artists were in long term contracts and really had no voice making an impact on emerging distribution models.
    The situation is very different today when perhaps most artists own their products outright. The time is right for copyright reform but vilifying artists like the Beastie Boys just polarizes people who should be working together for a more creative future.

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