@zoecello, @theblakemorgan, @themisreadcity, @thatkatetaylor at Global Forum on #irespectmusic, artist rights

Once again, MusicCanada’s Global Forum at Canadian Music Week in Toronto gives a major platform to creators to discuss the human rights of artists and how to deal with the Silicon Valley onslaught.  This year featured a great interview by Kate Taylor of the Globe and Mail with Zoë Keating, Blake Morgan and Scott Timberg.  Watch the full video for the most insightful commentary on our struggle you’ll hear for a long, long time.  And consider this an invitation to sign the #irespectmusic petition and support artist pay for radio play!


Also big thanks to Toronto Mayor John Tory for showing his support for artists in Toronto and beyond!

And an especially warm homecoming show by Canadian born Zoë Keating, achingly cool memories for all who heard her.

Another Artist Rights Victory: Turtles Win Class Certification in Class Action Against SiriusXM #irespectmusic

May 27, 2015 1 comment

Ruling on Turtles’ Class Certification

More on this later, but great news from the Turtles class action against SiriusXM.  The Turtles struck another blow for artist rights when the Court approved the band as representatives of the class of pre-72 artists similarly ripped off by Sirius.  The Turtles lawyers Gradstein & Marzano were also appointed class attorneys.

A good day for those who respect music.

Uncle Sugar Wants Your Kids: Google Patents a 3D Joe Camel

An anthropomorphic device, perhaps in the form factor of a doll or toy, may be configured to control one or more media devices. Upon reception or a detection of a social cue, such as movement and/or a spoken word or phrase, the anthropomorphic device may aim its gaze at the source of the social cue. In response to receiving a voice command, the anthropomorphic device may interpret the voice command and map it to a media device command. Then, the anthropomorphic device may transmit the media device command to a media device, instructing the media device to change state.

It’s a good thing that Google hasn’t gone into the cigarette business.  Quartz reports that Google is developing a robot to monitor children based on a recent patent filing:

[A] toy that monitors your every move, created by the company that already knows pretty much everything about us adults. The patent application suggests its toy robots would be able to “profile” users to interpret visual cues differently in multiple users. Presumably this would require cameras constantly capturing and processing images while the device is on, and the patent suggests that data would be stored on a Google server.

Of course, Google is already scraping data about kids from YouTube and music business marketers have totally fallen for the idea that they just can’t get along without the YouTube data honey pot.  No doubt Eric “Uncle Sugar” Schmidt is laughing his tail off at how much of an administrative burden and royalty rip off he can impose on us, all the while keeping us focused like idiots on the bright and shiny object of the YouTube thimblerig.  IT’S THE DATA, STUPID!

Remember Joe Camel?  He doesn’t hold a candle to Uncle Sugar’s teddy bear.  Or to YouTube for that matter.

Central Texas Flooding



Downtown Austin

If you would like to help out with the flooding in Central Texas, you can contribute $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999 or contact these agencies.

Austin Disaster Relief Network: http://www.adrntx.org/index.php/memorial-wknd-flood-fund/

American Red Cross of Central Texas:

Capital Area Food Bank of Texas:


Summary by Congressional Research Service of Fair Play, Fair Pay Act #irespectmusic

May 23, 2015 1 comment

IRM Marsha

As readers will know, we got the exciting news that Reps. Jerry Nadler and Marsha Blackburn have introduced the Fair Play, Fair Pay act, which is the legislation creating the right for artist to be paid for radio play.  That is, of course, the key issue that the #irespectmusic movement has been focused on for over a year.


If you weren’t able to be there, you can watch Congressman Nadler’s speech at the first #irespectmusic event held last October at The Bitter End in New York–and yes, Congressman Nadler made good on his promise!  Representatives Nadler and Blackburn are true believers in the cause, and we owe them both a debt of gratitude for being willing to stand with artists.

Now we need to help them get that bill passed.  We are up against tremendous odds–companies with over $2 trillion in market cap are opposing us.  Or what we call in Texas a fair fight.

That’s not just the National Association of Broadcasters and Pandora.  We know where they stand.  But it’s also Google and YouTube, Amazon, the Digital Media Association, the Consumer Electronics Association, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and even National Public Radio.  This is called the Orwellian “Mic Coalition” that says “In order for the music marketplace to grow and thrive, we need balance in copyright and competition policies that will benefit all participants rather than the few – the major record labels and publishers.”  This is the new rhetoric from tech companies–witness Daniel Ek’s recent statements to the New York Post about “greedy intermediaries” (you know, the ones who invest in producing the music that Spotify trades on).

Or said another way, they want to screw everyone equally.

They’re going to need every crony, every campaign contribution, every academic on the take to defeat an idea whose time has come.

Here’s a summary of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act from the Congressional Research Service–just so you can see what it is that is enough to scare companies with over $2 trillion in market power:

Introduced in House (04/13/2015)

Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015

Amends federal copyright law to extend a sound recording copyright owner’s rights to include the exclusive right to perform or authorize the performance of the recording publicly by means of any audio transmission, thereby requiring terrestrial AM/FM broadcast radio stations that play copyrighted sound recordings to pay royalties for the non-digital audio transmissions of the recordings. (Currently, sound recording copyright owners have a performance right that applies only to digital transmissions by cable, satellite, and Internet radio stations.)

Requires the Copyright Royalty Judges (CRJs) to commence a proceeding to determine royalty rates and terms for nonsubscription broadcast transmissions. Directs the CRJs, in determining royalty rates for statutory licensing of such digital or non-digital transmissions, to: (1) distinguish among different types of services, and (2) include a minimum fee for each type of service. Allows differences to be based on the quantity and nature of the use of sound recordings and the degree to which use of the service may substitute for or promote consumer purchases of phonorecords.

Requires the CRJs to establish rates that most clearly represent the rates and terms that would have been negotiated in the marketplace between a willing buyer and a willing seller. Directs the CRJs to base their decision on economic, competitive, and programming information presented by the parties, including: (1) the sound recording copyright owner’s other streams of revenue from the recordings; and (2) the relative creative contribution, technological contribution, capital investment, cost, and risk of the copyright owner and the transmitting entity.

Caps the annual royalty rate at: (1) $500 for small commercial broadcast stations with less than $1 million in revenues for the calendar year, and (2) $100 for public broadcasting stations. Exempts religious service broadcasts or incidental uses of music from royalty payment requirements.

Requires proceeds for direct licenses of transmissions otherwise licensable under the statutory license to be distributed in the same manner as statutory license proceeds. Requires payment of 45% to featured artists, 2.5% to nonfeatured musicians, and 2.5% to nonfeatured vocalists. Makes such distribution the sole payments to which featured and nonfeatured artists are entitled under a direct license.

Requires payment of performance royalties for sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, in the same manner as royalties are paid for sound recordings fixed after such date.

Requires a collective designated by the CRJs to implement a policy to accept instructions (referred to as a “letter of direction”) from a sound recording copyright owner, or from a recording artist, to distribute a portion of performance royalty payments to a producer, mixer, or sound engineer who was part of the creative process behind the sound recording.

Requires the collective to adopt special procedures for a producer, mixer, or sound engineer to receive a portion of royalties for recordings fixed before November 1, 1995, by certifying that a reasonable effort has been made to obtain a letter of direction from an artist who owns the right to receipts payable with respect to the sound recording.

Google’s Sicilian Davos: Berlusconi Welcomes Uncle Sugar Back to Italia


Remember, dear readers, you heard it here first, off the record, on the Q.T., and strictly hush, hush.

LA Confidential, by Brian Helgeland

In case you were wondering what Google was doing with the money it makes pointing searchers to massively infringing traffickers, some news:  Google returns to Sicily for its equally massively elite summer vacation, all with a nickname of suitable Google infantilism, that special brand of infantilism that’s oh, so Googley:  The Camp.

Buzzfeed tells us:

The most exclusive conference in tech is back for a second year.

Google is returning to Sicily this summer to host The Camp, a gathering of power players from technology and finance, which had its debut last year, BuzzFeed News has learned.

While Google hosts some conferences through its Ideas arm, this one stands apart. With its elite guest list and luxurious setting, the Camp is more akin to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the rarefied gathering of business and government titans held each winter in a snowy ski resort town.

Doesn’t that just reek of Uncle Sugar?

BuzzFeed News was able to gather some information from a source who received an invitation. As it was last year, the Camp is being held at the Verdura Resort, an opulent enclave of golf courses and Mediterranean indulgences on Sicily’s southwestern coast. It runs from July 26th to 30th.

Yes, they’re spending your money.  I wonder if Daniel Ek will get invited?  He should get something for that Spotify board seat.

The 3D Printed Jet Engine


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