DMCA Reform petition signed by many artists

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by BradOlson, Jun 22, 2016.

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  1. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

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  2. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe RIP Vickie Mapes Williams (aka Equipoise)

    "We want to take something bad and make it even worse!"

    The sad truth is that artists and songwriters are being hosed by the same people they have been hosed by since the birth of recorded music - the record companies. They bought into the streaming services and interposed themselves between the streaming companies and the artists.
     
  3. noname74

    noname74 Allegedly Canadian

    Location:
    .
    I like that they mixed in some of the lesser known (or not known at all) artists with the huge names to show that this is an issue for all musicians and not just the ones we've heard of.
     
  4. SuperFuzz

    SuperFuzz Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    Is that the entire text of the petition? If so, it should've included specific proposals...
     
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  5. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe RIP Vickie Mapes Williams (aka Equipoise)

    This appeal is not about facts.
     
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  6. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Senior Member

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    It is a terrible law designed to enable huge companies like Google to profit off exploiting others copyrighted material with no liability.

    Much as I enjoy the ability to hear almost any piece of popular music for free on YouTube, Google should not be ably to operate this business without the consent of the artists and composers whose works are being distributed this way, and artists and composers should be able to name their price for granting such consent.
     
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  7. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe RIP Vickie Mapes Williams (aka Equipoise)

    What artists need to do is put their music on YouTube, iTunes and every digital service without the dubous "benefit" of the existing record companies which are grabbing the lion's share of the money, as they always have.
     
  8. ralph7109

    ralph7109 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Franklin, TN
    It seems like it's going to be harder and harder to make significant money from selling music in the digital age.

    The real money will be in performances and advertising. The success (popularity, not sales) of the recorded music will just be a product that gets you to those gateways.
     
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  9. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    Excellent idea. I know one artist who salvaged his 45 year music career by utilizing quality live recordings and alternate studio versions. Sony kept removing his album cuts from sites such as Youtube, so he went through 100s of songs and chose the best recordings, which in some cases, sound better than the albums.
     
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  10. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Searching For Simplicity

    Location:
    Midwest
    Dylan? Just curious!?
     
  11. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    I could be wrong, but it seems as though many of these artists may not examining all of the implications. If these artists fight back, it could drive up prices for the consumer, which would either result in a) fewer streaming subscriptions or less music consumption or b) an increase in music piracy through methods of illegal file sharing.
     
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  12. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    No, not that huge. But it goes to show, even smaller, middle-class artists with cult followings are under scrutiny from their major labels.
     
  13. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe RIP Vickie Mapes Williams (aka Equipoise)

    The average major label contract is the closest legal equivalent to indentured servitude that exists today.

    Again, if anyone has yet to read it, Steve Albini's The Problem With Music is still relevant. Except now, the labels are wearing the skins of the streaming services to steal from the musicians. It's a classic bit of mis-direction. They blame the evil streaming services, which they are part owner of, and they took control and assured that it's business as usual.
     
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  14. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    The fact that different regulations exist in different countries around the world don't exactly help the "who owns what" issue, either. So and so owns this in the U.S., but John Doe owns it in the UK and someone else owns it in Japan, while in China it seems, everybody owns everything. The issues in this thread will never be solved until the global marketplace is a level playing field. Our neighbors to the north have rights that expire after 50 years. In the EU, it used to be 50, but they upped it to 75 a few years ago to prevent The Beatles' catalog from entering the Public Domain, but here in the U.S., it seems rights of items after 1923 will NEVER enter the Public Domain while any of us are still living (thank you very much, Sonny Bono, 1998). Is there any logic to why a Paul Whiteman recording from 1929 or a Glenn Miller recording must still have its rights protected? What does it matter, when a UK company can release the same material without paying for licenses or mechanical royalties yet an American company (where the recording originated) cannot? The incentive won't be there for an American company to license product that's already royalty-free in other countries to reissue it here because the foreign product can be brought into the U.S. for less.

    In the UK, licensing fees for material on which rights have not expired are based on the MSRP of the media (CD). Not so in the U.S. A U.S. release, whether a budget title or a full-priced title, carries the same licensing fees. There is however, a difference between a license for retail product and a direct mail release, the latter of which is cheaper. Time-Life pays less than say, Collectables, Varese Vintage, or Eric for the exact same songs. The use of album masters also costs less, which is why Collectables issued so many two-fers by the same artist. The majors don't have to involve themselves in doing vault searches for album masters as they might for obscure singles, especially if the licensee requests a true stereo master of something that was never previously issued in stereo. A label like Bear Family would spend the money to have such a search done in order to complete a deluxe box set, but the average U.S. reissue label cannot do so without a sacrifice. As an example, imagine that tapes for Tommy James & the Shondells' "Hanky Panky" exist. Rhino (now Warner Music Group) purchased Roulette several years ago, so anything Roulette had now belongs to WMG. Varese wants to use the track, but only if it can be had in stereo, so they request it from WMG and are willing to pay the licensing fee, but it will require a vault search to find such a master tape if it in fact exists. That vault search will cost Varese, but to keep the production cost of the final release within reason so that it won't affect the list price of the compilation, one or two other tracks intended for the release may have to be sacrificed, so that instead of the original 20 tracks Varese wanted to use, the final product may only contain 18. Varese would have to determine whether it's worth it to have a first-time stereo release of "Hanky Panky" or nix that in favor of the two tracks they'd have to drop. In Canada, since "Hanky Panky" was recorded in 1963, it's now in the public domain there, so first-time stereo wouldn't be a likely issue. A Canadian label like Stardust could simply lift a clean mono copy from a previously released Rhino CD and use it for free because the recording is in the Canadian public domain, although since Jeff Barry is still alive & Ellie Greenwich has only been dead for 7 years, mechanical royalties would still have to be paid to the publisher to this very day while the recording is in the Canadian public domain.

    Because of Sonny Bono, people who had no creative input writing the songs of the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s are collecting mechanical royalties from them. People are still collecting mechanical royalties from the songs of George & Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers & Hart, etc. Gershwin's "Summertime," from his American opera Porgy & Bess and "Ol' Man River" from Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II's Show Boat are still collecting performance royalties in the U.S. I'll give you a great example of a public domain advantage: new recordings of Christmas carols. They're all in the public domain, making Christmas albums cheap to produce because no mechanical royalties need to be paid to the composers and/or publishers. There's another major offense in that corporate America has bought up all the small publishers. Sony/ATV Music and Warner/Chappell Music own the bulk of the publishing rights to American hit songs by buying out small publishing firms or the catalogs of artists who formed their own publishing companies.
     
  15. ricks

    ricks Custom Title

    Location:
    127.0.0.1:443
    yep, nothing more than a mass whining.

    The DCMA ain't the issue it's the RIAA !
     
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  16. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    Exactly right. BTW, most of the listed artists are among the ultra wealthy of the industry. Amy Grant gets plenty of royalties as she owns her recorded catalog and only has the major publishers administer the publishing and has Universal distribute the catalog.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
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  17. PineBark

    PineBark formerly known as BackScratcher

    Location:
    Boston area
    Does DMCA prevent artists from starting their own record labels and negotiating their own deals?
     
  18. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    No, but the majors or large indie distributors usually do the distribution. Most artists do not have that freedom to negotiate their own deals nor do most artists have the money to do so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
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  19. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    Brad, everything you've said is absolutely correct. It would be nice to hear some other viewpoints from middle-class artists, instead of the mostly major label artists who seem to dominate this list of artists who signed the petition.
     
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