New Compulsory License & The USPTO Green Paper Roundtable at Vanderbilt Law School – May 21, 2014



A friend suggested I write a short account of the events at the Copyright Green Paper Roundtable Workshop sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force held at the Vanderbilt University Law School on May 21, 2014.  It was my privilege to serve on the three (3) roundtables that day:

Statutory Damages

The First Sale Doctrine in the Digital Environment

The Legal Framework for the Creation of Remixes

Each of the panels was followed by contribution from observers at the event and online.

Many of the panelists seemed to agree that the statutory damages for copyright infringement are too high.  The $150,000 per willful infringement screams of excess.  When penalties for copyright infringement are higher and more severe than what seem to be more serious crimes – domestic violence, abandoning a family, abuse and cruelty to animals to name a few – the public loses support and respect for copyright law.

Many of us agree that a small claims copyright court could be an improvement over the present expensive and time-protracted federal court situation.  If copyright infringement actions didn’t take so long, they wouldn’t cost so much and those who wish relief from the court would be more likely to pursue actions if the cost and time period was not as extensive.  (I’ve been in several cases that took more than 6 years – I am in Year 9 of one now.)

One songwriter expressed a strong desire to sue individuals who have downloaded his songs.  That, rather than the plight of those who are accused of infringing the copyright of an individual song by means of a new composition, was of more concern to one person on one panel.


 Compulsory License to

Sample Master Recordings

An idea I brought up seemed to get a lot of attention.  It’s an idea I developed back in 2001 and first spoke about in 2002 at the first-ever Pop Conference at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle.  I thought that a Compulsory License to Sample Master Recordings was a very good idea.  And because back in those quaint antiquated early days of the 21st century it was becoming obvious that the public was technologically empowered to become more than simple, passive consumers of music and could with great ease, modify any music, video or work of authorship that was floating around the Internet.  And it seemed that nearly all music and video from everywhere and anytime was becoming available.

A Compulsory License to Sample Master Recordings is a long overdue and obvious idea.  A fair, respectful and business-happy aspect of this license would be that a recording MUST be at least ten (10) years old.  That way, the original recording has had ample time to be sold in its original form, followed by the inevitable decline/stop sales of the original recording.  A new version will draw attention to the original version, the public benefits from having more art (or more recordings if we do not want to be complimentary) and options, and money will be generated from the rebirth of a 10 year old recording.

Why is this particular compulsory license a good idea?

1.  People are going to re-author/mess with existing music anyway.  Sometimes for fun, sometimes for ridicule (parody), sometimes to make fun of something else (satire), sometimes to escape boredom, something to do while the flight is on its final approach to landing, sometimes to do something that will keep them off the streets and out of gangs, etc.

2.  It is impossible in a free society to stop people from expressing themselves by re-expressing ideas as well as specific expression that surrounds us.  Computers, one of the most ubiquitous and simple-to-use instruments of expression, come in all sizes and shapes, but regardless their speed and size are designed to copy.  Computers make copying expression – whether it is one’s own or someone else’s expression – perfectly simple.

3.  Sampling is an old and venerable practice that dates back centuries and is common in many cultures, styles and genres of music from many locations globally.  Of course I am using the term “sampling” to include non-electronic/non-silicon based means to use preexisting expression that one did not author but wishes to re-alter and include in new expression. If Palestrina, Josquin, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz and others had had electricity, I believe they would have used it and associated technologies much as they used the best technologies of their times to compose.  If they could have sampled, they would have sampled.  Instead they simply copied, stole, ripped off, borrowed, quoted, paraphrased, paid respect and reverence to and venerated other composers who were their antecedents as well as contemporaries.  And always without consultation of preeminent forensic musicologists and attorneys.

4.  If this kind of creative or unauthorized behavior in the 21st century cannot be stopped, it could be monetized and legalized.  The creators of the new work could be required/mandated to pay for each version of the new work that is sold, just as the enormous BIG U. S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT law mandates that when a songwriter has had her song recorded, anyone is free to record that same song provided the songwriter is paid.  If FAMOUS SONGWRITER’s EGO is so large that s/he only wants her/his version to exist, then s/he better have been born outside the United States in a country that shows more respect for the songwriter and will not anyone else record her/his song, if s/he so desires.  The United States of America would rather offend the songwriter and modify one of the exclusive rights given than deprive the American public of numerous (dozens/hundreds/thousands) versions of her song.  (Actually, there is an already hard-to-believe-and-rarely-used provision in the Copyright Law of the United States that is meant to assure that any re-recording of  an author’s work is to be done nicely and not change the “fundamental character” of the original work.)

Taking away a right from creators, like I am proposing above, is nothing new.  Our Big Federal Government takes away our rights as authors/creators.  It even does so in the Copyright Law of The United States.   Section 106 gives 6 exclusive rights but then Sections 107 and others modify some of those rights so as to benefit society.


I’ve heard complaints from smart, well-intentioned songwriters and lawyers who bemoan the fact that this recorded music needs to be PROTECTED.  That the artist did not intend for this kind of expression.  But….

We do not have control of ideas and expression once they are released.  Editorial writers get slammed, authors get lampooned, musicians, actors, politicians, sports stars and celebrities get parodied, slammed and lampooned, etc.  This is what happens and fortunately in a free society, this can’t be stopped.  Far more often, however, writers get praised, elevated and worshipped as they are hailed as gifted, fearless, passionate, a singular voice for their generation,  etc.

A very good thing for these artists who are being parodied, slammed, belitted, etc. is that they already have the right to have their best version of their song/film published to the world (or where they want) with the support and backing of the very large United States federal government.  The artist has already released her/his best version and that version will live on no mater what subsequent versions are released.  Original artists are even free to re-record their song so as to acquire another copyright and/or re-imagine their new version.  Igor Stravinsky did this to take advantage of publishing and financial benefits that would stem from such actions.  And so too did The Beatles, The Beach Boys and all of those who re-release new versions of songs/compositions/works of authorship, greatest hits compilations and more.

I will delve into the specifics of my proposal for a Compulsory License to Sample Master Recording in another post but for now the appeal of hiking at Radnor Lake in Nashville, Tennessee (3 or 4 miles from my home) beckons.  Loudly.

Happy Sunday, June 1, 2014


Dexter Not Only Murders, He Steals Intellectual Property – Part 1


Referencing Song Titles in Dexter

Dexter Not Only Murders, He Steals Intellectual Property (“IP” to its friends) – Part 1

Everything, Everywhere, Anytime, Anyway

Publishers Might Not Mind Murder but Theft Of Intellectual Property?  That Should Lead To Murder.  (Theft of IP – now we’re talking real crime!)

I am very new to the great Showtime original series, DEXTER.  I “cut the cord,” got Netflix and am now a proud Netflix sheep/minion who watches television based to a large degree on what’s available on Netflix.

I was attracted to Netflix because I loved the nature of the Netflix beast  –  for a reasonable monthly fee, we could watch/ingest anything and everything we wanted, when, where and how we wanted  – via 55 inch television, 27 inch iMac, iPad with or without retina display, iPhone, Google Glass or wrist watch, although those latter two are not widely available on Earth as of late December 2013.  But Netflix is part of what’s right about my intellectual property (IP) demands for life in the 21st century.  My demands are fourfold:

  1. E V E R Y T H I N G
  2. E V E R Y W H E R E
  3. A N Y T I M E
  4. A N Y W A Y

Netflix does not provide EVERYTHING – every piece of intellectual property (IP) – but it does provide a reasonable amount of IP/visual/audio programming aka works of authorship.

Netflix does very well at fulfilling the EVERYWHERE of my demand at least in that my EVERYWHERE demand is limited to perceiving Netflix everywhere in the United States.

Netflix is nearly perfect at fulfilling the ANYTIME.  If Netflix has it, I can view it at ANYTIME.  One of the problems, however, is that some of their streamed IP/works of authorship that are available have an artificially-imposed limited shelf life.  Many Netflix movies, for example, are scheduled to die/evaporate/shrivel up on January 1, 2014.  There are probably typical business and licensing reasons for the shriveling/evaporation/death-ing and the reasons for these non-essential, human-ordained killings are likely to make sense to Netflix’ shareholders, but in my role as demanding and don’t-tell-me-no customer, I don’t care.  It is the 21st century and those excuses need to be as obsolete as premature death of something that needn’t die.  If Netflix or any other company will not give the customer what s/he wants, someone else will or another avenue, or four or five avenues to that IP, will open.

Netflix is doing very well with respect to ANYWAY as Netflix makes their content available across many platforms.  I have blithely and propitiously watched Netflix programming on my

55 inch

27 inch

13 inch

9.7 inch

4 inch


(The numbers above correspond respectively to the following gadgets in this room:  my JVC TV, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad 5, iPhone 5.)


The Showtime original series, DEXTER, lasted for eight (8) seasons – each season featured twelve (12) episodes.

I was immediately intrigued by the series because of its extremely original setting and theme – a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, Dexter Morgan, a hard working, principled but troubled protagonist who always operates with a “dark passenger” by his side (Dexter’s evil inner being).  In most episodes, Dexter acted as a vigilante who would capture bad people who seemed guilty of one or more murders (or child abuse, etc.).  Often these seemingly guilty murderers had been found not guilty for what is commonly known in popular society/popular media (not by lawyers!) as “technicalities” – evidence was obtained illegally, the search warrant contained a misspelling, etc.

During the first season, I was amused by the titles of episodes especially because many were references to songs, lyrics or movies.  I feel strongly that creators in contemporary cultures should feel free to acknowledge, borrow, reference, copy and transform preexisting material – in these examples, lyrics or text.  The titles of episodes in DEXTER that have been referenced do not constitute any type of legal problem.  The specifics of copyright/intellectual property law, with respect to referencing of titles, need not and will not be addressed in this post.


S O N G S   (and  Dexter)

Many episodes of DEXTER are titled after titles and/or lyrics from popular music songs.  Stated a few other ways:

DEXTER references song titles

DEXTER copies song titles

DEXTER steals song titles

DEXTER misappropriates song titles

DEXTER appropriates song titles

DEXTER plunders song titles

DEXTER rips off song titles

DEXTER thieves song titles

(I use the word, “thieves,” as a verb above, humorously, knowing that “thieves” is NOT a verb.)

“Referencing” song titles is the most appropriate verb above.

What follows is my take on DEXTER episodes that reference song titles.


DEXTER – Season 1 Episode 4 –  Let’s Give The Boy A Hand.   “Let’s give the boy a hand” was a lyric/phrase from the 1984 song, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” recorded by Deniece Williams.

Deniece Williams  –  Let’s Hear It For The Boy  (1984)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all six (6) words of the Dexter title are the same as the lyric of the song.

Many would sue for copyright infringement because two (2) of the three (3) words are the same, and the title of this film.


DEXTER – Season 1 Episode 5 –  Love American Style.  “Love American Style” was a television show that aired from 1969-1974.

The Love American Style theme song  (1969)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all three (3) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song (and television show).


DEXTER – Season 1 Episode 6 – Return To Sender.   “Return To Sender” was a 1962 Elvis Presley hit song.

Elvis Presley  –  Return To Sender  (1962)

“…(using a forever stamp), I gave a letter to the postman, he put it in his sack, bright and early next morning he brought my letter back…”

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all three (3) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


DEXTER – Season 3 Episode 3 –  The Lion Sleeps Tonight.  The long, rich and complex history of  “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is discussed in the Wikipedia entry.

Well-known versions of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” include:

The Tokens  –  The Lion Sleeps Tonight  (1961)

Robert John  –  The Lion Sleeps Tonight  (1972)

They Might Be Giants  –  The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)  (1992)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all four (4) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


DEXTER – Season 3 Episode 10  –  Go Your Own Way.  “Go Your Own Way” is likely in reference/deference to the Fleetwood Mac song about the breakup of a romantic couple as this Dexter episode is about the pending breakup of “Dexter Morgan” and “Miguel Prado,” Dexter’s brief murder accomplice, in this pivotal DEXTER episode.

Fleetwood Mac  –  Go Your Own Way  (1976)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all four (4) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


DEXTER – Season 4 Episode 3  –  Blinded By The Light. 

Manfred Mann  –  Blinded By The Light  (1976)

Bruce Springsteen  –  Blinded By The Light  (1973)

“Blinded By The Light” was written and recorded initially by Bruce Springsteen.  Manfred Mann’s cover of Blinded By The Light was more commercially successful, as well as an example of pretentious art-rock, for which you can thank Manfred Mann or not.)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all four (4) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


DEXTER – Season 4 Episode 6 – If I Had A Hammer.  “If I Had A Hammer” was written in 1949  by the great American folksinger/activist/humanist Pete Seeger.  Below are two (2) famous versions – the Peter, Paul & Mary 1963 live performance at the Newport Folk Festival, and the original 1950 recording by Pete Seeger & The Weavers:

Pete Seeger/The Weavers  –  If I Had A Hammer (1950)

Peter, Paul & Mary  –  If I Had A Hammer  (1963)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all five (5) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.

When it comes to DEXTER, a hammer can be an effective killing weapon, not just a metaphorical hammer that bludgeons one’s competitors (think AppleSamsung and other litigating bodies) but the REAL thing  –  the means by which one human murders another human.


DEXTER – Season 5 Episode 9 – Teenage Wasteland.  “Teenage Wasteland” refers to the 1971 song by The Who entitled, “Baba O’Riley,” with its chorus phrase, “it’s only teenage wasteland.”

The Who  –  Baba O’Riley  (1971)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because both words of the Dexter episode are the same as the lyrics of Baba O’Riley.


DEXTER – Season 6 Episode 5 – The Angel Of Death.  “The Angel Of Death,” is most likely a reference to the famous Hank Williams song.

Hank Williams  –  Angel Of Death  (posthumously released in 1954)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all four (4) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


DEXTER – Season 7 Episode 9 – Helter Skelter.

“Helter Skelter” most likely refers to the 1968 Beatles song Helter Skelter from “The Beatles” better known as The White Album.

“Helter Skelter” is also the name of a carnival ride – an “amusement park ride with a slide built in a spiral around a high tower.

In 1713, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the poem, Helter Skelter.

Many would sue for copyright infringement because both words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the Beatles song.


DEXTER – Season 7 Episode 11 – Do You See What I See?  “Do You See What I See?” likely refers to the 1962 Christmas song, “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Bing Crosby  –  Do You Hear What I Hear  (1962)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because four (4) of the six (6) words of the Dexter episode are the same, and the title of this song.


DEXTER – Season 8 Episode 9 – Make Your Own Kind Of Music.  “Make Your Own Kind Of Music” likely refers to the 1969 “Mama” Cass Elliot song, “Make Your Own Kind Of Music.”

“Mama” Cass Elliot  –  Make Your Own Kind Of Music  (1969)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all six (6) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


In future posts about DEXTER, I will discuss the referencing of movies, television shows and other cultural artifacts.


2013 Future of Music Coalition – My Tweets, Rants & Reactions (Part 1 of 2)


I thought before too much time passes, I should collect my tweets and comments about The 2013 Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit held in Washington DC October 28-29, 2013.  The 2013 World Series was happening at the same time, so FMC was not my top priority.  Taking notes and tweeting about an event is also not my favorite activity but one that I occasionally delve into. (Grammar Girl believes we should be able to end sentences with prepositions, in case you were wondering abut that last sentence.)

This will be fun to collect and NUMBER tweets.  I had no idea that I wrote 75 tweets (shown below) and more in the next posts.  I wrote more at one part of the program but will not include these as I was writing about the worst presentation I had ever seen at an FMC event.  (If you are curious about it, you could go search my tweets from October 28-29, 2013.  I won’t and I don’t think you should either.)

It is important to note when reading tweets below that Peter Jenner has a great British accent and would usually be the smartest guy in the room.

1.  Peter Jenner is dead on. It has to be made easier to access music. The scandal is that Spotify is the only best access to music #fmc13

2.  Peter Jenner: “Anyone who thinks that we can control the Internet is up their ass.” #FMC13

3.  Peter Jenner – we have to think “collective” in order to create a means by which more are paid. (Socialism! Hah hah!) #fmc13

Like I said. The man’s lovable RT @emh2625: Peter Jenner: “Anyone who thinks that we can control the Internet is up their ass.” #FMC13

4.  Peter Jenner: “Anyone who thinks that we can control the Internet is up their ass.” #FMC13

5.  Peter Jenner – we have to think “collective” in order to create a means by which more are paid. (Socialism! Hah hah!) #fmc13

6.  Are you sure you want to be in the music biz? Be extraordinary. Do not sharecrop. Don’t sell copyright unless price is high. #fmc13

7.  Make community, support & be supported. Learn to pay fair wage & get fair wage. If you don’t like status quo, change it. #fmc13

8.  Learn you’ll be popular & not know why. Learn you’ll be UN-popular & not know why. Love music. (Erin McKeown) #fmc13

9.  Music business should be a part of music instruction. (EMH – do 4 hrs, not 8, 2 not 4 in a practice room-Learn Business & more) #fmc13

I had to add that ditty to my tweet as I think time has long passed when musicians, songwriters, and music students in music colleges and conservatories can expect to work 100% on their craft and the gorgeous invisible substance of sound and music.  Musicians, whether they want to acknowledge it or not, are involved in the world of business (who pays for these habits of theirs?) and technology (the body is tech, instruments are tech, electronics are tech, computers are tech, etc.).  Musicians need to develop their skills of conning people into thinking they (the musicians) are needed and should receive money for playing and/or writing music.  These skills have to be developed with an eye and ear for social media, business, technology, government and new means of touching the world.  I added “government” in that sentence because if it wasn’t for a very large and powerful central federal government and its blueprint plans, i.e., the Constitution, there would be no copyright law and no basis for federal support for authors and inventors.  And with the status of laws and litigation always in flux, interested parties need to continue to lobby their government to keep acting on their behalf.

10.  Jeremy Peters: Copyright is broken but other than Creative Commons, what is being done to fix it? #fmc13

11.  We’re moving from culture of owners to that of renters (of intellectual property – IP) #FMC13

12.  The conversation of “you are all thieves” to those not paying for IP is useless. Reminsicent of Federal government shutdown. #fmc13

13.  Artists who have been burned so badly by the miscreants in the music business – go out on their own is an option #fmc13

14.  Stream of income helps buy new gear, but this is not a solution, just an income stream #fmc13

15.  Get rid of minimal fee (for mechanical royalty) & concentrate on the amount of time is used in a composition or film #fmc13

16.  Methodology that can fairly compensate artists, writers. Amount of time is more realistic and fairer. #fmc13

17.  A new mechanical license proposal that is clear to artists, publishers, lawyers & the courts is needed. Modernization. #fmc13

18.  Songwriters Assn of Canada Prez has introduced himself as “sad Eddie.” Because of the Cardinals WS loss? Songwriters’ prospects? #fmc13

19.  New models gaining traction (Spotify). Legit, paid. Pandora too. Music creators embrace these models (EMH: not the RIAA) #fmc13

I think it is very bad to always ignore, then underestimate, misunderstand, litigate and then try to legislate against new technologies (a la RIAA & MPAA versus every new tech toy). The technologies always win.  

20.  Uh-oh. We’re hearing “I love the Internet” (“some of my best friends are black” comes to mind…) Then comes the HOWEVER. #fmc13

21.  “However” is Canadian for “but.” Some arithmetic is coming “the nitty gritty.” What’ll follow is lots of Internet plays & tiny money #fmc13

22.  For the umpteenth time & to paraphrase Carl Sagan “billions & billions of” music spins & zero money. #fmc13

23.  To legitimate creators there is no difference between piracy & the legitimate new services. (Oh God) That attitude will help. #fmc13

24.  Rich people get richer by these new legit services while musicians stay poor. Music creators need a new narrative & new initiative #fmc13

25.  “Adopt fair trade” principles for musicians. (Good!) Next he describes the new categories. Now he’s bemoaning SOPA. (Glad it lost!) #fmc13

26.  To put all our eggs into the US Congress basket is a bad idea. They were crushed by the crushing of SOPA. #fmc13

27.  Fair trade criteria that is fair to consumers & businesses. Certify biz as fair trade coffee is done. Fair principles for creators #fmc13

28.  What is fair compensation for creators? “fair & sustainable” Need for transparency in all collective societies, pubs, labels. #fmc13

29.  Shouldn’t everyone be transparent in all the facets? (Yes, but keep dreaming, I’m afraid. This is the music industry…) #fmc13

29.  Want transparency? Good but when did that ever happen in the past? Too many speak as if the past was great & now is Evil Google #FMC13

30.  Canadians are not calling for new legislation or regulation. They are being pro-active. But pro-active in what way? Huh? #fmc13

31.  Canadians songwriting group is being pro-active. But pro-active in what way? By applying a “fair trade” sticker? No law, no reg? #fmc13

32.  Music Creators Alliance & Songwriters Guild of America are behind these past ideas (from my tweets). #FMC13

@future_of_music Thank you! I hadn’t heard the Happy and Sads from earlier! Being a Bostonian, first I think baseball & Boston & St. Louis!

I appreciated the FMC informing me of the “Happy” and “Sad” humorous labels from earlier.  (This was only the second FMC Policy Summit I’ve missed.  They are great events – much better in person –  and I hope to be at the next one.)

33.  Now we are able to hear the audio of FMC stream. Thank you, you tech people who turned it up to 11. #FMC13

34.  Small broadcasters have no clout when it comes to licensing. One-stop shopping (licenses) is essential to run music services/streams #FMC13

35.  Are exclusive deals (direct licensing) harmful to smaller broadcasters (I think so). Can anti-trust issues get in the way? #FMC13

36.  Good news about direct licensing – they can license around the consent decree. #FMC13

37.  Direct licenses problem – transparency! Usually there are non-disclosure agreements. Songwriters are kept in the dark. #FMC13

38.  Publisher can cut off payments to a songwriter during a dispute.” – Sad Eddie (of Canada) #FMC13

39.  Non-disclosure agreements hurt (prevent) transparency. #FMC13

And now, Jim Griffin.  When Jim Griffin speaks, I listen.  Only fools wouldn’t.

40.  What would direct licensing be on the entire music atmosphere? “Fragmentation is cancer.” – Jim Griffin #FMC13

41.  There needs to be a draft-draft musicians into publishing agreements like athletes are drafted by teams! – Jim Griffin #FMC13

42.  Jim Griffin is joking (somewhat) but his point is that there is power in unity. (Sounds like pro-union too.) #FMC13

43.  When athletes work together to get as much money as they can, musicians should do the same. But there’s antirust to prevent it! #FMC13

44.  Why is there only one (1) antitrust department? Excellent funny question relayed by Jim Griffin! (power via unity is the point!) #FMC13

45.  Musicians especially those early in career need better legal representation. – Sad Eddie (of Canada) #FMC13

46.  Why someone who has significant part of market then pulls out is now exempt from legal restraints? (issue in direct licensing) #FMC13

47.  Excellent and educational analogies with sports teams and unions presented. #FMC13 (EMH – We have to think this through and change.)

48.  Sound recording (SR) is not an exclusive license It is statutory right. Recordings cannot be withheld. #FMC13

49.  Ann Chaitovitz explaining SR & Sound Exchange. Perf right is split 50/50 – 50% musicians, 50% record label/SR owner. Copyright basics #FMC13

50.  Direct licensing by a label could (would/will/does?) result in keeping money from the artist/performers. #FMC13

51.  Union musicians until digital performance right (DPRSRA) & Sound Exchange were never paid for their contribution to sound recording #FMC13

52.  USA still does not have a terrestrial right for musicians (musicians are not paid when music is played on AM/FM) unlike rest of world #FMC13

53.  Musicians should be wary of the “workaround” that big broadcasters are doing by direct licensing. Big Radio wants to keep govt out. #FMC13

54.  U.S. “Green Paper” recommends a terrestrial right for sound recordings (SR). Terrestrial radio has huge advantage over digital radio #FMC13

Do you want to read the aforementioned “Green Paper?”  It is called, “Copyright Policy, Creativity, And Innovation In The Digital Economy” and was authored by the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force in July 2013.  (If you are still reading and still interested, click on the following link and the 112-page “Copyright Policy, Creativity, And Innovation In The Digital Economy” will open. This enormous work is several other subjects for several other times.

55.  Is Pandora in favor of wanting a performance royalty for terrestrial radio? (Surely as it somewhat levels playing field) #FMC13

56.  Pandora might be paying over 50% of their revenues as opposed to others that pay much less. What is rationale for rate setting? #FMC13

57.  Exact same radio signal but different radio companies pay between 0 and 70% of revenue. Insane! What is the logic/rationale? #FMC13

58.  Argument about any study on this subject. Would be good to have written facts in front of the panel & audience. #FMC13

59.  For clarification, “Sad Eddie” as he has humorously been calling himself, is President-Songwriters Assn of Canada #FMC13

60.  Praise for US Copyright Law for Recapture Rights. YEA! Songwriters & musicians are able to recapture their copyright after 35 yrs #FMC13

61.  Recapture is the only country in the world that lets one change a contract after 35 years. #FMC13

62.  Better Call Saul! Ann Chaitovitz – 25 yrs after you’ve created something, call a lawyer (and get things fixed!) #FMC13

I use every possible occasion to mention Saul Goodman, an attorney who thinks quicker and acts more decisively than most and always has that 6th & 7th suggestion ready for you if you didn’t love the initial several.

63.  Best point yet – we’re in this mess because we deregulated radio in that damn awful Telecom Act of 1995 (bad Pres. Clinton bill) #FMC13

The Let’s Blow Up Clear Channel so that we can Homogenize the United States further and NEUTER Regional Radio and Music Act, i.e. The Telecommunications Act of 1996, did just what I described. 

64.  “Lifting the lid…”letting in antiseptic sunshine” (TRANSPARENCY) would be most helpful. #FMC13

65.  Best way to improve licensing- record & enumerate a globally-unique song identifier (VIN Vehicle Iden #) – Jim Griffin #FMC13

66.  If this (music) is property, why isn’t there a VIN or globally-unqiue identifier? Excellent idea by Jim Griffin (yea metadata!) #FMC13

67.  Musicians need level playing field. Can’t compete w/broadcasters. Musicians (serfs) must bow to broadcasters. #FMC13

68.  Both are true – musicians are not being paid via AM/FM radio and need the right, and some musicians fear testifying before Congress #FMC13

69.  It’s understandable that lowly musicians would fear speaking out against radio as radio can stop playing them. True? #FMC13

70.  Why is an audience member afraid to mention the huge radio station (for being against AM/FM performance license)? #FMC13

71.  Aud member: Many small club owners have stopped having live music b/c of high royalty rates via ASCAP, BMI, SESAC high rates. #FMC13

72.  You have to pay for the music or you won’t get much more of it. – Jim Griffin (last & great comments of panel) #FMC13

73.  The first Future of Music Honors dinner will be tonight. Sadly, I’ll be here in Nashville instead of Washington DC #FMC13

74.  4 bipartisan politicians have reauthorized FCC to create a new class of low power radio stations. Will be honored tonight at FMC #FMC13

75.  Congratulations to my friends Ann Chaitovitz & John Simson who will be honored tonight by Future of Music Coalition at Honors awards #FMC13

Soon I will publish

FMC – My Tweets, Rants & Reactions, Part 2

Loathing, Litigating & Legislating; Adventures in Piracy & Final Thoughts about 2013 New Music Seminar


This will be my last RECAPTURE-OF-MY-TWEETS post for now – that is, the last RECAPTURE of the 2013 New Music Seminar.  The over-arching theme – that the rapid growth of  technology is a fact of life that those in the music and entertainment industry must confront – continued.  The creators of audio and visual have always benefitted from new technology especially after they loathed, litigated and legislated against it.


1.  3 Trends in Digital Music – Social networks, BitTorrent trends, What drives sales? #nms13

(Trends in digital music were examined from these three (3) perspectives:  Social networks, BitTorrent trends and What Drives Sales.  Fortunately at this event in New York City, accounts of BitTorrent usage were dispassionate and objective unlike in the past, in cities that were not named, “New York,” when speaker after speaker merely railed about the evils of the Internet, technology and BitTorrents.  Surprisingly, railing against the Internet, technology and BitTorrents is still expected and favored  in some circles.)

2.  Percentages FB 58, Twitter 35.5, YouTube 5.4. Most online fans – USA, UK, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia. #nms13

(The three most common means of finding music online were Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and in those percentages:  58%, 35.5% and 5.4%.  The five countries with the largest number of music fans were the USA, UK, Brazil, Canada and Indonesia.  Of course, the social media services and amount and location of online fans is extremely fluid and results will change soon.)

3.  Fans who follow online vs fans who listen online #nms13

(Fans who follow artists online are more passionate than those who are online merely to listen.  The term, “super fan,” is used to describe the former.  Artists prefer superfans as superfans are superspenders.)

4.  BitTorrent trends – more and increasing. Huge growth in movies, film, TV, then Adult (yes, that stuff) #nms13

(That term, “adult,” means something other than a person who is 18 or 21 years of age.  Adult entertainment is more visual than audible.  Adult entertainment is more widespread and of more financial value than the audible/music I prefer.  Again, dispassionate dialog about the facts of Internet usage continued.)

5.  BitTorrent is increasing more in underdeveloped countries. Fastest growth – Brazil. Fastest shrinking – USA #nms13

(Getting intellectual property (IP) for free is extremely common in poor countries and countries that are moving out of poverty and developing a middle class.  The United States was a nation that violated IP laws and agreements dating from the time we were The Colonies, in the same manner as other developing countries do so in 2013.  Accusing developing countries of “piracy” is not new.  Economic conditions of developing nations contribute to lax copyright, patent and trademark enforcement.)

(Someone at #nms13 defined piracy – I regret that I do not remember who said this or exactly how it was said – as the name for practices that have not yet been monetized.  My first adventures in piracy came from using a reel-to-reel tape recorder, then progressed to the lethal videocassette tape recorder (VCR), then to my M A S S I V E L Y large dual cassette boombox tape recorder (this was a Weapon of Mass Destruction that somehow the music industry survived) then my incredibly powerful Apple Macintosh 512K computer with its drive that could read singe-sided floppy-disks that could store an enormous (400K) amount of data (on the one side of the disk that could function) and best of all its ability to copy digit “0” and digit “1” (a computer does “COPY” function best), to better and smaller (and larger) gadgets.

(A great amount of “piracy” becomes “business.”  Technology threatens business as usual until it becomes business as usual.)

6.  Greatest reason for growth in BitTorrent? Fewer legal options available. (Remember Napster?) #nms13

(The importance of legal options cannot be underestimated.  Millions have and will continue to pay for services that are “free” IF the pay services have value and are easy to use.  The best example is bottled water in a country that has significant infrastructure that can deliver water – the United States and every 1st and 2nd world nation, for example.  Water will always be free yet millions pay millions of dollars to buy “free” water.  Millions feel, obviously, that is it worth paying for the convenience and added value of bottled water.)

7.  SoundCloud is fastest growing (more than FB, TW, etc as place to hear music) #nms13

(SoundCloud is extremely popular because it fulfills an important need and does so with such simplicity and clarity.)

8.  Search, file sharing, Global LastFM plays are three most frequent uses of Internet internationally. #nms13

9.  Conclusions: Collecting fans does not necessarily convert to sales. Some BitTorrent users are good customers. #nms13

10.  “I heard myself on the radio and quit singing. My producers were the worst in world.” David Kahne (great dry humor) #nms13

AND THEN CAME THIS important BREAKING NEWS (again relayed by my tweets):

11.  Just filed to ESPN: The Patriots are signing QB Tim Tebow and expect him to be in minicamp tomorrow

12.  I was in Manhattan when Iran kidnapped our diplomats & now in Manhattan wearing a Red Sox polo shirt when Patriots sign Tebow. One’s tragic.

(I meant to leave that silly thought that one of these events is “tragic,” dangling, not quite like a dangling participle but dangling nonetheless.  I looked forward to friends’ and readers’ in-put and put-in they did.  Tim Tebow news seems to be bigger, more important and impactful than even Kardashian news.  But as a Boston sports fan, I knew that this non-important story would rock the sports world and give a great hype boost to the coming NFL season, as if the NFL ever needs more hype.)

(I was on the steps of the legendary Biltmore Hotel in Manhattan on Sunday, November 4, 1979 when I read on the front page of the New York TImes that a mob in Iran had overrun our embassy and taken 53 of our citizens hostage.  That was the beginning of a 444-day long odyssey and an event that made life more complicated and dangerous for our citizens who would ever travel to the Middle East, then and now.  Yes, this was a bigger event than a professional football team signing a 3rd-string born again Christian quarterback.)

And now, BACK TO #nms13 :

13.  Points from this session: 1) Producer has to tell the artist s/he is great. 2) producer must be a psychiatrist #nms13

14.  Producer’s most troublesome distractions? Artist’s manager, artist’s record label. #nms13


For my next post, I want to turn to this short article a friend posted on Facebook:  The 30 Harshest Musician-on-Musician Insults in History as I believe the article missed the greatest, most effective and significant insults, and I am leaving aside even greater vitriol that has taken place in Classical music/art music.


Continue reading “Loathing, Litigating & Legislating; Adventures in Piracy & Final Thoughts about 2013 New Music Seminar”

Managing Music Artists – My Tweets from 2013 NMS


2013 New Music Seminar

M A N A G E R S      M O V E M E N T 

(June 10, 2013)

The second session of the New Music Seminar I attended was the Managers Movement.  The speakers were “Blue” Williams (President, Family Tree Entertainment), Jake Gold (President & CEO, The Management Trust), Lee Trink (President, Dare Might Entertainment), Robert Fernandez (CEO, Famous Artist Music & Management), Dean Raise (Artist Manager, C3 Management), Jason Foster (Owner, We Are Free) and  Steve Rennie (Founder, Renman Music & Business).  I did not look at my program so I did not use their names in my tweets.

What follows are my tweets about the panel.  Text in parentheses were my opinions and not necessarily those of the speakers.  The italicized text that follows some of the tweets below are my comments on specific points of the panel.


1.  Good songwriting panel. If artist works a song hard & will make the song, it’s ok for songwriter to part with 10% publishing #nms13

2.  Linda Ronstadt was an artist content w/being an artist. She didn’t seek part of writer’s publishing. #nms13 Many aren’t this ethical

(Elvis Presley was mentioned as one who would record and expect a piece of the publishing pie in return.  He was forgiven by the panel because “HE’S ELVIS,” and if St. Elvis of Tupelo (not their term for the Deity) records your song, your career has gotten a big bounce.  It was and will always be OK to give Elvis some of your publishing in exchange for the favor of recording one of your songs.)

3.  Songwriters need to work on their weaknesses by seeking out those who can help/instruct them in their weak area. (Yea to education) #nms13

4.  Mali Music is getting tons of praise from many on this panel. #MaliMusic #nms13

(MaliMusic were thrilled that I hashtagged them and started a correspondence with me.)

5.  At Managers discussion – it’s not a new business, it’s still getting clients message out but with many new ways. #nms13

6.  Many more albums are being made but just because they can be made doesn’t mean they should be made. #nms13

7.  Record label functions still need to get done but they can be done by non-record people. #nms13

8.  @Nigeria17 @TeamMaliMusic I look forward to getting to know your music better. Thanks for the mention. #nms13

9.  Band doing it on their own. Should they work with label? Depends on what label can do for them. #nms13

10.  How to get band to “next level?” TOUR nonstop. (That’s simple & ages old advice.) #nms13


11.  Bands have more power as “walls of distribution come down.” Labels’ power has deceased. (Obvious in 2013.) #nms13

12.  Labels look to and respect managers more now. Managers have to work harder, therefore be more select about who to manage. #nms13

13.  Separate deals in each country in order “to keep everyone on their toes.” Management advice in dealing with bands. #nms13

14.  Politics of labels can subjugate bands’ and labels’ interests. (A constant truth) #nms13

15.  Labels should care about a release rather than “take a shot in the dark.” #nms13

16.  One should manage a band one likes b/c one can get money back, but not time. #nms13

(Although perhaps this is “touchy feely” or touchy feely to the extreme, it is sage advice.  Wicked sage as we say in Boston.  One can make money and “get back” money but even with scifi, Google and tech, we still cannot get back time.  Yet.)

17.  Managers need to get fans attentions to do more than just click. How can you get them to spend time & attention? #nms13

18.  90% of band’s & manager’s money comes from live shows & merch. That has been and will always be. (World without end, amen.)

19.  Hip hop world is complete opposite of pop in generating revenue – they can’t do as many live dates. Turn to clothing etc lines. #nms13

20.  Labels are clueless about marketing to those over 30 and have given up (spoken by hip hop manager) #nms13


21.  What are best new means to promote bands? Twitter, social media etc. but it is a struggle with destroying all mystery. #nms13

(The hip hop manager made a great point – that one can overdue and over-share via social media, and that this can turn the artist into an average, everyday uninteresting person.)

22.  Keep mystery of a band. Have good relationships but maintain some mystery and distance. How to have mystery but familiarity? #nms13

23.  Artistry, celebrity and fame have become blurred. As one learns everything about an artist, than the artist becomes just average. #nms13

24.  Many artists more likely to post photos on Instagram than use Twitter. Photos are better, easier and maintain some privacy. #nms13

(Instagram is “instant” (duh) and harder to do wrong than using too many words (ha ha ha) of Twitter.  140 characters have hurt and nearly destroyed careers.  My wild guess, based only on my own work and observations and not any formal study, is that Instagram has not hurt as many artists and celebrities as Twitter, even if a picture tells a thousand words.)

25.  Be very mindful of what you post on social media sites as the social media companies own everything you post. #nms13

(Facebook has one the clearest “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” (SRR) that is tantamount to a terms of service (TOS) or end users license agreement (EULA).  It’s always “fun” to have even more acronyms enter the public discourse, isn’t it?  I expect to see a DWWS (Do What We Say) agreement or from the film, “Shawshank Redemption,” YABTM (Your Ass Belongs To Me) agreement.)

26.  Very good quote of Seth Godin – important to direct email as you own that and better financial results. #nms13

(I have found the study of technology, social media, mobile devices, and communication, as well as the business and legal issues surrounding these nouns, much more helpful in understanding the present state of the music and entertainment industry.  I’ve always believed that outsiders bring more objectivity, creativity and original thinking and actions to a field.  Famously, it took an outsider, Steve Jobs, to show how a digital music market should work.)

27.  Managers want to keep labels from owning artist’s social media. (I hope managers can succeed but artists have messed this up) #nms13

28.  Do not find managers by looking on Facebook. Referrals are good but it is hard to find a manager. Start “working in your scene” #nms13

29.  Artist needs to be patient when trying to find a manager. Build your name by hard work. Book yourself, etc. #nms13

30.  (Be suspicious of manager who seeks out and wants to manage an unknown artist. I see this happen frequently. Had to write this.) #nms13

(This was not discussed but I have seen unscrupulous manager-wannabes, publishers and others go after young, naive artists and bands.)


31.  Don’t solicit a manager by Twitter. Very lazy. (Hip hop manager who hates the laziness and Twitter for this.)

32.  Artists sometimes think the hard work was making the album. But the hard work comes next (touring etc). #nms13

33.  Why should a manager care more about the artist’s career than does the artist? #Lazyisbad. #nms13

34.  “Do you have 10 years of NO in you?” Before you will get recognized? You = The Artist #nms13

35.  Most big artists began playing to empty rooms. (Cream on their first US tour.). #nms13

36.  In music there is very serious ADD. “The Internet is wafer thin.” One needs to play shows & get attention. #nms13

37.  Led Zeppelin never played on TV because their manager knew they wouldn’t be very good on TV. #nms13 #Knowyourstrengths

(Led Zeppelin didn’t look good on television?  Have you ever seen a more unhappy Eric Clapton and Cream on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour?  They are lip and instrument syncing to Anyone For Tennis?, one of their three (3) breakup songs from their farewell “Goodbye” album.  This silly yet horrifying YouTube clip ends just as a few frogs are about to begin croaking the words, “Cream, Cream, Cream.”  Unfortunately the frog croaks have been cut from this upload but I have the original and will attest under oath that even the frogs are unhappy about their croaking performance with Cream on a Sunday night television comedy show.)

38.  Manager needs to be able to leave ego at the door. Carry equipment, keep learning, do every job – this is vital! #nms13

39.  “The Truth shall set you free. By that I mean the truth will get you fired!” (in management, spoken by hip hop manager) #nms13

40.  “We are not dimmer switchers. We are lights on, lights off!” #nms13. Managers’ need to be decisive.


41.  Best artists do not have a backup plan. (Tough advice for many.). #nms13

42.  Kid Rock had his ass kicked for 10 years – lots of failure. “He start at the ass end of it.” – Kid Rock’s manager #nms13

43.  Again, to become a manager, do every task imaginable to learn the nuts and bolts and what needs to be done. #nms13


My next post will be my final comments on 2013 New Music Seminar.  #nms2013

State of the Music Industry – My Tweets from 2013 NMS

twitter-bird-blue-on-white 1

New Music Seminar

S T A T E    O F    T H E    I N D U S T R Y      P A N E L    

(Monday, June 10, 2013)

On Monday, June 10, 2013, I attended the first full day of the 2013 New Music Seminar.  I brought my iPhone 5 and my iPad.  I had not planned on tweeting the event or even one panel but things changed and I started to tweet.  It was not the best environment for tweeting because…

There was no wifi for the audience.  No doubt, that could have been a factor in preventing many from tweeting – why should someone use up valuable metered data just to tweet about an event?  Tweeting is still far from the norm at a music industry conference – by that I mean only a minority of an audience or participants in music industry events tweet about the events at the event.

The first session I attended was the first of the conference – State Of The Industry.  The speakers were Frank Cooper (Global CMO Consumer Engagement, Pepsi Co), John Sykes (President, Clear Channel) and Rio Caraeff (CEO, Vevo).  I did not look at my program so I did not use their names in my tweets.

What follows are my tweets about the panel.  Text in parentheses were my opinions and not necessarily of any of the speakers.  The italicized text that follows some of the tweets below are my comments now on specific points of the panel or additional points of mine.



1.  At #nms13 at the New Yorker Hotel. Much better conf venue than Webster Hall but no still wifi. Little Korea & Hell’s Kitchen, however.

(I speak at every IBS Radio & Webcasting Conference in NYC each year.  One of the benefits is that the NYC IBS conferences are held at the Hotel Pennsylvania which is at the edge of Little Korea.  To me, this means getting to have great bibimbap for lunch.  The New Yorker Hotel is at 34th & 8th, a block or two from Little Korea.  And Hell’s Kitchen includes my favorite NYC Brazilian bar, Brazil Grill, three blocks from where I used to live.)

2.  State of the industry w/speakers from PepsiCo, VEVO and Clear Channel. Frank Cooper of Pepsi not using slides – yea! #nms13

(I have a strong bias toward the non-music companies and how they use and promote music as well as how they better engage with their customers via music, video and mobile.  Music conferences need to have a strong non-music component.  In fact, the non-music companies shouldn’t really be called “non-music,” should they?)

3.  Value comes from connecting w/brands & ppl who’ll add value to fan experience. Pepsi’s aspiration. #nms13

4.  NMS used to take place on the upper East Side? Glad that’s in the past. #nms13

5.  Radio is 3rd to TV & Internet for American consumers time. Radio No. 1 means to discover music – Sykes of Clear Channel #nms13

(My best way to discover music is friends, students and YouTube.  Radio, for me, comes from an app in a mobile device, or from the radio in my Acura.)

6.  #nms13 iHeart apps used soon by 200 million.

7.  85,000 online promotional mentions of Justin Timberlake album. iHeart. #nms13

8.  How to make Justin Timberlake album break out through clutter? iHeartRadio efforts – artist integration program #nms13

9.  Artist ads run for 4 weeks. iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party got 860 million impressions. #nms13

10.  CCE demonstrating extremely successful artist promotion campaigns w/iHeartRadio. Artists noticing other artists as well. #nms13


11.  38 artists now in Artist Integration Program. #CCE #nms13

12.  Q. Where is radio going? A. Digital is small in revenue – that’ll change. Radio will have TV shows. (Of course) #nms13

13.  Mobile ads & sponsorship need to catch up with Mobile music. Mobile shift has been very fast. #nms13

14.  Product brands outside mainstream need to partner with music brands outside mainstream – Pepsi speaker at #nms13   

(Finding the right partner is extremely important – I liken that to having the right opening act for a band at a concert.  The opposite of that has happened (and sometimes been disastrous) when bands opened for seemingly unrelated headliner acts:  Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention opening for The Monkees, Jimi Hendrix Experience opening for The Monkees, King Crimson opening for Al Kooper, etc.)

(Bad brand partnerships?  Tiger Woods with any brand, for a period of time anyway;  Oscar Pistorius and Nike and any brand;  OJ Simpson… you see where this is going!)

15.  NMS and VEVO want to work with unknown and new artists according to Tommy Silverman. #nms13

16.  Lift – most successful new VEVO show, partnering with McDonald’s, to promote new artists. #nms13

17.  Breaking new artists is essential to VEVO – a mission statement of sorts. #nms13

18.  Developing R & D in a company is similar to constantly developing new artists for a music company – Sykes iHeart #nms13

19.  For Pepsi, creating/sponsoring live events is comparable to digital. Very active in international music & events. #nms13

20.  92% of Americans listen to radio every month. (Many more radios than people.) I’m surprised it is not higher. #nms13


21.  Pepsi wants to fill spaces without interrupting listening experiences. #nms13

22.  The experiences “have to be right there.” Immediate and without effort. Pepsi, CCE etc want to fulfill #nms13

(The “immediate and without effort” is often called, “frictionless.”  Yes, frictionless is good buzz word, a cliche but accurate and one’s person cliche is another’s proud moniker.)

23.  Most ppl want to watch, some want to comment, others want to make (video) New experiences give more interactive possibilities. #nms13

(Read Lawrence Lessig’s excellent book, REMIX.  Those that want to remix are not RO – “read only.”  RO is for those who primarily engage in one-way communication.  They read, they view, they listen.  They are of a more traditional culture.  They do not interact or re-author or remix.  Those who remix/re-author, etc. are of the “RW” culture.  RW is “Read (and) Write,” i.e., interact, re-author, repurpose, etc.)

24.  One touch should replace one-click in immediacy and simplicity. #nms13

(I look forward to “one thought,” and involuntary at that, replacing one touch.)

25.  Music subscription – original albums better represent an artist’s legacy than trad sales models #nms13

26.  Give choice to consumers but how are services providing choice and being monetized?  Used to be how do we stop the Internet? #nms13

(The anti-technology people in the “content crowd,” i.e., those who pride themselves on being songwriters who hate the technology, mostly waste their time espousing a knee jerk “sue-the-criminal-bastards” strategy.  Technology and consumers (the market) always win.  Rather than bemoan, litigate and try to legislate, it is better to work together and/or find a business solution.  Study Steve Jobs.)

27.  Choices in digital seriously began with iTunes. In last 3.5 yrs, mobile has provided easy to use ubiquitous choices. #nms13

28.  Networks partnerships/relationships with carriers & their (carriers’) willingness to market music. #nms13

29.  In Norway and other EU countries, bundle with cable. Their 4G is stronger and more available. #nms13

30.  Music adds high value service to telco’s services. Economic benefit partner receives should funnel down to artist. #nms13


31.  Customer base for telcos have not always been music savvy. Push customers creating playlists for better engaging. #nms13

32.  Plans & bundling outside USA can be daily, weekly, monthly. (That’s new to me.) #nms13

(ISP and cable service plans in this country should be much better and less costly.  We have little competition and our government does not in the slightest way assist U.S. customers in their lonely usually fruitless skirmishes with U.S. ISP’s and telecoms.  In more and more countries, Internet access is becoming a basic human right and fast speed Internet connections are becoming mandated by non-USA governments.)

33.  Create new kinds of premium products. Again, more choice is key. #nms13

34.  How will Google and Apple streaming services impact others? Other ideas – partner with Weather Channel, ESPN & non-music. #nms13

(Excellent – there are many ESPN outlets nationally and internationally, and they use a great amount of music.)

35.  How to handle Big Data? That trite term – BIG DATA – will assist in delivering better experience for listener. #nms13

36.  Winners in digital will be “those who can get to scale.” There’ll be consolidation across the industry. #nms13

37.  Investors in these companies are big media companies-gives players “superior access” into other areas. #nms13

38.  Spotify rollout strategy – in 28 countries in 4 yrs. careful to partner with right companies. Pay attention to local music. #nms13

39.  Global and local rollouts simultaneously. #GLO-CAL. #GLOCAL without hyphen. (Great expanding language). #nms13

40.  What needs to happen in US? Mass marketing. Look at how Apple does it. Non-Apple products are not well marketed. #nms13



State of the Music Industry (and then there are data plans)


I just returned to Nashville from New Jersey, New York & New Jersey.  Remember – New Jersey has a few things all visitors should do – spend quantity time at

Brasilia Grill

Laurelwood Arboretum and

Ramapo Mountain State Forest.

Notice I wrote “quantity time.”  All time spent at these three (3) New Jersey places is QUALITY TIME.  That is indisputable.  One never has to defend a choice to visit New York because New York often means New York City and NYC, even to a Bostonian, is crazy-great.  Two of my favorite sayings about NYC are:

“If you don’t love New York, you don’t love life.”

“I’d leave New York for the weekend but I’m afraid I’d miss something.” (spoken by a NYC resident)


 The New Music Seminar ended on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.  NMS took place in New York City (the New Yorker Hotel) and began on Sunday night, June 9, 2013.  (Excuse my impossible-to-break habit of including the year in every date.)  I missed the opening schmooze-athon event as I always do.  It was not so that I could commemorate the

4th anniversary of my Keynote Address at the Copyright Wars Summit (“Law vs. Technology:  Embracing Not Suing New Technologies.”).

(And I don’t do self-commemoration.)  It was because I got to spend time at Laurelwood Arborteum (2).  (Click on that Laurelwood link – it’s an even better photo.).

The New Music Seminar is a conference that attempts to show what’s going on in the present-day music industry – not what certain parties WISH was going on, or LONG FOR what HAD BEEN going on, or pontificate about what SHOULD BE going on.  NMS, like a few other conferences, aspires to SAY or REFLECT what’s going on and where things are likely, or could be, headed.


Here are a few of my thoughts – thirty-two (32) little statements – about the present state of affairs in the music industry.  And because I feel this way, I assume many others do as well.  I’d go so far as to say that these are also a few things that EVERYONE seems to know and some seemed to be saying things like this at 2013 NMS this week.

1.  Sales of CD’s have greatly diminished.

2.  Sales of recorded music have greatly diminished and usually are not central and/or supremely important to a musician’s income.

3.  Access to music is very important.

4.  Access to music (recorded music and live music) is growing in importance.

5.  Access to music means (to a substantial extent) STREAMING.  STREAMING means music is coming out of a complicated device, not the BIG RADIO found in wealthy peoples’ homes in the early 20th century, but small complicated devices that fit in a human’s hand.

6.  Access to music now means mostly digital.

7.  Access to music now means Internet access and…

8.  Access to music means mobile – it must be in your paws.  Soon it will be accessible via the implants somewhere under your skin, or the IP (intellectual property) pills you will ingest.  (And some people have Google Glass.)

9.  It is imperative that we MONETIZE…fill in the blank.  I’ll start:

10.  Monetize access to music via a desktop computer (I’m one of the few who uses these).

11.  Monetize access to music via a laptop computer (I rarely use these).

12.  Monetize access to music via a tablet (I use these everyday.  To me, TABLET = iPad but feel free to disagree.)

13.  Monetize access to music via an even more mobile device, for example a 4 or 5 inch tall, 2, 3 or 4 inch wide, very thin computer-like device filled with shiny, consistently-updated new applications (known as “apps) that also can make old fashioned telephone calls.  Many think of these devices as also being cellular phones.  I think of them as fabulous Apple or Samsung devices that provide app-access and Internet access by means of forcing the user to sleep with/cohabitate with and pay large corporations too much for favors that are very personal and intimate.  These pay-the corporations-too-much models are also known as DATA PLANS.

14.  Social media is extremely important for music artists, their music companies (“music companies” is purposefully vague and potentially very wide in scope) and their fans.

15.  It is essential that music artists as well as some of their team use social media effectively.

16.  It is essential that music artists as well as some of their team use social media to engage and interact with their fans.

17.  It is essential that music artists use social media to do more than simply promote and shout about themselves and their upcoming album, tour, video, film, public appearance, endorsement, marriage, divorce, arrest, lawsuit, settlement, community act, etc.

18.  It is essential that music artists are authentic and true to themselves when using social media as authenticity aka honesty is what 21st century audiences/viewers/readers expect and (usually) receive.  When a music artist is less than authentic, almost everyone detects it immediately.

19.  Social media is not a replacement for writing, recording and performing good and great music.

20.  Social media is not a replacement for playing live.

21.  Social media is not a replacement for touring.

22.  There are far more revenue streams for musicians and creators now than existed 10, 15, 20 or more years ago.  (Read the Future of Music Coalition’s 42 Revenue Streams.)

23.  Musicians are more likely now than ever to have a better-than-poverty level income.

24.  Musicians are more likely now than ever to be able to enter the middle class, even if it might be the lower middle class.

25.  Musicians now have many more tools to assist them in having their music heard.

26.  Musicians now have much greater control over the promotion, marketing and dissemination of music they perform, record and create.  (Musicians, conversely, also have the power to give away/cede their power to control as well.)

27.  It is imperative that U.S. musicians try to have their music performed, disseminated and purchased outside the U.S..

28.  It is much easier to have one’s music performed, disseminated and purchased outside the U.S. than  in the past.

29.  The U.S. is responsible for 25-35% of music performed, disseminated and purchased worldwide.



30.  Technology threatens business as usual until it becomes business as usual.

31.  Music and the arts have always intersected with law, business, technology and communication.  It has always been this way.  It will always be this way. (forever and ever)

32.  The Internet is your friend.  Walk away from those who fear the Internet and technology.  Fear them (no, pity, educate and then ignore them) and not the Internet.


In the next posts, I will discuss some specifics about the 2013 New Music Seminar.  Much of what I will relate will be done via Tweet, in fact, many tweets.  That is simply a statement relating which writing/conveying/a’-talkin’/Internet-ing tools I will use  – a neutral thing and not necessarily good or bad.  I have used Twitter since 2007 and always thought it was an important DESCRIBER of IDEAS and EVENTS.  Twitter is just they way it will be.  (I’ll stop short before I more fully paraphrase Bruce Hornsby.)