Tag Archives for " DMCA "

Sound Designer Diego Stocco On My Latest Inner Circle Podcast

Diego StoccoMy guest this week on my Inner Circle Podcast is sound designer and composer Diego Stocco.

Diego’s not only worked on movies like Takers and Sherlock Holmes, television shows like The Tudors and Moonlight. and video games like Assassin’s Creed, but he’s also one of the people behind the great sounds on the Korg Z1, and Spectrasonics Atmosphere, Omnisphere and Trillian.

This is a guy who hears music in ordinary objects around us, and as a result he’s used both a tree and a burning piano in his pieces, as well as created his own instruments.

In the intro I’ll talk about the DMCA and why both label and music artists want it changed, and the fact that another iconic New York City recording studio is about to bite the dust.

You can listen to it at bobbyoinnercircle.com, or via iTunesStitcher, Mixcloud or Google Play.

You can also hear both Diego and myself on the AudioNowcast podcast, now celebrating it’s 10th year.

June 22, 2016

Music Artists Need More Than Taylor Swift In Their DMCA Challenge

Artists need a leaderWith Taylor Swift and U2 the latest superstars to sign a petition to congress complaining about the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the movement appears to be gaining traction. Chances are this one ends up like others before it though, with lots of strong talking points presented, Congressman shaking their heads yes, but not much accomplished in the end. That’s because the movement suffers from a critical problem – it doesn’t have a politically savvy leader.

At issue is the fact that so much music is available for free on YouTube thanks to user uploads, and the service can’t be held liable thanks to the “safe harbor” guidelines of the DMCA. Although YouTube provides a means of finding and either monetizing or taking down the offending material, it’s a veritable whack-a-mole problem for copyright owners to keep up, as more illegal uploads are posted than are taken down. Plus, finding the violators is on the shoulders of the copyright owner and not the service.

That’s why both artists and record labels want the DMCA adjusted to put more responsibility on YouTube for policing illegal uploads, and the likes of Lady Gaga, Sir Paul McCartney, Ryan Adams, Cher, Sir Elton John, Jack White, Fall Out Boy, Yoko Ono Lennon, Bette Midler, Queens Of the Stone Age,Pink, Maroon 5, Mark Ronson, Pusha-T, Sade, Gwen Stefani, Sting, Beck, Ne-Yo and Trent Reznor, along with the previously mentioned Taylor Swift and U2, have signed on.

The big problem is that there’s no one directly speaking for the artists best interests, and no organization in the United States dedicated to lobbying the powers-that-be strictly on their behalf (although they exist in both Europe and the UK). It’s time for an artist association with a strong leader to truly represent the needs of today’s recording artist – a Music Artists Coalition (MAC has a nice ring to it), if you will.

The idea (but not the name) comes from a music insider who knows a thing or two about industry associations and their power. Rupert Perry, former President of EMI Europe and former chairman of both the UK’s British Phonographic Industries and the International Federation of Phonographic Industries, observed over lunch recently, “The thing that’s holding this back is that artists don’t speak with a single voice. They need somebody who’s as capable of putting on a suit and talking to a Congressman as he is speaking to a label or publishing executive.” The idea makes perfect sense, but that person hasn’t been found and organization hasn’t been created yet, and the cause can’t effectively be furthered until that happens. [Read more on Forbes…]

April 13, 2016

YouTube Has All The Leverage In New Label Negotiations

YouTubeIf you’re a record label, or an artist, band or publisher for that matter, the one thorn in your digital side is YouTube. Why? It’s by far the most widely used streaming service for consuming music, yet it pays the least of all the services. However, it’s come to light that YouTube’s licensing agreements with the three major labels have either expired or are about to, which brings new hope that renegotiated terms might mean increased revenue for the industry.

That hope may prove false though, since YouTube continues to hold all the leverage – in fact, it holds virtually all of it.

Until now, the major labels could drive a hard bargain with all other streaming services that not only gained them hefty upfront fees, but also even a piece of the company in some cases. If a music service didn’t like a label’s terms, it still had no choice but to take the deal, otherwise it would be minus the label’s catalog, which could mean a death blow to the service.

 Not so with YouTube.
 Since so much of the music on the service is illegally uploaded by its users, the company is able to dictate the license agreement terms, since if a label balks and refuses to agree to the deal, its music will still appear on the service.
 In fact, Warner Music tried this very tactic a few years ago, but after a year of its songs still appearing on YouTube yet generating zero revenue, the company acquiesced and signed a deal on YouTube’s terms. Getting some money is better than no money at all.
All this is made possible thanks to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which protects YouTube and other similar services in that they can’t be held liable as a result of unlicensed content that its users might upload. A record label can ask that the content be taken down, and YouTube will comply, but chances are that content will be re-uploaded immediately and the cycle will continue. Plus the burden of finding any unlicensed versions lies with the labels, all of which spend a great deal of time and resources searching for violations.
 So YouTube is in the drivers seat in these negotiations. Even if the labels don’t like the deal presented, they have no recourse since their music will find its way onto the service, but the labels will get zero money if they pull their catalogs because they don’t like the terms.