The Artist Rights Watch
ARW S1S5 - Antitrust and Consent Decrees

ARW S1S5 - Antitrust and Consent Decrees

August 18, 2021

Nik Patel, David Lowery, and Chris Castle feature in this podcast where they discuss the current issues of artists’ rights in the music industry. Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and share!

 

In the final episode of series 1 of the Artist Rights Watch Podcast, Nik, David, and Chris sit down to discuss antitrust laws and consent decrees in the music industry. Antitrust laws are regulations that encourage competition and protect consumers from anticompetitive mergers and business practices. Supporters of the antitrust laws say that they are necessary for an open marketplace. Competition among sellers gives consumers lower prices, higher-quality products and services, more choices, and more innovation. There are three acts of antitrust: Sherman Act of 1890, Clayton Act of 1914, and Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914. Sherman Act allows the federal government to take companies to court if it believes they are partaking in anticompetitive practices and abusing their monopoly power. Clayton Act prohibits anticompetitive mergers, acquisitions, price-fixing, or any practice that weakens competition. Federal Trade Commission Act further banned unfair competitive practices such as those that go against consumer protection laws. In this episode we delve deep in why this matters to songwriters, ASCAP and BMI consent decrees, fractional vs 100% licensing, the District of Justice, and where antitrust laws will lie in the future.

 

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed having these five serious talks about current issues in the music industry, and we’re so glad you listeners have tuned in! We will be back with series 2 of the Artist Rights Watch soon. Stay tuned and thanks for listening! Nik x David x Chris

 

Below are some links for further reading on Antitrust and consent decrees:

Federal Trade Commission.

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws.

Guide to Antitrust Laws. Alexandra Twin.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/antitrust.asp.

Facebook was just hit with 2 big Antitrust Lawsuits. Katie Canales.

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-antitrust-laws-big-tech-hearing-2020-7.

What Songwriters Need to know About the DOJ’s Review of Consent Decrees. Nate Hertweck.

https://www.grammy.com/advocacy/news/what-songwriters-need-know-about-dojs-review-consent-decrees.

The United States Department of Justice.

https://www.justice.gov/atr/antitrust-consent-decree-review-ascap-and-bmi-2019.

 

Below are our social links and terms of use:

Chris: http://www.christiancastle.com/chris-castle

David: https://twitter.com/davidclowery?s=20

https://www.instagram.com/davidclowery/

Nik: https://www.instagram.com/nikpatelmusic/

www.nikpatelmusic.com

 

Website: https://artistrightswatch.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artistrightswatch

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArtistRights?s=20

Terms of Use: https://artistrightswatchdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/arw-podcast-terms-of-use-v-1-i-1.pdf

ARW S1S4 - Soundtrack by Twitch

ARW S1S4 - Soundtrack by Twitch

August 4, 2021

Nik Patel, David Lowery, and Chris Castle feature in this podcast where they discuss the current issues of artists’ rights in the music industry. Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and share!

 

On this episode of the Artist Rights Watch, Nik, David, and Chris sit down to talk about Twitch and its latest issues with music licensing. With the new development of the Soundtrack application, Twitch attempts to provide content creators to use copyright free music. However, Twitch’s licensing issues stretches far beyond just the introduction to Soundtrack. In this episode, we delve into what Soundtrack is and how it’s used, but also the implications of Twitch in their lack of proper music licensing. To conclude, we introduce a potential solution to Twitch’s problem. 

 

Below are some links for further reading on Twitch and music licensing:

Introducing Soundtrack by Twitch: Rights—Cleared Music For All Twitch Creators

https://blog.twitch.tv/en/2020/09/30/introducing-soundtrack-by-twitch-rights-cleared-music-for-all-twitch-creators/

Soundtrack (Beta) Help Page & FAQ

https://help.twitch.tv/s/article/soundtrack?language=en_US&utm_campaign=Soundtrack_Launch_9_30&_branch_match_id=853721964881314780&utm_medium=FAQ&utm_source=Soundtrack#distributors

Twitch Launches a Rights-Cleared Music Catalog for Streamers, Soundtrack by Twitch By Sarah Perez

https://techcrunch.com/2020/09/30/twitch-launches-a-rights-cleared-music-catalog-for-streamers-soundtrack-by-twitch/

Twitch’s Soundtrack feature debuts today, and it will let streamers play music while they’re live By Bijan Stephen

https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/30/21495243/twitch-soundtrack-streaming-music-soundcloud-distrokid-facebook-gaming

Let’s talk about Twitch Soundtrack By Nate Beck

https://medium.com/pretzelrocks/lets-talk-about-twitch-soundtrack-fcaf11027dca

 

Below are our social links and terms of use:

Chris: http://www.christiancastle.com/chris-castle

David: https://twitter.com/davidclowery?s=20

https://www.instagram.com/davidclowery/

Nik: https://www.instagram.com/nikpatelmusic/

www.nikpatelmusic.com

 

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Terms of Use: https://artistrightswatchdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/arw-podcast-terms-of-use-v-1-i-1.pdf

ARW S1E3 - NFTs & Music w/Alan Graham

ARW S1E3 - NFTs & Music w/Alan Graham

July 21, 2021

Nik Patel, David Lowery, and Chris Castle feature in this podcast where they discuss the current issues of artists’ rights in the music industry. Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and share!

 

On this episode of the Artist Rights Watch, Nik Patel, David Lowery, and Chris Castle sit down with Alan Graham to talk about the latest trend in musicians releasing NFTs. NFT stands for non-fungible token. Purchasers are those who view NFTs as a way to support artists, actors, musicians, and athletes. Most NFTs can be reasonably priced for creatives to monetise their work; especially in a current climate of no live show revenues. NFTs can represent the ownership of an original copy of a song, album, Merch, or any unique item. They are held in the blockchain where it cannot be copied or deleted. Buyers hope that the NFT will increase in value over time and be a good investment. It is not something tangible that can be displayed like a work of art or trading cards. You need to store your NFTs in a digital space. NFTs are more about the digital token rather than the art itself. The value of owning something as scarce as a digital authentication of originality is what is really being bought.

 

Below are some links for further reading on NFTs relation to music:

National Law Review

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/coming-blockchain-revolution-consumption-digital-art-and-music-thinking-lawyer-s

Artists are selling their music as NFTs - and they’re making millions. Sam Willings

https://www.musictech.net/news/artists-selling-music-nft-making-millions/

The Weeknd’s ‘Acepthalous’ NFT features new music and limited edition art. Christopher Harris

https://www.revolt.tv/news/2021/4/3/22365418/the-weeknds-acephalous-nft

ASAP Rocky to Offer His First-ever NFT Collection. Joshua Espinoza

https://www.complex.com/music/asap-rocky-first-ever-nft-collection

NFTs Shift Power to Artists as the Music Business Evolves. Matthew Leising.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-07/nfts-shift-power-to-artists-as-the-music-business-evolves

NFTs for Music Explained (in Musician Terms). Ari Herstand

https://aristake.com/nfts-for-music

 

Below are our social links and terms of use:

Chris: http://www.christiancastle.com/chris-castle

David: https://twitter.com/davidclowery?s=20

https://www.instagram.com/davidclowery/

Nik: https://www.instagram.com/nikpatelmusic/

       https://www.nikpatelmusic.com

 

Website: https://artistrightswatch.com

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Terms of Use: https://artistrightswatchdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/arw-podcast-terms-of-use-v-1-i-1.pdf

ARW S1E2 - Georgia Music Policy w/Mala Sharma

ARW S1E2 - Georgia Music Policy w/Mala Sharma

July 7, 2021

Nik Patel, David Lowery, and Chris Castle feature in this podcast where they discuss the current issues of artists’ rights in the music industry. Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and share!

On this episode of the Artist Rights Watch, Nik Patel, David Lowery, and Chris Castle sit down with music advocate, Mala Sharma to talk about the latest legislations in music policy in the state of Georgia. Mala Sharma started writing pieces for friends in bands which then lead to working with a small indie label in Athens, GA. Sharma then went from doing PR for musical acts to managing a band. Because of this job, she became really connected within the industry and landed a job as Rick Ruben’s executive assistant and head of production. Sharma worked in the production space for a while and started running a label that was an affiliate of Sony named 57 Records. And if that wasn’t enough, she pivoted yet again and moved to an entertainment banking firm. From there, she lands at your current destination in Georgia Music Partners.

 

Below are some links for further reading on Georgia music policy and the legislations we discussed in the episode:

HB 226 Introduced by Representative Gregg Kennard( D-Lawrenceville Ga District 102). This bill would exempt sales and use tax for tickets and fees for fine arts performances.  This bill would re-instate an exemption that existed a few years back that ended due to sunset clause.  For theatres, fine art centres that are suffering during Covid, this would provide additional opportunity for them to recover.  

 

SB 157 Senator Bill Cowsert(R- Athens District 46) will reintroduce this bill from last year.  It aims to protect the trademark of musical recording artists. 35 states have already passed this protection for legacy artists. Mary Wilson, was a big supporter of this bill and moving forward will be called the Mary Wilson Truth in Music Advertising Bill. The legislation provides that the name of a famous musical group cannot be used by a group of performers unless they include at least one member of the original group. The intent of the legislation is to prevent unfair or deceptive trade practices, and to protect the livelihood of musicians who were in famous musical groups.  This bill is supported by the RIAA, artists organisations around the country as well as in Georgia.   It passed through the Consumer Affairs committee unanimously.  It will go to the Rules committee next.

 

HB 508 Introduced by Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton Ga District 4).  This bill is similar to the SB157 in providing protection to legacy artists names and unfair trade practices.  Additionally it requires online sites that deal “in substantial part in the electronic dissemination” of commercial recordings or audiovisual works to properly display true name and address information on the site.  The law is the online equivalent of True Name and Address statutes across the country intended to protect consumers and the legitimate marketplace.  Currently, Tennessee and Florida have these already in place.  This is supported by the MPAA, RIAA, Artists Rights Coalition, labels and artists.  This bill will be going in front of the House Creative Industries Committee for the first hearing.  

 

HB486 Introduced by Representative Beth Moore( D-Peachtree Courners, District 95).  This standalone bill would provide musical licenses used in qualified productions of film, tv, video games to be counted towards the minimum spend provided the composition is created, held by Georgia based composers.  This legislation would incentivise film/tv and digital entertainment company to use songs and compositions from Georgia based creators.  This bill will be going in front of the House Creative Industries Committee for the first hearing.  

 

Below are our social links and terms of use:

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David: https://twitter.com/davidclowery?s=20

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       https://www.nikpatelmusic.com

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ARW S1E1 - Frozen Mechanicals Crisis w/Crispin Hunt

ARW S1E1 - Frozen Mechanicals Crisis w/Crispin Hunt

June 17, 2021

Nik Patel, David Lowery, and Chris Castle feature in this podcast where they discuss the current issues of artists’ rights in the music industry. Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and share!

On the first episode of the Artist Rights Watch, Nik Patel, David Lowery, and Chris Castle sit down with Ivors Academy Chair, Crispin Hunt to talk about the frozen mechanical royalties crisis currently playing out in the United States and how it threatens UK songwriters and indeed songwriters around the world.

Crispin gives us his invaluable analysis of how the frozen mechanicals crisis affects songwriters around the world and the highly effective #brokenrecord and #fixstreaming campaigns that Ivors Academy supports in the UK that has lead to a parliamentary inquiry and legislation introduced in the UK Parliament.

The “frozen mechanicals” crisis is rooted in a private deal between big publishers and their big label affiliates to essentially continue the freeze on the already-frozen U.S. mechanical royalty rate paid by the record companies for CDs, vinyl and permanent downloads. The private deal freezes the rate for another five years but does not even account for inflation. Increasing the royalty rate for inflation, does not actually increase songwriter buying power.

The major publishers and labels have asked the Copyright Royalty Board in the US to make their private deal the law and apply that frozen rate to everyone.

In the past, the music industry has experienced a $0.02 mechanical royalty rate that lasted for 70 years, and with the current mechanical royalty rate of $0.091 being set in 2006, advocates hope it’s not a repeat of the past.

In this Artist Rights Watch episode, we cover its numerous implications and consequences such as controlled compositions clauses, the Copyright Royalty Board, CPI and fixed increases, how the UK compares, and potential resolutions.

 

Below are some links for further reading on frozen mechanicals and Crispin Hunt:

Controlled Compositions Clauses and Frozen Mechanicals. Chris Castle

https://musictechpolicy.com/2020/10/10/controlled-compositions-clauses-and-frozen-mechanicals/

What Would @TaylorSwift13 and Eddie @cue Do? One Solution to the Frozen Mechanical Problem. Chris Castle

The Trichordist posts on frozen mechanicals

https://thetrichordist.com/category/frozen-mechanicals/

The Ivors Academy Joins the No Frozen Mechanicals Campaign

https://thetrichordist.com/2021/06/07/the-ivors-academy-joins-the-no-frozen-mechanicals-campaign/

Year-End 2020 RIAA Revenue Statistics

https://www.riaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2020-Year-End-Music-Industry-Revenue-Report.pdf

Crispin Hunt

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/people/crispin-hunt/

Songwriter Mechanical Royalty Income Questionnaire Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TTPKW8Q?fbclid=IwAR3RUsoiUJPuNjPxrhxN-ZnmdapXiwOmvOpqCvEKuGLOszPhcmP1Ae9vO3U

 

Below are our social links and terms of use:

Chris: http://www.christiancastle.com/chris-castle

David: https://twitter.com/davidclowery?s=20

https://www.instagram.com/davidclowery/

Nik: https://www.instagram.com/nikpatelmusic/

Website: https://artistrightswatch.com
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArtistRights?s=20

Terms of Use: https://artistrightswatchdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/arw-podcast-terms-of-use-v-1-i-1.pdf

 

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