Songwriters, publishers, performers, and a myriad of others that create the music that defines moments in our lives, serves as the background for dinner dates, house parties, and corporate conventions are earning less money than ever before. While there are many factors to consider one of the most notable issues is the lack of compensation from streaming services. Sure, radio has been notorious for their lobbying group that has kept them exempt from paying their fair share of royalties to recording artists, but streaming media has taken it to a whole new level.
A media file is the digital file format of the recording of a song. The most common format today is MP3 which comes is various “flavors” that determine the quality of the audio. MP3 is considered a “lossy” format which means it uses compression algorithms that can trim off pieces of the music data that it thinks the users will not hear. FLAC is another common format that is considered lossless. It uses compression algorithms that restore ALL of the original digital data as it was received.
The quality of any media file recording will depend on the original sound recording, the master recording, and how it was turned into a “digital master”. Many variables impact the quality of the work including the type of equipment used in the studio and the quality of the digital signal processors (analog-to-digital / digital-to-analog converters).
Prince – Negotiating Rates For His Music
For some time Prince’s legally team has worked to pull his music off YouTube and the song “Breakfast Can Wait” remains the only track on his channel.
Sources say Prince is using Web Sheriff to send notices to digital services. According to sources, the notice from Web Sheriff says that Prince has pulled his music from all U.S. PROs, so there are no reciprocal rights abroad. He wants all digital service to pull down his music, as recorded by him, so that once they have complied, they can negotiate with his owned publish company.
Once they agree to whatever rate he is seeking, digital services can then put his music back up. The takedown notice doesn’t impact those songs of his covered by other artists. Services are still allowed to play songs like Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which Prince wrote and she covered.
Free Market Vs. First Ammendment Copyright Law
There was agreement on how to make licensing a free market negotiation. David Israelite, President and CEO of the National Music Publishers Association, prefers that Congress abolish the compulsory license so publishers could freely negotiate with licensees for mechanical rights. Lee Thomas Miller, songwriter and President of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, called for Congress to eliminate or “drastically alter” the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. Michael O’Neill, CEO of BMI, called for the elimination of the consent decrees. “We’re trying to give the songwriters and publishers the power to make their own deals.”
CRB Rate Setting Methods
Under current U.S. copyright law, whether and how much these copyright holders get paid by broadcasters for the use of their intellectual property depends on a dizzying mix of factors. For musical composition copyrights, the royalty system is generally reasonable and technology-neutral, with broadcasters typically paying in the range of 2 percent to 5 percent of their gross revenue to the holders of music composition copyrights.
However, for sound recording copyrights, the royalty rates vary dramatically depending on who is playing the tunes. For digital music broadcasts, the three judges on the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) determine “statutory” royalty rates using two different standards: one called 801(b) that applies to older services like Sirius XM satellite radio, and one called “willing buyer/willing seller,” which is used for the newer field of Internet radio.
I wonder how, exactly, BMI determines what was played so they can fairly compensate the right creatives behind that music.
The answer is: they have no clue. They will apply their archaic generalized formula and make a wild guess then pay the most popular songwriters and composers. They’ll keep 12% for themselves and a good chunk in reserve , in a bank account where the keep the interest, in case they guessed wrong.
The PROs are a sham. Sad that music creatives don’t demand better.
ESPN Asked to Pay More Than $15 Million Annually to License Ambient Stadium Music
In response to ESPN’s demand that a New York federal court determine a reasonable license fee for the performance of songs on its cable sports networks, licensing agency BMI is noting the “vast amounts of music played loudly and prominently in stadiums and arenas,” ambient noise that is often picked up by the broadcaster’s microphones and heard by its viewers. Read the full story
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Kanye West Reveals He’s Team Streaming: ‘No More CDs For Me’
Kanye West CDs are about to become a thing of the past. The Chicago rapper/designer/entertaining tweeter took to his timeline on Monday (March 7) to discuss his stance on physical music releases. “I was thinking about not making CDs ever again… Only streaming,” he said before referencing the cover art of his 2013 effort Yeezus. “the Yeezus album packaging was an open casket to CDs r.i.p.” Read the full story
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