Lance Cleveland

Now You Know Everything About Music Publishing… – Digital Music News

An article that does a great job explaining the intricacies of music licensing, copyright, royalties, and publishing. It is a complex system with a lot of moving parts. IMO this complexity makes it difficult for artists to control their own product. In turn this has created and industry where the source of the product , the artists, are easily taken advantage of. Everyone done the distribution chain has their hand out, leaving nothing for the artists.

http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2014/02/28/understandpublishing/

Unpaid Music Artists – Maybe It’s Time To Blame The Streaming Companies

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.
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Building A Streaming Music Service : Technology Components

Media File

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).

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Excerpts About US Copyright Law & The Compensation For Creatives Mess

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.

From:

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6613309/prince-removes-music-from-most-streaming-services-except-tidal

 

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.”

From: http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/6114165/free-market-often-repeated-at-music-licensing-hearing

 

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.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/09/internet_radio_royalties_chaffetz_polis_and_wyden_introduce_new_legislation_to_fix_the_system_.html

A Boring Article About Geometry (Is this point in a polygon?)

Unless you are a math nerd you will likely skip this article right about… now.

For those math nerds that are still reading, I learned something new today that I found interesting.   It makes perfect sense and is one of those “why didn’t I think of this” moments.  Working on a territories algorithm for Store Locator Plus presented a problem I’ve not had to solve in the past 4 years of building the production.   How do you determine if a given point on earth is inside of an area that is described by a series of locations that represent the boundary of a territory.  In plain English – “When a user says ‘I am here’, is ‘here’ within the territory serviced by a company?”

A location and the territory it covers.

A location and the territory it covers.

Point In Polygon Algorithms

There are a number of ways to determine if ‘here’ is inside a given area.  In mathematics locating ‘here’ in a territory can be directly associated with the point in polygon problem.   ‘Here’ is the point where the user is now and the latitude/longitude combination represent the x,y coordinates for that point.   The polygon is described as a series of latitude/longitude (x,y) coordinates that form the outline of a polygon.   You can now employ a number of algorithms to calculate if a point is inside the polygon, such as the “Winding number” algorithm.   However my favorite is the “Even Odd Rule” algorithm due to its simplicity and the speed at which it can be computed.    Winding number uses “circular math” which involves things like sine and cosine which are computationally expensive.

Even Odd Rule

Even Odd Rule uses the given point and creates a ray from that point that traverses at least one side of the polygon.   If the ray crosses an even number of borders it is outside the polygon.  if it crosses an odd number it is in the polygon.   There is a caveat where if it is ON the border it will be considered “outside” but that can be a matter of semantics ; “you said INSIDE not on the edge”.   Also , for territories the < 1 meter of distance that Store Locator Plus uses with floating point decimals representing latitude/longitude, it is probably fine to lose that 1 meter to the “on the border” rule.

Tracing a ray from a point through a polygon.

Tracing a ray from a point through a polygon.

Calculating the number of “border crossings” is fairly easy and operates quickly unless you have an extremely complex polygon with thousands of points prescribing the border.  That won’t be the case for my product.  The efficiency and accuracy of this algorithm is perfect.

Sometimes you can discover beauty in the simplicity of what otherwise can seem like a complex problem by using math to describe your world.

Yes I know.  I’m a math geek.

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