Is the FCC’s Radio Payola Settlement Really a Watershed Moment for Independent Music?
While it’s nice lip service from the FCC to request that radio stations program playlists based on “merit,” the reality is that program directors have to make money. And they make money by playing what’s familiar. They’ll sacrifice some low-rated hours to make the FCC happy, but most of the local music shows on the radio are there to let creative staff scratch an itch
Charting the decline of the music biz
But perhaps a bigger reason, Bordowitz says, is the industry’s reaction to the new technology. In essence, that reaction was to ignore it when it was just a menacing cloud on the horizon and then attempt to squash it — rather than partner with it — when it arrived. “There are a lot of issues the record business ignored,” Bordowitz says. “When things are going well, it’s human nature to ignore any possible problems. And things were going very well in the early ’90s.”
Music Discovery Gets Social
Tim Westergren, chief strategy officer at another music site, Pandora, said that as an independent musician, he often felt left out by the major record companies. His site analyzes songs based on their musicological characteristics and helps users find songs that are similar to the ones they like, even if they’re from obscure bands. He said the site is encouraging users to buy more music. “People are starved for more independent music,” he said.
Lawmakers introduce a bill to amend the DMCA
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act dramatically tilted the copyright balance toward complete copyright protection at the expense of the public’s right to fair use.
It’s no surprise that the RIAA doesn’t like the bill.
the RIAA said the bill would effectively repeal the DMCA. The bill would “allow electronics companies to induce others to break the law for their own profit,” it said in a statement. Advances such as digital music sales, online games, on-demand movies and e-books can be traced to DMCA protection, the RIAA said.
The DMCA, after all, gives the RIAA the power to sue students.
The association has sent three times more copyright complaints to universities this academic year than it did last year. The complaints ask the schools to take down unauthorized content being shared on their network.
And suing students at college is good, because it solves the problem of accidentally suing the parents who haven’t done anything wrong.