DMCA is broken, but fixing it is only one piece of the puzzle
Tomorrow (8 March) is the deadline for submitting evidence and opinion on the safe harbors provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This second period of consultation comes nine months after 186 artists publicly lobbied for reform, and inspired legendary musician and producer T Bone Burnett to submit a five-minute video where he accused “mega corporations and web moguls” of ” enriching themselves off the artistic, cultural and economic value everyone else creates.”
DMCA is broken, but it is merely one piece of a very large puzzle. Even if new legislation ensures ‘take down, stay down’ policies, or – as the RIAA has asked – makes it a legal requirement for ISPs to filter for pirated content, the entire economic ecosystem that remunerates artists and rightsholders (or doesn’t) is a playing field in desperate need of levelling.
Laissez-faire – once again – fails
Aside from safe harbors preventing revenues from reaching their rightful home, there are other issues, specifically the varying levels of remuneration that streaming services dole out to artists and rightsholders. The laissez-faire approach to the creation of different service providers has done much for news headlines and consumer choice, but little for those whose livelihoods depend on effective and transparent revenue reporting.
It’s probably fair to assume that these problems won’t resolve themselves. Most streaming services – even those with the best intentions regarding artist and rightsholder remuneration – struggle to turn a profit. Some predictions for 2017 have speculated that at least one major streaming service will go bust. So what changes must be made to the landscape? Is there a middle ground where licensing makes it possible for streaming services to get out of the red while creating a fair, standardised method of revenue and royalties?
Repainting the streaming landscape
On 29 March, 2Pears will convene Music 4.5 The Economics of Streaming in New York. Our third trip States-side, we will gather some of the best in the industry to discuss and dissect the streaming economy and its disjointed remuneration structure.
Our expert speakers will look in detail at:
-What changes in legislation (safe harbor), licensing, and contracts will deliver a marketplace where the two different business models – free, ad-supported and paid-for subscription – can be made to work fairly with increased revenues returned to both artists and rightsholders
-The latest developments around music licensing
-The implications of digital service providers’ different business models
-The impact of the ad-market dynamics on per-stream rates
Industry players such as Richard Burgess of A2IM, Steven Marks of RIAA, Chris Harrison of Sirius XM Radio, David Levin of BMI, economist Barry Massarsky, Pete Jimison of F Sharp, Deborah Newman of MusicStrat, Tiffany Almy of Reed Smith, Larry Miller of NYU Steinhardt, John Raso of Rumblefish and Bill Rosenblatt are some of the names that will come together to examine the complexities of the streaming ecosystem, and proffer ideas on how best to tackle its inefficiencies.
View the full agenda and book your tickets here.
Music 4.5 is conceived, organised, and executed by 2Pears, the team creating opportunities and events to inform, educate and connect entrepreneurs, start-ups and investors in music, media and technology.