May 2nd, 2013
On June 1, I’ll be speaking at the first SheTek Conference. The conference is in New York City at 151 w. 26th street between 6th and 7th aves from 11 am to 6 pm.
Panel topics are:
- Wendy Day Keynote Address
- The Business of Music**
- Music Streams - Distribution and Synchronization
- Marketing, Branding & Social Media
- Music Videos, Independent Films & Multi-Media
** I’m a panelist on “The Business of Music” panel
Tickets are available here. Each panel is $25 or pay $100 for the entire conference.
May 1st, 2013
In a potentially landmark fair use case, appropriation artist Richard Prince had a victory in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals over photographer Patrick Cariou who had filed a lawsuit against Prince claiming that the artist’s work infringed upon the photographer’s copyright in certain photographs. Prince admitted to taking, altering and incorporating Cariou’s photographs in a series of paintings and collages called Canal Zone. While Prince could have made a fair use defense based on his works’ commenting on the original work, he instead said his works ”don’t really have a message.” Still, the court of appeal applied a broad interpretation of art and fair use and held that 25 of the 30 works did not infringe upon the photographers copyright because they were sufficiently transformative to be protected by fair use. Prince’s statement of his work not having a message was not dispositive in the court’s consideration of the nature of his work. The court explained: “What is critical is how the work in question appears to the reasonable observer, not simply what an artist might say about a particular piece or body of work. Prince’s work could be transformative even without commenting on Cariou’s work or on culture, and even without Prince’s stated intention to do so. Rather than confining our inquiry to Prince’s explanations of his artworks, we instead examine how the artworks may ‘reasonably be perceived’ in order to assess their transformative nature.” The case was remanded to the district court for a determination on the liability for the 5 potentially infringing works that were not sufficiently transformative as to constitute fair use.
Read the decision here: http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/5da8dc66-179e-4dc0-94cc-09e213bfffe3/1/doc/11-1197_complete_opn.pdf#xml=http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/5da8dc66-179e-4dc0-94cc-09e213bfffe3/1/hilite/
Lots of action has been surrounding the first sale doctrine lately. Most recently, a New York federal judge ruled that the first sale doctrine does not apply to digital music. ”The first-sale defense is limited to material items, like records, that the copyright owner put into the stream of commerce,” Judge Sullivan found in Capital Records, LLC vs. Redigi Inc.. The first sale doctrine allows owners of a copyright protected work (like a copy of a book or cd) to resell that item without compensating the owner of the copyright. Redigi allowed users to upload their digital music files to a cloud then sell them to third parties at which point the original file would be deleted from their harddrives. According to the decision, the digital files are actually copied upon transfer to the buyer, not the original item as would be the case with a material item.
April 30th, 2013
Universal Music Group has named Will Tanous as executive vice president and head of global communications, effective April 15.
AOL Music has been shut down with lots of layoffs resulting.
April 15th, 2013
Enhanced Music Publishing Made Simple is a workshop that informs independent songwriters and composers about how to monetize their original music in the new, changing digital marketplace. Taught by pro-songwriter and Berklee grad AmandaWilliams, Enhanced Music Publishing Made Simple covers what happens to your property (your songs) when you enter a publishing deal, answers common questions about licensing, royalties, contracts and collections, and provides food for thought about how to structure your independent songwriting business to suit your own needs. The workshop also discusses the exclusive rights related to your original songs (your copyrights) and shows you how those rights correspond to a particular royalty stream. Topics include:
- · Copyrights – what are they & how do they correspond to royalties
- · Publishing – what is the role of a publisher in the new market place
- · Industry basics – terminology, common practices, & what to avoid
- · Catalogue management – establishing good practices & habits
Amanda Williams is a Grammy nominated songwriter, performer, educator and philanthropist. A magna cum laude MusicBusiness from Berklee College of Music, she has had songs recorded by Garth Brooks, George Jones, Tyler Dickerson, Alecia Nugent, Jessie James and more. Her philanthropic work has led her to perform for the likes of Ambassador Andrew Young, President Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey. Amanda founded her own enhanced music publishing company in 2010 to provide education and mentoring to aspiring songwriters of all ages. To learn more about Amanda, visit songwritingandmusicbusiness.
Women in Music is a dynamic group of individuals in music working together to support, cultivate and recognize the talents ofwomen in our field. Through educational seminars, panels, workshops, networking events, showcases, our annual Touchstone Awards, and other gala events, we provide camaraderie and tools for advancement to hundreds of members in all areas of music.
Tinderbox Arts produces music events, showcases, and workshops– most notably among them being the Tinderbox MusicFestival, which showcases emerging female artists producing innovative original music while giving back to NYC nonprofits empowering young women through the arts. In its three years, Tinderbox has brought CocoRosie, Jean Grae, Holly Miranda, Bitch, and Jenny Owen Youngs to its stages; partnered with Converse, Time Out New York, ASCAP, Red Bull Soundstage; and received press from The New York Times, Billboard, The New Yorker, and Glamour.
Curated by singer-songwriter Eleanor Dubinsky, an enthusiastic member of Women in Music and a Tinderbox Arts artist.
April 1st, 2013
YouTube hit “Harlem Shake“‘s writer/producer Harry Bauer Rodrigues apparently failed to get permission to use at least two samples embodied on the track. The hit begins with reggaeton artist Hector Delgado singing “con los terroristas” and also used rapper Jayson Musson’s voice yelling “do the Harlem Shake,” without permission from either artist. ”Harlem Shake” has been at the top of the Billboard 100 for weeks now and has sold close to a million downloads, so the payouts for these uncleared samples could be huge.
March 31st, 2013
Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy is leaving after ten years at the company.
Greg Maffei, current Liberty Media President and CEO, is the new Live Nation chairman.
Harry Fox Agency hired Matthew Beekman as Chief Technology Officer.
Joie Manda has resigned as President of Def Jam Records to relocate back to Los Angeles and join Interscope Records as President of Urban Music.
ASCAP announced the results of its biannual board of directions election. Alf Clausen is the only newcomer.
The twelve writer members are:
Paul Williams [also president and chairmain]
Stephen Paulus – symphonic and concert field
The twelve publisher members are:
Martin Bandier (Sony/ATV)
Caroline Bienstock (Bienstock Publishing)
Barry Coburn (Ten Ten Music)
John L. Eastman (Edwin H. Morris & Co.)
Zach Horowitz (Universal Music)
Laurent Hubert (BMG Gold Songs)
Dean Kay (Lichelle Music)
Leeds Levy (Leeds Music)
Matt Pincus (Songs Music Publishing)
Irwin Z. Robinson (Cromwell Music)
Cameron Strang (Warner Brothers Music)
James Kendrick – symphonic and concert field (Schott Music Corporation/European American Music Corporation)
March 4th, 2013
It’s that time of year again! SXSW Music starts next week and I’m already getting pumped. In honor of my 5th year attending the conference (yes, we all know people that have been going for way longer, but 5 years isn’t bad!), I thought I’d pass on some tips for sxsw newbies.
Plan in advance!
- Write down all events that you are interested in, even if they conflict. – You probably won’t make half of them, but you don’t want to rely your schedule on making one event. Plus, if you don’t know the Austin area well, you may end up far away from the event you thought you’d attend but close to another great one.
- Include all necessary details. – You will most likely never look at the flyer/invite again so write down everything you need to know now, including time/date, location, name of party, and maybe a reminder if you’ve rsvped already or if there will be free food/drinks (never underestimate the importance of a breakfast taco at SXSW).
- Mix it up. – There to check out music and party? Look into panels that might interest you or the trade show (there was a great indie designer market last year open to the public). Only focussed on networking? Go to some parties that also include live music and free food/drinks. The point – don’t only focus on one type of event. SXSW has so much to offer; you may be surprised at what you find most valuable.
- Print it (multiple times) / Email it / Save it to all devices. Your phone will die, you will lose your first copy or give it to a friend, you won’t have reception. Make sure to print physical copies of the schedule and also keep a back up online somewhere and easily accessible on your mobile devices. If you really have a lot of time (or an intern), save it all in your online calendar.
How to find events:
- Start with the official SXSW events. – Know that if you don’t have a badge, you probably won’t be able to go to these.
- Like the ‘Unofficial SXSW Guide’ on Facebook and check out the parties they list. – Non-badge friendly!
- Check out this list.
- If you’re there for the music, check out your favorite artists’ website or track Austin that week on Songkick. Most shows aren’t officially through the conference, so you can see tons of music that isn’t listed on the official website.
- Ask your friends/colleagues for their schedule or if they recommend any bands, events, etc.
Be realistic about your schedule: You will not follow it.
So now you’ve made a detailed schedule and mapped out what you’ll be doing every minute from 9 am to 2 am every day of the festival? Perfect! Now you’re not going to follow it.
Use your schedule as a reference.
Don’t get too caught up in following your schedule perfectly. Start each day with 2 – 3 events that you definitely want to attend and begin like you will do them. See where your other listed events logically fit in between as the day continues. Location, scheduling, and who you run into at events will affect the rest of your day. Don’t be afraid to veer off your plan and head with a friend to something they have scheduled. That’s the best way to discover great music, food, people, and networking. If you have a buddy with you, make sure you take time to do your own thing if you want to see something different than them. Flying solo is one of the best ways to meet people in general. If at the end of the day, you only made your first ‘planned’ event, don’t be upset at yourself. There’s always tomorrow to catch that informative panel or take advantage of free BBQ. Plus, you probably had a better day by being spontaneous and not forcing yourself to attend things that didn’t make sense in the moment.
Listen to your body.
SXSW is exhausting! That fact will never change but don’t kill yourself or change who you are. If you’ve never been a morning person, this isn’t the time to assume you’ll be making an 8:30 am panel or coffee meeting. If you like a lot of sleep (like me), don’t spend the first couple nights at shows until 2 am. I was so proud of myself that last year I was in bed by midnight for the first two nights. I felt refreshed during the next days and wasn’t completely burnt out by the weekend. Make sure to eat properly and regularly (free breakfast tacos are awesome only if they’re not your only full meal of the day), drink lots of water (watery beer does not count), wear sunscreen, and take naps/downtime when you have a lull in the action.
And a word on packing….
Every year I bring lots of work out clothes because I seriously think I’m going to use the hotel gym every day. It doesn’t happen. Don’t overpack or bring things you will never wear. If you’re a gym-rat, assume you will go once on the first day you arrive and never again. Check the weather before you leave. One year I brought all the usual sundresses, shorts, and sandals and it was colder than in New York. I spent the whole trip in the one pair of jeans I brought and my winter coat I never thought I would need after I got on the plane. Even if you have meetings and/or are an attorney, you will not wear a suit at SXSW. Don’t forget sunglasses (or a cute hat if you’re a hat-person). The sun gets brutal.
Schedule meetings strategically.
This year I’m trying something new. Rather than scheduling meetings and then planning my event schedule around them. I’m planning meetings around my schedule (or things I know I always attend/definitely will go). Last year, I had a bunch of random meetings through SXSW Social. Unfortunately, I kept having to change them around because my must-attend events conflicted. This year, I’m looking at where I’ll definitely be and planning meetings around those times/locations.
Also – feel free to mix business and your scheduled events. If there’s a friendly contact that you want to reconnect with at SXSW but don’t necessarily need a formal ‘meeting’ environment, suggest that you attend a showcase or party together. That way, you won’t have to miss checking out the great band you wanted to see or supporting a colleague’s showcase, and you can also have some hang time with your contact. People go to SXSW to network, so your contact will appreciate you introducing them to whoever you came to see at the event.
Bring a phone charger wherever you go.
You will need it. And you will meet more people through it. The phone charger is a great networking ice-breaker. Someone may ask to borrow it and then they’re bound to talk to you or at least buy you a drink. Power outlets also end up being a good social hang out area (especially if you’re flying solo and awkward) where you are forced to talk to other people because you can’t distract yourself with a mobile device.
Take a minute to listen to the music.
I cannot stress this enough. Yes, I’m also often irritated by the people who attend SXSW just to party and see shows (this is a conference after all!) but don’t over-focus on the business side. We work in music because we love it. Use SXSW as an opportunity to reconnect with your love of music. Discover new things. Don’t just talk at a party or play Words with Friends on your phone while waiting in line for a beer – listen to the band playing. Every year I discover at least one new incredible artist. An artist that I go home excited about and immediately start exploring their catalog of music, social media, etc. An artist whose music changes my outlook on life. You really can find this at SXSW amidst the thousands of bands playing, just be open to it.
It’s Monday morning after SXSW. You’re exhausted, dehydrated, sunburnt, and have 300 unread emails in your inbox….
First, drink some water, sleep, respond to urgent matters, and call your mom so she knows you survived.
Then, make a pile of all of the business cards you collected at SXSW. Divide this into 2-3 sub-piles: (1) the people you met and actually had a conversation with that are ideal business connections, collaborators, friends, etc., (2) the people you met but didn’t really speak to long but seemed like they could be a good connect, and (3) people that gave you their card when you didn’t want it or did something to offend you during the course of your conversation with them.
During the first couple days after SXSW -
Write everyone in pile 1 a personal email. Subtly remind them how you met and ways that you might be able to work together. Be specific and follow up on your conversation. If you had told them about a great restaurant in Brooklyn, send them the info. If you suggested that they would find an industry organization valuable, remind them of the details and invite them to join you at an event. Suggest that you get coffee or lunch once the post-SXSW craziness has died down. Actually get coffee or lunch once the post-SXSW craziness has died down.
Within 2 weeks after SXSW -
Send a brief note to everyone in pile two. Yes, you can write the type of detailed email that you send to the Pile 1-ers, but I usually am swamped with work and don’t have enough time post-SXSW to do it. In this brief note, remind them of who you are and where you met (if you remember). Remind them of what you do and how you might be able to work together, complement what they do. Give them your contact info.
Throw away the business cards in Pile 3.
Or if you’re an office-hoarder, put them in a drawer and never look at them again. Trust your instincts – if you didn’t love meeting someone the first time, you probably won’t want to connect with them again. If they email you first, of course respond, but protect yourself and move forward in the relationship cautiously if you felt that they were creepy/unprofessional (it happens).
Listen to all the great new music you discovered!
And let me know what you’re up to down there – I’m putting together my schedule now and would love to meet up or check out your showcase/event! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 2nd, 2013
March 1st, 2013
Lindsay Lohan lost her lawsuit against hip hop artist Pit Bull, which claimed that the line “.. I got it locked up, like Lindsay Lohan” in Pit Bull’s song “Give Me Everything” was a violation of her rights of publicity and caused emotional distress. The court dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that NY Civil Rights law didn’t apply here because the song is a work of art and also is protected under the First Amendment. Additionally, the court held that her name wasn’t used for purposes of trade or advertising, which could trigger infringement of Lohan’s right of publicity, and the fact that her name was only in one line would also give cause for her losing.
Songwriter Jay Livingston (“Silver Bells,” “Mona Lisa,” “Whatever Will Be, Will Be”) is suing Warner Music for breaching their publishing administration contract by wrongfully withholding royalties and not complying with audit requirements under the contract.
Another royalty dispute… RZA, front man of the Wu Tang Clan, is seeking a court declaration that the 2010 Kanye West song he produced, “Dark Fantasy,” does not infringe the recording copyrights held by JVC Kenwood Holdings. RZA’s label, Island Def Jam, was withheld more than $50,000 in royalties based on the accusations by JVC Kenwood that “Dark Fantasy” contains a sample from one of their works.
February 28th, 2013
Not much action to report this month, at least that crossed my desk…
Bertelsmann is taking full control of BMG, although the price tag has yet to be confirmed.
Universal Music Group has now sold its uber-successful compilation series, Now!, to Sony Music Entertainment for $52.5 million.