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How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:06 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:It will be interesting to see what happens Jan 2021 when the MLC starts sending out invoices for Royalties. Who will get the invoice? Drew says it goes to the user who posted the content (please correct me if I am wrong here Drew, but that is what I understand your position is), or if the invoice goes to the music provider. The law says the invoice goes to the 'music provider'. So if Drew is right, that means we will see Youtube sending a bill to their users to collect the royalties? That will be interesting, and would create a huge incentive to take down bogus posts and exposes all of the copyright infringement, and creates the incentive to begin pre-filtering.
Interesting. Very interesting. What royalties are they actually collecting? Is it just mechanical royalties or sync royalties and performance royalties? Sorry, I'm sure I could go and look this up but you seem to be on top of things!
I'd expecte youtube to say, "not me guv, here's the contact details for the users who uploaded those songs."
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:08 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:We have been discussing pre-filtering. None of that may actually happen. I think it will naturally, especially if the EU rules prevail worldwide that say that the music distributor is responsible for their user's content, and I have no problem with that and think it will be a great improvement to the ecosystem and civil society in general.
Oh yes, and we're still on opposite sides of the fence on this one, but I think we've covered all the relevant arguments now! :)
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:00 pm

blinddrew wrote:I'd expecte youtube to say, "not me guv, here's the contact details for the users who uploaded those songs."

The invoice is sent to the 'music provider' which will be Youtube, etc.. It's up to Youtube then to collect that from their users if they want to. That is their business model. Nobody wants to deal with sending out thousands of little collections. Youtube used to hide behind that. But now they will get the bill and have to deal with it themselves.

MLC just collects mechanical royalties (what the publisher collects).

Songtrust still does the performance and composition. But these are linked now. The splits are linked. Songtrust does mechanical licensing too, but that will be replaced by the MLC.
The fundamental difference there is that MLC is mandated to be paid for by the music distributors and has legal standards it must meet to ensure that is what is happening. Soundtrust is not legally required to exist or be paid for by the music providers.

And of course the performer and publisher are often the same person(s) today.

Follow the money. It is all about who is required by law to pay for the enforcement of copyright.

Youtube says: Not our problem. It is up to each user to do it (which they don't).
US law says: Here is your invoice for royalties. And here is your monthly bill for software and infrastructure required to operate the MLC.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:10 pm

Surely this hinges on the legal definition of 'music provider'? How is that defined in the bill?
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby CS70 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:48 pm

MOF wrote:Hence my suggestion that you have to do ALL the initial heavy work

Which is not possible. Alone, you can't do any heavy work whatsoever.
You can lift a single rock, but not a bag of rocks.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby MOF » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:04 pm

MOF wrote:
Hence my suggestion that you have to do ALL the initial heavy work

Which is not possible. Alone, you can't do any heavy work whatsoever.
You can lift a single rock, but not a bag of rocks.
It’s called time management, which unlike my photographer friend, I’m not great at, but to use your analogy you move one rock at a time. Multitasking is the norm in many smaller and not so small enterprises.
When I started out in TV I was in the Sound Department, cameras and lighting were separate departments.
Now News/documentary cameramen do 99% of the sound recording too, light their subjects, some even edit on location and then send the files back to base.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:27 pm

blinddrew wrote:Surely this hinges on the legal definition of 'music provider'? How is that defined in the bill?

The legal term for who pays the royalties in the MMA is the digital service provider (DSP). A music provider is a DSP that distributes music on request, like Youtube. It is their electronic means that is doing the copying and the making available of the content.

According to the EU a DSP is: “any service normally provided for remuneration, at a distance, by electronic means and at the individual request of a recipient of services”

In the US it is: “an entity offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the user’s choosing, without modification to the content of the material as sent or received”


Here is how the MLC works: https://www.themlc.com/how-it-works
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:31 pm

blinddrew wrote:Surely this hinges on the legal definition of 'music provider'? How is that defined in the bill?
Turns out 'music provider' is mentioned 101 times in the bill, the definition is occurrence 99 :roll:
Anyway, here's the text:
"Digital music provider.--The term `digital music provider' means a person (or persons operating under the authority of that person) that, with respect to a service engaged in covered activities--
``(A) has a direct contractual, subscription, or
other economic relationship with end users of the
service, or, if no such relationship with end users
exists, exercises direct control over the provision of
the service to end users;
``(B) is able to fully report on any revenues and
consideration generated by the service; and
``(C) is able to fully report on usage of sound
recordings of musical works by the service (or procure
such reporting)."
Which is an interesting bit of legalese.
The use of the word 'and' at the end of part B says that the provider needs all three parts to qualify.
Part A would definitely include something Youtube as you sign up to terms and conditions with your account (current reading of the law says this is effectively a contractual agreement), what's not clear in this bit is what 'direct control' means. Parts B and C are covered elsewhere in the bill by the fact that companies are allowed to use content matching systems.
But if you are unable to provide parts B&C, or if you don't actually have a relationship with the end user - say you provide a broadcast system that aggregates content hosted elsewhere and doesn't require people to sign-in to stream content, that would presumably not make you a music provider. And therefore not subject to this bill.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out but I wonder if this will just see some new provider pop up with an ad-supported platform, scraping content from larger sites who are covered by the legislation but offering a better end-user experience by being able to aggregate a wider range of material. If they do it in such a way that it still tracks back as a play on the original site that should be ok.
The other outcome might just be that companies incorporate in less strict jurisdictions and bypass the legislation altogether.

Of course the other thing that's not covered in the MLC's remit is the collection of royalties where another contract exists. So for those folks signed to a major, and where the major has an existing contract with Spotify et al they won't potentially see any difference. Good if it's working for you, less good if you think you're being screwed over.

Will be interesting to see what happens in January. If it functions as it's designed it should prove something of a boon to small content creators. I've signed up for updates from the MLC so it'll be interesting to see how the registration process works before January and then what happens when the rules kick in.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby CS70 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:46 pm

blinddrew wrote:So for those folks signed to a major, and where the major has an existing contract with Spotify et al they won't potentially see any difference.

Well, the current blanket licensing scheme is the direct consequence of the lack of an alternative, so if this gets enforced these contracts may need to be renegotiated..
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby CS70 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:46 pm

MOF wrote:It’s called time management,

:bouncy:
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:47 pm

Curiouser and Curiouser. I may have to retract my previous statement about helping smaller song-writers.
It's not clear if you can only register your work on the MLC database if it has been commercially released. It looks like you need an IPI number and an ISRC number to register.
Now that covers things like Spotify, because you need to go through an aggregator and get an ISRC. But wouldn't cover any sites where users can upload directly.
Which would make a pre-filter a very interesting requirement if that comes through in time.

[EDIT] of course this does deal with my concerns about the MLC being able to handle the volume of content, because that volume won't be there.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:49 pm

CS70 wrote:
blinddrew wrote:So for those folks signed to a major, and where the major has an existing contract with Spotify et al they won't potentially see any difference.

Well, the current blanket licensing scheme is the direct consequence of the lack of an alternative, so if this gets enforced these contracts may need to be renegotiated..
Not sure, this is just another blanket licence. If they've already got a contract in place the MLC isn't involved. If there's something else in the MMA that affects that contract then that may, of course, trigger a renegotiation. But I haven't read the whole damn thing! :D
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:51 pm

blinddrew wrote:But if you are unable to provide parts B&C, or if you don't actually have a relationship with the end user - say you provide a broadcast system that aggregates content hosted elsewhere and doesn't require people to sign-in to stream content, that would presumably not make you a music provider. And therefore not subject to this bill.

It makes you not qualified for the blanket license. Therefore you don't have a license to distribute the music in the MLC. You have to be a music provider first before qualifying for the blanket license.

One must FIRST get the license to distribute.

Distribution is not a right. Copy right is a right.

The internet business model is based on the inversion of this basic principal. Time to fix that.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:03 am

Just go here https://www.usisrc.org/

For a one time $95 fee that covers you for lifetime, you can generate up to 100,000 ISRC's per year for your music.
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Re: How do we create a healthier music ecosystem that empowers musicians financially?

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:26 am

This is a fascinating analysis of how the subscription model for streamers, with unlimited spins, yields an unbounded liability for copyright royalties.

https://medium.com/@wilkey/row-row-row- ... 177dca4edf

Since this has been going on for a while now, and since streamers have not wanted to limit the spins, the only mathematical way that the streamers can stay in business is to reduce the royalty payments to almost zero. The average Youtube mechanical royalty paid is only $.0006. That makes the payout equal to 1/1500'th of a download.

How do they justify this? It is nothing other than setting the rate as low as they want to make sure that they still make money.

Who says they get to set the rate themselves?
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