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Back in the day it was much easier being an artist because there weren’t forces working against you. It’s important to remain creative and somewhat ignore these outside issues because we believe greatness will rise to the top. On the flip side, artists today should be a bit more educated. Its not exciting talking about copyright laws and it can be a bit boring, but there is a dark reality that exists in this universe that we must face. It’s another reality working against independent artists…

Orphan works are basically works whose copyright owners cannot be located. ‘The term “Orphan Works” is really a dangerously misleading phrase’.

The reality is that for independent artists, the majority of your published works may well become Orphan Works. Even if you registered your songs or tracks at the Copyright Office, there is no mechanism for identifying you or your photograph or for locating you through those records, if the user does not know your name.

Under the proposed legislation, a person who wants to use a copyrighted work is required to make only a “good faith, reasonably diligent search” to locate the copyright owner. If, after making such a search, the user is unable to locate the copyright owner, he/she/it gets an almost free license to use the work. If the copyright owner never comes forward, the user gets to use the work for free. Even if the copyright owner discovers the use and demands payment, the MOST the copyright owner can get is “reasonable compensation,” i.e. a reasonable license fee for the use actually made.

Wait, it gets worse: If the copyright owner discovers the use and demands payment, “where the infringement is performed without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage, such as through the sale of copies or phonorecords of the infringed work, and the infringer ceases the infringement expeditiously after receiving notice of the claim for infringement, no award of monetary relief shall be made.”

The fact that the potential compensation is so low presents a fatal impediment to collection: if you discover one of your works being used and demand only your reasonable licensing fee, but the person refuses to pay, you cannot afford to sue to collect the minimal amount to which you are entitled. Without the possibility of an award of attorneys’ fees or statutory damages, no lawyer would take your case; and if he or she did, you would end up paying far more legal fees than you could possibly collect.

The bottom line is that, even if you have done everything right, including registering your photographs immediately at the Copyright Office, every photograph that you publish may be up for grabs if it doesn’t have a published credit. Yes, people have to contact publishers to try to identify and locate you, but if that doesn’t produce your name and/or contact information for any reason, they may be entitled to a free, or almost free, pass. (ASMP)

CONTINUE READING

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U2 Paul McGuinness Says Radioheads’s ‘In Rainbows’ Backfired: U2 won’t be given an album away for free anytime soon. ‘McGuinness said that U2’s forthcoming new album, which he said is likely to be released in October, would not be released in the style of ‘In Rainbows’. McGuinness said that most fans who downloaded the album did so through illegal means, despite the album being available for a nominal amount legally. “60 to 70 percent of the people who downloaded the record stole it anyway,” he told BBC 6 Music’s Music Week, “even though it was available for free.”

McGuinness said, “We will obviously work with whatever technology is available to make the release of the new record as interesting as possible. “[But] for U2 physical sales are still an enormous part of our business and we still sell a lot of actual CDs.” No one can claim that Radiohead was thrilled with the results…

Trink Is Out: It has been confirmed that Capitol Records President Lee Trink is resigning from the label, and will step down from his position as of Monday, June 30.

Trink said the decision to step down was based on a based on a ‘philosophical difference’ with changes EMI’s new owners were making. Their view is that is no local management says Trink. There is no such thing as a president of Capitol Records going forward. I believe that’s a mistake – and not just because I happen to be the president of Capitol.

Also, Jason Flom could be entitled to a hefty settlement payout according to sources.

Signings: Indie Ambient act, Paper Route, has signed to Low Altitude Records and will be distributed through Fontana. Listen to All We Are Forgotten.

The Charts: Disturbed’s “Indestructible” lands on top of the Billboard charts with 250k in sales. That’s pretty darn good. This has to be one of the biggest opening weeks of the year.

The War on Piracy: Read this article written by Billboard’s Susan Butler titled ‘ Inside the music industry’s piracy battle’. The war isn’t going to be easy, but war is never easy. We are in a land where people feel they are ‘ENTITLED’ to steal music.

Quote Of The Day: I never hear new music in the right context to buy it says new EMI Digital exec.

He also says..

‘When I listen to radio, I’m listening to NPR to catch up on the news. The good local music stores are all gone. When I’m working, I want to hear music I like, so I have a very low threshold for experimentation. Coworker’s iTunes shares provide a hint at something new, but DRM and the hassles of being on the wrong computer – working on a desktop when my music is on my phone and laptop – keep me from jumping onto the iTunes Music Store to make a purchase.’ (Silicon Alley)

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By the time you read this column, Lee Trink, the popular and affable president of Capitol Records, will be telling his troops his last day is June 30 says Fox News Columnist Roger Friedman.

Sources tell me Trink’s resignation will be followed in short order by that of Jason Flom, head of Virgin Records. Both labels are part of EMI Music.

And get this: Neither Trink nor Flom will be replaced. Guy Hands and the folks from Terra Firma, the new owners of EMI who have no experience in the record business, don’t believe in label presidents.

Friedman goes onto say that Coldplay, the Beatles, and Katy Perry who currently has the #1 song in the country will be left fending for themselves.

This is the way I am told all the EMI labels will be run. Nick Gatfield is coming in to take over as “president of A&R labels for North America and the U.K.” for all of EMI. But the individual labels will not have presidents. They will have “A&R presidents” and heads of marketing.

Unfortunately, right now there is no marketing chief for Capitol. And now there’s no president.

KOAR can’t confirm these reports, but, If this is truth, it is certainly stranger than fiction….

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Canada claims no other country can boast such a successful record in nurturing and exporting female singers, songwriters and performers.

Some females rooted in Canada include Alanis Morissette, Céline Dion, Shania Twain, kd lang, Diana Krall, Alannah Myles, Sarah McLachlan, Jane Siberry, Loreena McKennitt, Martha Wainwright, Peaches, Avril Lavigne and Nelly Furtado.

“What Canada does best is meat-and-potatoes rock- and folk-oriented singer-songwriters says Larry LeBlanc.

So where do Canadian artists draw their inspiration in the midst of this technological soul-less society?

Canadian artists have a small beef with US record industry and feel they have to step it up according to BBC Radio 2 DJ Bob Harris.

“Historically, the US record industry has used smash-and-grab tactics – taking artists like Joni, Shania Twain and Avril Lavigne, then marketing them to the world as American artists,” explains the BBC Radio 2 DJ Bob Harris, a long-term supporter of Canadian artists. “There is a certain degree of resentment, in that Canadian musicians can feel swamped by American culture, so they love to show that they can match it.

Canadian artists may approach writing with more integrity because they know know they can’t sell a million records on their home turf. The label infrastructure is also smaller and the approach is grabbing one fan at a time. Also, radio networks and two industry bodies founded Factor (the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Recordings), a not-for-profit organization loaning money to new artists.

Geography may be influence as well. Many parts of Canada gets rain and snow for a half a year.

“Canadians are instinctively modest and humble, sometimes to our detriment, sometimes to our benefit. We spend a lot of time hiding away in winter and associate ourselves tightly with people.”

“Even in this internet, cable-TV, connected world, girls with poetry in their souls will still retire to their bedrooms to write songs and escape their environment”.

(Times Online)

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UK Festivals Suffer Slow Ticket Sales: Glastonbury, the biggest festival, still have plenty tickets available. Some blame the less in demand, Jay-Z, as the headline act. Others believe that people are choosing attend smaller festivals. ‘Most of the largest festivals are controlled by the American promoter Live Nation, which signed up acts including Madonna for $120 million (£60 million) and Jay-Z for $150 million.’

Poor ticket sales forced organizers to pull the plug on Norway’s Quart Festival which featured Death Cab For Cutie. Organizers blamed poor ticket sales and budgetary prblems. (Full read here)

Warner Music Pulls Songs From Last.fm: The website Last.fm, that claims it has 21 million users lost Led Zeppelin songs and hundreds of thousands of other tracks. Warner Brothers wanted more money and Last.FM’s parent company, CBS – was unwilling to pay. Warner was expecting to make more money from the deal but the fees related to the existing free service have been far less than it had hoped. Warner wants a cut of advertising, not just on the music player itself.

AC/DC and Walmart: AC/DC will be the next major band to sell a new album only through Wal-Mart Stores. AC/DC has not released its catalog to iTunes. The Eagles struck a deal with Wal-Mart last year with plenty of success.

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