Future of Music Coalition wants to rewrite rules of music business

John Timmer, Ars Technica

As revenues from sales of traditional media have plunged, the music business has been looking for alternate ways of making money from its products, including a variety of subscription services, ad-supported streams, and blanket licenses. The focus of these efforts has largely been on how to ensure that revenue gets collected by the industry in general instead of disappearing into the black hole of piracy, but there's a related issue that doesn't receive as much attention: how that money gets distributed once it's collected. In an attempt to highlight this issue, the Future of Music Coalition has released a set of principles (pdf) for the compensation of musicians. Although the document focuses on money from new distribution models, it reads much more like an effort to rewrite the rules of the entire business.

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Community media supporters stand up for public access

Alliance for Community Media

Alliance for Community Media members and supporters from 36 states responded in force to the FCC's request for comments regarding the Petitions for Declaratory Ruling filed in January, 2009. Over 700 responses came from a wide variety of sources, including local community organizations, media reform organizations, non-profit associations, city governments, and individuals.

"The strength, variety and volume of the comments show that communities across this nation value their local public, government and education channels and community media centers, and that the quality and availability of these services matter," stated ACM board chair Matt Schuster.

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Seattle hip hop community tackles tough issues at NW Hip Hop Leadership Conference

Julie Chang Schulman, NW Hip Hop Congress

Approximately 200 people came out from across the greater Seattle Area to participate in the 1st Seattle/NW Hip-Hop Leadership Council on Saturday February 28th at Seattle Central Community College,” wrote Wyking, co-convener of the event, “presented by the Seattle Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council, Bush School Diversity Speaker Series, UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center and Seattle Central Community College Black Student Union, the conference provided a wealth of information beginning with history and socio-cultural analysis related to the hip-hop generation.”

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Goodman and Grenwald honored with "Izzy" award

The Park Center for Independent Media (PCIM) at Ithaca College has announced that its first annual Izzy Award for special achievement in independent media will be shared this year by two pillars of independent journalism: blogger Glenn Greenwald and “Democracy Now!” host/executive producer Amy Goodman. The award ceremony — featuring Goodman and Greenwald — will take place at Ithaca’s State Theatre on Tuesday, March 31.

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FCC asked to probe AT&T treatment of public access channels

Nate Anderson, Ars Technica

PEG channels—public, educational, and government programming that generally takes the form of city council meetings and plays from the local middle school—are being treated as second-class citizens on AT&T's new U-Verse IPTV system, according to a new complaint to the FCC. Anger over AT&T's PEG handling has been buildling for some at the local level, but late last week it went national.

The FCC is now being asked to step in where state regulators so far have not to "rule in no uncertain terms" that the U-Verse PEG situation is "in violation of the Act and Commission rules and policies."

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Seattle WTO shutdown 9 year anniversary: five lessons for today

David Solnit, Common Dreams

What lessons can we learn from the shutdown of the 1999 WTO Ministerial in Seattle 9 years ago today and from the last decade and a half of global justice organizing as we face today's major crises under an Obama Administration? This was the question a group of organizers from different parts of the last decades of global justice organizing responded to last week at a forum in New York City put together by Deep Dish TV, an independent video/media pioneer. Here are my thoughts.

Nine years ago today: Tens of thousands of people from across the US and around the world rose up against the WTO's meeting in Seattle, as movements demonstrated across the planet, we shut down the WTO with mass nonviolent direct action and sustained street resistance all week in the face of martial law, police and national guard violence, arrests, tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets. By the end of the week, the poorer countries' government representatives, emboldened by the street protests and under pressure from movements at home, refused to go along and the talks collapsed.

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Studs Terkel dies at 96

CARYN ROUSSEAU, Associated Press

Studs Terkel, the ageless master of listening and speaking, a broadcaster, activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose best-selling oral histories celebrated the common people he liked to call the "non-celebrated," died Friday. He was 96.

Dan Terkell said his father died at home, and described his death as "peaceful, no agony. This is what he wanted."

"My dad led a long, full, eventful, sometimes tempestuous, but very satisfying life," Terkell said in a statement issued through his father's colleague and close friend Thom Clark.

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Study: Payola deal has failed to provide more airplay for independent artists

The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) have released the results of a study they conducted regarding the progress toward compliance with the 2007 FCC Consent Decree and Rules of Engagement. Stemming from Elliot Spitzer’s high-profile payola investigation, the FCC in 2007 signed agreements with four major commercial radio broadcasters (CBS Radio, Clear Channel, Entercom and Citadel) that was designed to increase the representation of independent music on commercial radio. Around the same time, the independent music community, led by A2IM and the FMC, signed a separate "Rules Of Engagement" agreement with the radio chains promising to play more local and independent artists.

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RNC raids target video activists


In the run-up to the Republican convention, Minnesota police launched a series of preemptive raids to intimidate protesters and quash dissent.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey