Sunday, June 30, 2013

Singers and Songwriters are Canaries in the Gold Mine

What do Harlequin (Publishing) and Pandora (music streaming) have in common?

For one thing, in my opinion, they are both major businesses attempting to screw content creators any way they can, using ruthless (as it seems to me) legal manoeuvres to change laws and find loopholes in contracts so that they pay less and pocket more.

I think, but I often feel that I am nearly alone in my suspicions, that the almost universal acceptance of copyright infringement, and the attempts by powerful lobbies to make online "looting" legal, is going to result in more and more big businesses trying to find ways to exploit content creators. It is not going to stop with the "free music" movement.

Music is a shot across the bows for authors.

Moreover, the liberal Media is mostly on the side of Big Business. How ironic. The ignorance of the media is absolutely gobsmacking. For instance, one article stated  "this is a choice about how America wants to subsidize its musicians and other artists."

Word to the wise, America does not "subsidize" musicians and authors and artists. Musicians, and authors, and artists, and other creators are paid royalties, which are a fraction of the profits made on legal sales or licensed rights of copies of their creations. If their good stuff is not paid for, they don't get paid.

For The Trichordist's perspective on Pandora, look here:

http://thetrichordist.com/2013/06/28/artists-speak-out-on-pandoras-proposed-royalty-rate-cuts/

Streaming music is likely to be a very big deal, and some suggest that fewer people will "share" music illegally if they can subscribe to a legal service, but ... how much better will that be for songwriters and musicians if a song can be played 3,000,000 times and the musician gets $30 ?

Is it inconceivable that the same could happen to authors on day? An e-book is "read" 3,000,000 times, and the author gets $30?

Reference: Songwriter Ellen Shipley in Digitial Music News, “My Song Was Played 3.1 Million Times on Pandora. My Check Was $39…

This recent study http://musically.com/2013/01/16/copy-culture-study-outlines-us-and-german-filesharing-streaming-habits/ finds that, "Nearly half of adults in the US and Germany participate in a broad, informal ‘copy culture’ characterised by the copying, sharing, and downloading of music, movies, TV shows, and other digital mediaT 

Some "sharing" and re-selling of digital content has been made legal in Europe, and may be made legal in the USA at some point in the future. If it happens, Big Business is ready.... and authors are not ready, and won't know what hit them.

An older study http://piracy.americanassembly.org/the-copy-culture-survey-infringement-and-enforcement-in-the-us/ from 2011 and based on a relatively small sample found, among many things that piracy is common (46%), and almost 70% of the population are opposed to copyright enforcement or to meaningful copyright penalties for repeat offenders.

Ah, well. All I can say is that I encourage authors to join the copyrightalliance.org and at the very least to refrain from infringing the copyrights of cover models, photographers, musicians and other creators because at some point, creators may need to come to the table with clean hands and support one another.

On a happier note, I am pleased to announce that on Tuesday July 2nd my 5pm Eastern Time radio show on pwrtalk.com will be Real History And Regency Marriage with Romance Author Cheryl Bolen.

Rowena Cherry
‘Piracy’ is common
‘Piracy’ is common. Some 46% of adults have bought, copied, or downloaded unauthorized music, TV shows or movies. - See more at: http://piracy.americanassembly.org/the-copy-culture-survey-infringement-and-enforcement-in-the-us/#sthash.x8Ufk7Iq.dpuf
‘Piracy’ is common. Some 46% of adults have bought, copied, or downloaded unauthorized music, TV shows or movies.* - See more at: http://piracy.americanassembly.org/the-copy-culture-survey-infringement-and-enforcement-in-the-us/#sthash.x8Ufk7Iq.dpuf
‘Piracy’ is common. Some 46% of adults have bought, copied, or downloaded unauthorized music, TV shows or movies.* - See more at: http://piracy.americanassembly.org/the-copy-culture-survey-infringement-and-enforcement-in-the-us/#sthash.x8Ufk7Iq.dpuf

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