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LP + More Call for Digital Millennium Copyright Act Reform


RogueSoul
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It's becoming increasingly less strange for Linkin Park to be involved in something political. The band, alongside Trent Reznor, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, and more are signing their names to a petition in support of reforming the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

 

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was signed in 1998 by Bill Clinton, looking to update copyright laws with the digital age. Since it's signing, lots has come into play that have rendered the act outdated. Services like YouTube and Spotify - ways creators can get their content to consumers in efficient and convenient ways - have made the system, in the words of the petition, "broken and no longer [working] for creators." It also states that "It has allowed major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish... The growth and support of technology companies should not be at the expense of artists and songwriters.”

 

The petition came about at the dawn of the new year, when the Copyright Office announced it's plans to reevaluate the DMCA, stating that "While Congress understood that it would be essential to address online infringement as the Internet continued to grow, it may have been difficult to anticipate the online world as we now know it, where each day users upload hundreds of millions of photos, videos and other items, and service providers receive over a million notices of alleged infringement."

 

What are your thoughts on it? It's not exactly a Linkin Park-centric subject, but rather, an open discussion for music lovers and creators. Over 160 artists have now signed the petition, and more expected to follow. Linkin Park are major artists on most services, YouTube and Spotify included. This is more of a discussion topic than anything else. Tell us your thoughts!

 

Linkin Park's next album is coming along, with another studio update expected soon. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page for the latest news!

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I am wondering what exactly they want. As far as I know webservices that are based in the US and host user generated content are obligated to delete content as soon as the copyright holder claims copyright violations. That's the most sane solution in my opinion (even though fucked up things happened because of big companies abusing the system) so I can't see what these "big names" want to be changed?

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I am wondering what exactly they want. As far as I know webservices that are based in the US and host user generated content are obligated to delete content as soon as the copyright holder claims copyright violations. That's the most sane solution in my opinion (even though fucked up things happened because of big companies abusing the system) so I can't see what these "big names" want to be changed?

They want a bigger chunk of the ad revenue, in most cases. Ad-based streaming services don't pay out crap to songwriters. The whole reason people re-negotiated with YouTube and started allowing their stuff to be posted was because they were basically told that between revenue sharing/royalty payments via the Content ID system and YouTube's upcoming premium service (YouTube Red), there would be a lot more money to be had in free streaming platforms. It just hasn't worked out that way...some of my LP-related YouTube videos are actually eligible for revenue sharing on my end, and I was surprised when I started making like 7 or 8 cents per ad click once I tried out the monetization feature. I know for a fact that the songwriters aren't getting anywhere near that much per stream of their work...I obviously don't mind being able to make a little bit of money doing what I'm doing, but I sure as hell shouldn't be making more than the people who actually wrote the damn songs in the first place. It's really screwed up.

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I fail to see a connection between the DMCA (copyright law) and the petition regarding music streaming services and artists’ earnings. I do see an industry requesting special treatment from the government, requesting new laws or regulations whose purpose would be to make some businesses more money. This will stifle future technological innovation and has the state protecting a legacy business model because MONEY. This is why we need change in Washington. The DMCA is abused enough, we don't need RIAA lobbyists writing self-serving legislation.

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They want a bigger chunk of the ad revenue, in most cases. Ad-based streaming services don't pay out crap to songwriters. The whole reason people re-negotiated with YouTube and started allowing their stuff to be posted was because they were basically told that between revenue sharing/royalty payments via the Content ID system and YouTube's upcoming premium service (YouTube Red), there would be a lot more money to be had in free streaming platforms. It just hasn't worked out that way...some of my LP-related YouTube videos are actually eligible for revenue sharing on my end, and I was surprised when I started making like 7 or 8 cents per ad click once I tried out the monetization feature. I know for a fact that the songwriters aren't getting anywhere near that much per stream of their work...I obviously don't mind being able to make a little bit of money doing what I'm doing, but I sure as hell shouldn't be making more than the people who actually wrote the damn songs in the first place. It's really screwed up.

I don't see the connection between streaming revenue and the DMCA.

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I don't see the connection between streaming revenue and the DMCA.

It's a result of how circumstances played out in the years since the DMCA went into effect in 1998. That was at a time when the primary concern was peer-to-peer filesharing, and people couldn't have ever predicted the rise of streaming services or how to handle them in regards to copyright law. Creators want to get paid for their content being on these services, but the vast majority of the people who use them don't pay for premium accounts, so the only money that really comes in from free users comes from ad revenue...and it's damn near impossible to make a worthwhile amount of money off of ad revenue because so many people run ad blockers, and even the ones that don't rarely click on ads anyway. I think what people ultimately want is compensation for streams from non-premium accounts that isn't based on ad revenue...which yeah, would definitely make them more money, but I think ultimately if musicians and these companies worked together to convince more people to sign up for premium subscriptions, that would generate a better source of revenue for everybody involved, rather than it being another round of "Creator vs. Streaming Service."

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I don't think I have ever clicked on an ad on YouTube and if I've ever seen one, I've immediately checked WTF was wrong with my Ad Blocking plugin/program. If there's a 15+ second commercial before the video, I'd rather go elsewhere to hear the song. Ads drive me away instantly.

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Ads drive me away instantly.

 

Exactly. I pay for Google Play / YouTube Red so I never have to deal with ads, even short ones.

 

So if Astat is correct, this petition is a group of people running to the government asking for legislation that will force me to pay them more money. Brilliant. Any way I can start a similar petition? Moderators on every discussion board on the internet should be paid by the government. A simple tax on internet users should do it. Yeah that's the ticket.

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As I explained earlier, the "Artist" (in this case Led Zepplin, which consisted of four members) would receive compensation from the record company, which is generally 14% of retail price. That 14% is then split among the four members, their management, lawyer(s), etc. so in the end, it's quite a paltry number.

 

Since the Stat Rate in 1971 was 2 cents, the songwriter's share of publishing income (i.e., mechanical album and single sales) would have been .015 cents per song, which in this case would have been shared 50/50 with Robert Plant, so Page's share would have been .0075 per unit sale.

 

The Performance Income, which is income from radio play, restaurants, bars, gyms, etc. would have risen over the years with inflation, advertising spending, etc. and so on. Since those statements aren't accessible, it's really difficult to ascertain just how much money Stairway To Heaven has earned since it's release. As I mentioned earlier, I find it extremely hard to believe that it's earned $10 million per year, which is the figure it would have needed to earn to reach the different between the total album sales and the number provided in the article that was linked. I was at Uni when Alanis sold 28 million records, with her song was blasting on the radio in heavy rotation for years and never saw anything near that number. It was closer to $800k for a year, no where near $10 million.

 

For perspective, in the Film & TV world, we're generally paid to compose Per Music Minute. That fee can vary anywhere from $100 Dollars Per Music Minute to John Williams & Hans Zimmer's $5,000 Per Music Minute. We receive Performance Income from Local, Cable and OTA airings, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, et al but generally speaking, no money from radio. Even Radio pays zero money for commercial advertising, so the only money I see when licensing music for a Radio Ad spot is the initial Sync Fee.

 

Anyway, it's difficult to put a dollar value on Page & Plants per hourly rate for creating Stairway To Heaven. Maybe with this information, you're able to put together a formula that works.

This is from another poster in another forum that happens to have worked for WB *Warn Bros.* and now produces tv show music etc in hollywood. This was a thread about Led Zeppelin's case, but it kind of speaks to how little musicians get compensated.

 

You can view the thread here.. the poster's name is Dane McCloud

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=300402&page=7

Edited by FaiNt
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