The legality of one of the most faithfully held precepts in music is being called into play by enormous players.
Copyright law is on the chopping block and none other than the US Department of Justice is the heavy. A law that goes back 75 years is under siege and is leading the battle in how music copyright law will be handled in the foreseeable future.
I’m not an attorney (thank goodness), and I’m not a publisher (even more gratitude) and I can barely wrap my head around what the following post written by Stephen Carlisle represents. Please read it here: http://copyright.nova.edu
It’s complicated. Terribly, imperceptibly complicated.
Without pointing fingers at the who and why this change is imminent, what needs to happen is finding short term solutions that can be put into play as quickly as possible.
I’ve made it clear in the past all the Internet really represents in music is a dispensary. It has taken the place of distributors and physical brick and mortar retailers. Social channels have taken the place of radio without the authoritative stamp of approval from regionally or nationally known stations. This validation will get kicked to the curb. The short lived CyberPR so highly touted for about a decade will die as well.
Since the DOJ and LOC are going back to the language of copyright law established in 1941, the most logical thing to do is take the process of making and promoting music back to 1941 and let the big boys in copyright law and publishing duke it out. In a way it makes so much sense it could be one of the best things to happen to the business of music which is unstable and amorphous.
Here are a few facts to consider and put into the equation as you make a personal decision to stay the course with the DOJ outcomes, or proactively take every bit of your music career into your own hands:
- The middle class in the United States is shrinking under the strain of a global economic implosion
- The US middle class did not begin to grow until after WWII which was precipitated by the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941
- The Baby Boomer generation began as a result of WWII ending in 1945 and millions of babies being born after soldiers came home from the war
- It is the Boomer generation who supported the growth of the music industry from the late 1950s to the point of becoming a multi-billion dollar industry
- The Millennial generation is the current socio-economic powerhouse followed closely in populace numbers by the Boomers who still support music with more monetary influence than any other generation
- LPs are growing a much stronger market share and the CD is dead
- It appears whatever determinations are made about copyright law will affect radio airplay, Internet streams, and licensing in film, television, and advertising
- How copyright law affects live performance isn’t clear
Give Carlisle’s post a read and if it doesn’t scare the living daylights out of you, come back and read the next post here. There are remedies and for every musician who truly wants to stay in the game these remedies can be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
The one thing you can be sure of is your talent is the least of your worries from here forward. Staying in music will be more expensive than it is right now. Your strategy will be the most compelling thing to keep you up at night.
The good news is while all this legal mumbo jumbo is in limbo, you can move forward on your own terms. No one is going to stop this train wreck, but the terms of your detour around the chaos can be mapped out as soon as you want to begin.