The last three posts here on Scout 66 have focused on the writing of Copyright Officer Stephen Carlisle, J.D. and what is happening with copyright law, common law, and consent decrees which you can read about here http://copyright.nova.edu.
It’s all very heady stuff and from what I’m hearing, “the decision written by the Department of Justice is much worse than you can possibly imagine…” Surprised, not surprised, that even something as sacred as copyright law is being tampered with when, in fact, musicians and the music business have been seriously oppressed by the evolution of technology.
This could only mean more oppression is coming unless you take proactive steps right now. In the unlikely event everything remains unchanged, then being fully prepared to take a different path may teach you a few things you hadn’t thought important until now.
If you have a publisher, get over to see them right away. If they tell you don’t worry, it’s much ado about nothing — run! If you don’t have a publisher, make an appointment with an entertainment or intellectual property attorney and find out just what the hell is going on concerning your situation.
Here are a few things to consider:
Copyright and music do not have to be complicated.
Whatever the DOJ has up its sleeve is for one reason: It will most likely give Google ultimate authority over existing PROs.
Google can only be involved if your music is entangled in the Internet unless they seek to destroy PROs completely. Even still, intellectual property must have protection if the property is not used on the internet.
We must have copyright law to protect intellectual property, but intellectual property does not have to be the property of entities such as Google. Music and literature have existed for millennia without the internet, and it is the internet’s omnipresence that has destroyed what was working well within the music business model until about 1999.
The internet and advanced technology have nothing to do with the concept of music; they only act as models for distribution and marketing of intellectual property. Therefore if you remove yourself from that plane and create your business around practices that exist on the physical plane you are in full control of your work.
There ARE many, many ways to have a successful career without putting all your eggs in the Internet’s basket. In many ways, it is the smartest thing to consider given recent trends in growing market share for vinyl recordings. Taking your power back and finding other means creates more demand for anachronisms like turn tables, newspapers, and hard copy magazines, real artwork for album covers, liner notes, advertising specialty items and an entire array of concepts and methods the internet has wiped clean from recent memory.
[There must be a joke here about using a cloth to clean up the mess of the internet. We all know of a politician who’s been in a pickle under similarly extenuating circumstances.]
Of the many music marketing specialists and publicist active today, I am one of the few who has extensive experience in old school strategy, and I’m willing to help anyone who wants to pull the plug on Big Brother’s browser and get back to the very old-fashioned idea of creating music for the sake of music itself.
What a concept!