Artists Rights Symposium
Music Business Certificate Program
Terry College of Business
University of Georgia
Athens GA 30602
November 14-15th 2022
Stelling Family Study
200 Moore-Rooker Hall
600 Lumpkin Ave
Athens GA 30602
Contact Director David Barbe dbarbe <AT>uga.edu
Contact David Lowery dlowery < AT > uga.edu
Limited seating available to public. To reserve contact Allison Gilmore Allison<dot>gilmore<AT>uga.edu
UGA Artists’ Rights Symposium III: The Future of Authorship and the US Copyright Office.
The US Copyright Office wields enormous influence over the digital market for music. Via the Copyright Royalty Board the office directly sets royalties for songwriters and performers in the digital realm. The CRB also has great influence over the rule making process. The symposium will examine ways that songwriters and performers might have more input into royalty and rule making proceedings.
The Copyright Office also oversees the operations of The Music Licensing Collective which administers streaming mechanical royalties for songwriters and publishers. The MLC recently received “unmatched” songwriter royalty payments from streaming services in excess of $400 million dollars. This can largely be attributed to the failure of streaming services to collect proper songwriting metadata associated with each recording. In effect the administrative burden of matching recordings to songwriters and publishers has been shifted to the public. The symposium will examine possible solutions and best practices moving forward.
The Copyright Office administers the copyright laws that govern creation and use of books, music, film, and other media, including provisions that regulate digital copying and lending by libraries and archives which in turn affect the marketplace for e-books. It conducts studies on numerous aspects of copyright in the digital age that guide legislative decisions by Congress.
While the general public has some awareness of the low royalties paid to songwriters for streaming and other digital uses, they are generally unaware that authors of books (including sheet music and music tab) face similar problems. Specifically libraries and institutions like The Internet Archive, have recently attempted to take narrow copyright exceptions in copyright law and turn them into a broad license to copy and lend author’s books without permission or payment.
Case in point, a few months into the COVID pandemic The Internet Archive announced a so-called “National Emergency Library.” They Internet Archive unilaterally made books digitally available to the public without the permission of authors, nor payment of lending fees to authors that are common in the rest of the world. Authors quickly voiced outrage and publishers sued for copyright infringement (case pending). Media coverage of the dispute has proven woefully inadequate with major media outlets portraying this a some sort of technical dispute over “waitlists.” The symposium hopes to educate the public on dispute and explore whether The Copyright Office should take a more active role in the regulation of libraries.
The symposium is oriented towards students and faculty at UGA, but a limited number of seats have been made available to the public. Please email Allison Gilmore at the Music Business Certificate Program Office to reserve a seat (allison.gilmore<AT>uga.edu).
Cash Bar and Snacks at The 40 Watt Club
6:30 to 8:30PM
Join us for snacks and a cash bar at the legendary 40 watt club. Panelists and attendees will have a chance to mingle with Terry College Music Business Certificate students, staff and faculty. There are also usually a few interesting local music celebrities that attend. The 40 Watt Club is located at 285 W. Washington St. Athens GA 30601.
Coffee and Pastries, Getting Acquainted.
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Welcome /Opening remarks
9:00 AM -9:10 AM
David Barbe, Dean, David Lowery and TBD
9:10 AM- 9:30 AM
Mala Sharma delivers overview on Georgia legislative agenda on music.
Panel 1: Libraries vs Authors: The Internet Archive’s “Controlled Digital Lending” and Fair Renumeration for Authors.
9:35 AM- 10:50 AM
The Internet Archive started its book scanning operations in 2004, competing with other tech enterprises for access to print library collections, and in 2006 it launched the Open Library that provided free access to public domain books. It quietly introduced copyrighted books and since at least 2011 has been making available scanned in-copyright books to the public for free, without permission or remuneration to authors and publishers.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internet Archive launched the so-called National Emergency Library that further broadened access to copyrighted books, from one user at a time per print copy owned to unrestricted global access. In a statement on their website, Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian at the Internet Archive, stated: “The library system, because of our national emergency, is coming to aid those that are forced to learn at home. This was our dream for the original Internet coming to life: the Library at everyone’s fingertips.”
Authors and publishers were quick to push back, noting that many of these books were already available through licensed e-lending libraries or for a fee on commercial websites. Many questioned whether this was, in fact, an opportunistic attempt to roll back copyright protection for authors by expanding the scope of fair use for e-books. The NEL has been shut down and the Internet Archive faces a major lawsuit that is poised to determine whether its library-like “controlled digital lending” program, that provides no revenue to authors or other rightsholders and is demonstrably harmful to their livelihoods, is lawful.
At the same time, across the U.S. libraries are engaged in an effort to establish state laws that set artificially lower rates for e-books sold to libraries, further destroying opportunities for authors and publishers to earn money from their works, and that impose civil and criminal penalties, including imprisonment, on book sellers for setting their own prices for e-books sold to libraries. Two of these state laws—in Maryland and New York– have failed but the effort continues.
The panel will attempt to answer some of the following questions, and more:
• Is “controlled digital lending” supported by copyright law?
Internet Archive: “The Internet Archive’s implementation of Controlled Digital Lending is fair use.”
Professors and Scholars of Copyright Law: “CDL is neither permitted by the Copyright Act nor supported by legal precedent.”
Publishers: “…[I]t is about IA’s purposeful collection of truckloads of in-copyright books to scan, reproduce, and then distribute digital bootleg versions online.”
• Is it a longstanding, established library practice, as Internet Archive claims, or “in fact a concept that IA invented as a shield for itself and its library collaborators,” as others claim?
• Is there a continuum involving “strategic litigation” by tech enterprises to incrementally undermine copyright law involving books?
• Is the Internet Archive more accurately described as an altruistic non-profit serving the public good (a universal digital library) or as an opportunistic, multi-million dollar tech enterprise?
• In what ways is the Internet Archive similar to and dissimilar to traditional libraries?
• Are there comparisons to be made between Internet Archive’s agenda and the way that Spotify and other digital music services operate and why is this relevant for artists?
• How is the state e-book legislation effort related to the Internet Archive e-book development?
Is the claim that Internet Archive lawsuit is an effort to criminalize library lending accurate?
Association of American Publishers (on state e-book bills): “…[P]ublishers will also be irreparably harmed if they continue to exercise their exclusive rights under the Copyright Act and become subject to civil or criminal liability under the Maryland Act, including up to one year’s imprisonment, for doing so. Nor should publishers be forced to cease disseminating their works altogether as a result of these conflicting laws.”
Electronic Frontier Foundation (on Internet Archive litigation): “Internet Archive has asked a federal judge to rule in our favor and end a radical lawsuit, filed by four major publishing companies, that aims to criminalize library lending.”
Janice Pilch. Rutgers University (She/Her)
John Degen: Writer, Head of Writers Union Canada.
Stephen Carlisle: Copyright Officer NSU Florida
Mary Rasenberger, CEO, Authors Guild and Authors Guild Foundation.
Court documents located at Court Listener, https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17211300/hachette-book-group-inc-v-internet-archive/?page=1
- BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE PROFESSORS AND SCHOLARS OF COPYRIGHT LAW IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS AND IN OPPOSITION TO INTERNET ARCHIVE, filed 8/15/22, 24 p., https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17211300/163/hachette-book-group-inc-v-internet-archive/
- Chris Castle, “The Revenge of the Internet Archive: Google and the Metashills Lead the Long March Through State Houses to Weaken Copyright for the Metaverse,” Music Technology Policy, December 10, 2021, https://musictechpolicy.com/2021/12/10/the-revenge-of-the-internet-archive-google-and-the-metashills-lead-the-long-march-through-state-houses-to-weaken-copyright/
- David Newhoff, “Publishers’ Suit Against Internet Archive Is Pro-Author, Not Anti-Library,” The Illusion of More, July 11, 2022, https://illusionofmore.com/publishers-suit-against-internet-archive-is-pro-author-not-anti-library/
- COMPLAINT, filed 6/1/20, 53 p., https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17211300/1/hachette-book-group-inc-v-internet-archive/
- DEFENDANT INTERNET ARCHIVE’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES TO THE COMPLAINT, filed 7/28/20, 28 p., https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17211300/33/hachette-book-group-inc-v-internet-archive/
- PLAINTIFFS’ MEMORANDUM OF LAW OF IN SUPPORT OF THEIR MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, filed 7/7/22, 49 p., https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17211300/99/hachette-book-group-inc-v-internet-archive/
- REDACTED MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT INTERNET ARCHIVE’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, filed 7/7/22, 45 p., https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17211300/106/hachette-book-group-inc-v-internet-archive/
- PLAINTIFFS’ MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITION TO INTERNET ARCHIVE’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, filed 9/2/22, 41 p., https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17211300/169/hachette-book-group-inc-v-internet-archive/
- DEFENDANT INTERNET ARCHIVE’S MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT filed 9/2/22, 41 p., https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17211300/173/hachette-book-group-inc-v-internet-archive/
- DECLARATION OF BREWSTER KAHLE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT INTERNET ARCHIVE’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, filed 9/2/22, 8 p., https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17211300/171/hachette-book-group-inc-v-internet-archive/
- David R. Hansen & Kyle K. Courtney, A White Paper on Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books (2018), https://controlleddigitallending.org/whitepaper
- Lila Bailey, et al., Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries, Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries, https://controlleddigitallending.org/statement
Panel 2 Managing a longer Table at the Copyright Royalty Board
11:10 AM to 12:25 PM
Grass roots response to the “frozen mechanicals” crisis demonstrates that songwriters want to be directly involved in rulemakings that affect their future. Unfortunately, from the perspective of the songwriter the structure of the Copyright Royalty Board proceedings favor the rich and powerful few who have done a poor job of managing this responsibility and privilege.
What structural changes can be made to the Copyright Royalty Board that allow for a longer table with more people at that table?
Two different solutions to the problem have been offered up. One possible solution is to modify competition and antitrust laws and regulations to allow for songwriters to form a collective bargain association (Think of this as a union, although technically its not a union as songwriters are producers of goods, not laborers.).
A second proposed solution is a songwriter ombudsman.
The U.S. federal and state governments have dozens of ombudsmen or other officials who perform similar functions (such as the Taxpayer Advocate at the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy and many state government ombudsmen https://www.usombudsman.org/about/ombudsman-websites/). The Model Ombudsman Act for State Governments provides some guidelines that we can drill down on if you want to pursue the ombudsman approach.
A songwriter ombudsman could have a limited role inside the Copyright Royalty Board and would not replace or impinge upon the authority of the Copyright Royalty Judges. There would need to be a justification for creating the office which could be that the ombudsman would represent the interests of songwriters whose copyrights are essentially taken by the federal government under the statutory license. U.S. Government takings of private property require “just compensation” under the Fifth Amendment. Indeed, the role of many of the ombudsman I found in research concerns similar issues of protecting property owner’s rights in eminent domain actions to protect property rights.
The panelist will discuss this and other topics.
David Lowery Moderator
Rick Carnes, Songwriters Guild of America
David Turner, Penny Fractions, SoundCloud
Crispin Hunt, Songwriter, Ivors Academy
Lunch and Fireside Chat with Merck Mercuriadis
12:45- 2:00 PM
The Artists’ Rights Symposium is thrilled to host music executive, artist manager, CEO and Founder of Hipgnosis Songs for the lunch and fireside chat. Please join us for a thought-provoking conversation about Merck’s personal quest to change where the songwriter sits in the economic equation.
Merck Mercuriadis is the Founder and CEO of the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Hipgnosis Song Management and Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a $3 billion market cap FTSE 250 Song Management Company which currently owns over 150 catalogs and over 65,000 songs including the catalogs of Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chrissie Hynde / The Pretenders, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, The RZA, Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie / Fleetwood Mac, David A. Stewart / Eurythmics Chris Cornell / Soundgarden, Kenny Chesney, Mark Ronson, Richie Sambora / Bon Jovi, Shakira and Journey. As a manager, Mercuriadis has helped to guide the careers of Nile Rodgers, Elton John, Guns’N’Roses, Iron Maiden, Beyoncé, Morrissey and many others.
Panel 3 #DoubleStat: The Future of Compulsory Rates
2:20 PM – 03:35 PM
The current mechanical royalty systems literally treat all songs the same and fail to give successful songwriters a chance to capture the value of their contribution. Should songwriters be able to charge “double stat” like session musicians can charge “double scale”?
Conversely in most markets, niche or specialized products fetch higher prices than mass market products as they have fewer transactions to spread the fixed cost across. Shouldn’t niche composers laboring away in genres like Jazz or Sludge Doom Metal have the option to charge more per stream? And wouldn’t diehard fans in these genres be willing to pay?
Independent record companies have proposed that U.S. mechanical royalties for physical be based on a revenue share of prices set by the label rather than the current penny rate. What implications does this raise for controlled composition rates?
Streaming mechanical rate setting is a prime example of how the rich get richer due to the high transaction costs of dozens of lawyers from the largest companies in commercial history ganging up on songwriters to dictate the value of a song. Should they be allowed to extend their market dominance and elite merger tactics over songwriters who are forced to accept a compulsory license?
Chris Castle Moderator (Bio)
Richard Burgess, A2IM (Bio)
Helienne Lindvall, President, ECSA (Bio)
Samantha Schilling, Songtradr, IAFAR
Metadata, Matching and Claiming at the MLC
3:55 – 5:10 PM
Metadata, Matching and Claiming.
Rights managers detail their experiences with the MLC’s Matching and Claiming tools, including metadata required, limitations and strengths of the tools, methods to streamline the overall process, and suggestions for improvements to the user experience.
Moderator Abby North, North Music Group <Bio>
Erin McAnally <Bio>
Leslie Allison, SoundExchange < Bio>
Melanie Santa Rosa, Spirit Music <Bio>
We assume that if you are flying you will fly to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport or ATL. ATL is the busiest (by passengers) airport in the world. As a result there are an enormous number of flight options. That said ATL to Athens can be a little bit tricky.
If you want your own car, it’s pretty easy to hop on the train that goes to the rental car center (not MARTA train, but inter terminal train). I would recommend using your premium rental car membership program as lines can often get long. If you arrive at ATL between 3-6:30PM I recommend taking I-285E to I-20E to Conyers GA, 138 to Monroe GA, 78 to Athens GA. Otherwise Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze are pretty accurate.
Most people who travel regularly from ATL to Athens book the Groome Shuttle Athens. Choose the Springhill Suites Downtown as your Athens sub-destination. Ask anyone working at the airport where to get Groome shuttle buses. There are many different Groome shuttles. Don’t end up at Fort Benning or in Chattanooga! It’s a 75-90 minute trip. You must book in advance. You don’t really need a car once you get to Athens.
Springhill Suites Downtown University
220 Hull St
Athens GA 30605
If you are a panelist you will receive information on your reservations from the organizers.
390 E Washington St, Athens, GA 30601
412 N Thomas St, Athens, GA 30601
166 N Finley St, Athens, GA 30601
500 College Ave, Athens, GA 30601
6-8PM November 14.
40 Watt Club
285 W Washington St
Stelling Family Study
200 Moore-Rooker Hall
600 Lumpkin Ave
Athens GA 30602
Directions: This is a little confusing so pay attention! The new Terry College campus consists of four connected buildings around an open quad. It also slopes downhill so if you enter the complex from Lumpkin street you will be on the second floor. If you enter from Hull street, going thru the loading dock arch puts you on the 1st floor. Going up the steps from Hull Street puts you on the 2nd floor. Moore-Rooker Hall is the west side of the complex (adjacent to Hull Street.) The Stelling Family Study is only accessible from the outdoor balcony/walkway on the 2nd floor. Finally the terrain is hilly, so you might consider the shoes you wear.