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What Musicians Need to Know About the DMCA Fight That Hundreds of Artists Are Taking Part in Right Now

Photo by Todd Bernard via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Every once in a while, the music industry collectively comes together, with many of the biggest names in the game joining forces to fight something that's hurting everybody. It doesn't happen too often, but sometimes when it does, it is a powerful moment, and it can be very effective.

Right now, an enormous group of musicians have banded together to both educate the public and attempt to alter a law that many outside of the industry have never heard of from a company that everyone else seems to love: DMCA and YouTube, respectively.

So what’s going on, and why are people so upset? Many would say that YouTube is a good thing, as it allows artists to promote their work and even make some money from advertising revenue. That may be the case, but it doesn’t mean that all is fair. In fact, many in the music industry would argue that very little is “fair,” and that things need to change immediately.

grammys, News, Music Business 101

Jun 29, 2016 10:00 AM

Bruce Houghton

Grammys Announce Key Rule Changes, 2016 Dates and Deadlines

Photo by Helga Esteb via Shutterstock

This article originally appeared on Hypebot.

From time to time, the Grammys change the rules. Five were recently announced, with several addressing new issues that are a product of the digital age where music streams are replacing sales, and tracks often matter more than albums. 

Could Berklee and MIT's Open Music Initiative Solve Payment Issues in the Music Industry?

Image by Mattia Panciroli via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The issues with music licensing in the digital era of music are frustrating and certainly abundant, but there may be a solution in the works. 

Recently, the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) teamed up with the MIT Media Lab with the goal of creating a shared and open database of ownership rights. The partnership is appropriately titled the Open Music Initiative (OMI) and involves other major names like Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Netflix, SoundCloud, NPR/WBUR, Sony, Universal, Warner, and more. This new initiative may have the power to help solve major transparency, distribution, and payment issues that occur within the music industry. 

Pandora is Taking Steps to Make Sure Artists Are Paid Fairly and Transparently for Streams

Image via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Nearly every day, the music industry suggests that music streaming and subscription services are public enemy number one for musicians. We've seen the salaries of the top dogs at these major service providers, and it's no surprise that the CEOs and employees are earning better wages than the artists their platforms stream. By the way headlines frame it, making music and money seems dismal for independent artists. But Pandora's new on-demand subscription service may be the catalyst that starts to change that.

The launch of the internet radio platform's subscription service has been long awaited by music fans, and as Pandora approaches the launch, new goals are being laid out for the service. Pandora is aiming to assure that artists get fair and transparent royalties, unlike some of their predecessors and competitors in the streaming world.

Can Musicians Be Replaced by Computers? Meet Watson

Photo by Sebastian Anthony via Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

I know what you're thinking after reading the title of this article: of course not! Music is fueled by emotions, feelings, and rhythms that move your body and soul. Music is political and opinionated, and there's absolutely no way that a computer could replace a musician. Music wouldn't be music without the emotion behind it, right? 

Well, maybe. The term "musician" may not be limited to human beings anymore. Recently, IBM's supercomputer Watson has been making progress conquering human communications. In 2011, Watson successfully defeated its human competitors in games of Jeopardy. Now, it's in the process of learning the language of music.