The Recording Academy actively represents the music community on such issues as intellectual property rights, music piracy, archiving and preservation, and censorship concerns. In pursuing its commitment to addressing these and other issues, The Recording Academy undertakes a variety of national initiatives. ArtsWatch is a key part of an agenda aimed at raising public awareness of and support for the rights of artists. To become more involved, visit Advocacy Action @ GRAMMY.com and sign up for Advocacy Action E-lerts.
On Aug. 17 the National Music Publishers' Association announced that all claims from its 2007 copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube had been resolved and that affected publishers will soon be able to receive licensing royalties from the site — including royalties for user-generated videos. NMPA President/CEO David Israelite said, "This is a positive conclusion for all parties and one that recognizes and compensates the work of songwriters and publishers going forward." The affected publishers do not include major publishers with major label affiliations given prior agreements as part of their labels' YouTube deals. The smaller publisher plaintiffs already lost a summary judgment ruling in U.S. District Court but had been appealing that judgment.
Mobile service customers subscribing to MetroPCS' $60 per month unlimited plan will also receive unlimited access to more than 12 million tracks from music service Rhapsody at no additional charge, the companies announced on Aug. 17. The deal is restricted to Android smart phones and does not yet include Warner Music Group content. Bundling can be an effective way to reach new customers. Because of MetroPCS' affordability and prepaid options, potential customers include many who might normally be shut out from Rhapsody because they do not have credit cards.
On Aug. 12 comScore released a study finding that 14 million mobile phone users scanned Quick Response codes during June — approximately 6 percent of wireless customers, mostly male and young, and more than one-third of them affluent. The square QR codes look like a checkerboard version of a bar code and can be scanned by a smart phone camera to connect users to a mobile Web address.
Industry organization Music Canada announced on Aug. 16 that more than 1,500 Canadian labels are joining in a collective licensing agreement with Stingray Digital to launch Galaxie Mobile, the country's first ad-free mobile streaming music service. Music Canada President Graham Henderson said, "We aggressively pursued this pioneering agreement because we understand how cumbersome our regulatory environment can be, and we want to help services better navigate it. We hope the Stingray agreement sets the stage for other online and mobile services, and signals to the marketplace that Canada is open for business."
On Aug. 10 the Mississippi Arts Commission and Mississippi Development Authority hosted a Creative Economy Summit and released a new study, "Realizing The Economic Potential Of Creativity In Mississippi." The study found that 61,000 of the state's 3 million residents work in creative industries. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) delivered the keynote address, emphasizing the potential for small towns and the creative sector. "It hasn't always been that people saw the connection of the creative economy and the regular economy," said Barbour. "I'll confess I haven't always seen it."