SoundExchange (A “Nonprofit”) Caught Lobbying. Big Surprise. Next Story.

Okay, a lot of you probably already know the history of SoundExchange, but I want to make sure everyone's caught up so we can all understand the tangled mess of ass-sucking going here. So, ready, steady, go -- here's an abbreviated history lesson:

Acronyms are fun right? SRCO, SRCO, SRCO. Whatever does that acronym mean? Well, SRCO stands for Sound Recording Copyright Owners, and prior to 1995, SRCOs (a.k.a. musicians, artists, record labels) didn't receive performance royalties if their music was used in "public performances," such as on the radio. Eventually, both The Digital Performance in Sound Recordings Act (1995) and The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) were passed, securing royalties for artists whose work was publicly "performed."

Fast-forward to the year 2000. The great music industry leaders known as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) created SoundExchange, a division of the RIAA, which later spun off into its own "independent" organization. Magically, SoundExchange became the only organization allowed by the Copyright Office to distribute due royalties to artists and record labels, or SRCOs (sound recording copyright owners, remember?). Basically, SoundExchange is an independent nonprofit entity that collects money on behalf of artists.

Now to the new stuff: according to Wired's blog, SoundExchange was caught lobbying. Question: How in the fuck can a nonprofit organization lobby? Well, according to the law, it can't. SoundExchange is only supposed to collect money on behalf of SRCOs and not for public relations.

So, how do we know its involved in lobbying and public relations? Well, we first need to talk about one more entity, the musicFIRST Coalition. The musicFIRST Coalition is another annoying group using another annoying acronym. This time, the acronym FIRST stands for Fairness In Radio Starting Today. Right, whatever. It's a public relations organization that started up back in June of this year. Its ultimate goal is to get congress to pass a law, mandating that big radio stations pay up to the big boys of the RIAA. Even Celine Dion is part of the coalition. Wait! Celine Dion? This must mean the RIAA is a part of the coalition as well? Not the same guys who had the balls to arrest 16-year-old girls for using P2P programs to download some Papa Roach, is it!? Oh, my friends, the very same. The RIAA is part of this coalition as well. Wow!

So, here's how SoundExchange (a nonprofit) and musicFIRST (a public relations group) are related:

- SoundExchange is listed as a member on musicFIRST's homepage.

- SoundExchange supports musicFIRST financially (the amount remains undisclosed).

- SoundExchange and musicFIRST are both inextricable from the RIAA.

- SoundExchange owns musicFIRST's homepage... Wait. What? Oh my children, just go here and type in "musicFIRSTcoalition.org" into the text field. Scroll down a little bit and you'll see this:

Hey, SoundExchange, is your nonprofit ass supporting a lobbying organization called the musicFIRST Coalition with your money? I'm afraid this doesn't make any sense and is, in fact, may very well be against the law (can I get a lawyer?).

SoundExchange is helping target the land radio stations for royalty collection, using nonprofit money for their own agendas. If they're already getting away with shoddy shit like this, then the Copyright Royalty Board is no better. The Copyright Royalty Board was meant to be a neutral government body that monitors SoundExchange, a neutral organization. None of this sounds very neutral.

With all this lobbying talk, it's no wonder why SaveNetRadio is having such a hard time getting the Internet Radio Equality Act through.

Further Reading:

Fred Wilhelms, a well-known entertainment lawyer (you know him, right?), wrote a letter to SoundExchange. Here's an excerpt:

I happen to believe, based on my own reading of the law, the lobbying efforts do exceed the legislative and regulatory authority given to SoundExchange. I also believe that the lobbying activity on a matter outside the scope of SoundExchange’s original charter constitutes a violation of the 501 (c) (6) tax-exemption held by SoundExchange

Let me be open and honest with you, TMT reader. A couple days ago, I played spin the bottle with the news section. What felt like a semi-slow news week in the music world needed some hot, steamin' action. I may have crossed some sort of journalistic line, but at the moment, I thought the "line" was just a sexual object waiting to be trampled.

First off, I wrote down ten pending new articles yet to be written on to ten multi-colored note cards. I pricked my finger with a dragon letter opener and wrote the headlines in my own blood. I then took a 45-minute shower until every inch of my body felt and looked like Grandpa Gene's testicles.

I then drank an expensive bottle of Chateau d'Yquem and placed the empty bottle next to my feet, as I laid out the ten note cards in a circle around me. I spun the bottle, and it landed on this news article that you're reading now. No, I don't mean an article about me finding a news article to write. That would make no sense. It was fate that I happened to be holding the card in my hand that read "Konono No°1 Release Live CD."

I started to stroke the note card like a kitten and began to lightly purr into the note card's ear. I gave the note card about four Jägerbombs, and it started to tell me all about the Konono No°1 album. According to the note card, the DIY group from Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo are releasing a live, eight-track mini-album called Live at Couleur Café August 27 in Europe and September 11 in the U.S. The note card also said that, with never-before heard material recorded at Brussels' popular Couleur Café festival and production by Vincent Kenis, no one should be disappointed.

We both agreed that we enjoy Konono No°1 immensely and that we are both anxious to buy the album. It was around that time when things got intense.

The next morning, as I awoke naked and throbbing, I realized I had a drunken, fantasized sexual encounter with a note card. A few days had passed, and I built up the strength to write this all-too-revealing news story. However, last night when I went into my bedroom to sleep next to my wife, the note card was laying on my pillow with a gigantic hole in it. I awoke my wife and confessed the whole story to her.

Emceegreg has learned to leave the experimentation up to the musicians and not the writers who write about them.

Daughters Embark on “Creem of Sum Yung Gai” Tour

THE STRANGER:

Take it easy, Daughters -- I know that you will.

DAUGHTERS:

Yeah, man. Well, you know -- Daughters abide.

THE STRANGER:

I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' they're out there, Daughters, takin' her easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope their tour goes okay. Welp, that about does her, wraps her all up. Things seem to've worked out pretty good for Daughters, and it was a purdy good story, don'tcha think? Made me laugh to beat the band. Parts, anyway. Course -- I don't like seein' Daughters go. But then, I happen to know that there's a little Daughters on the way. I guess that's the way the whole darned human comedy keeps perpetuatin' itself, down through the generations, Westward the wagons, across the sands a time until-- aw, look at me, I'm ramblin' again. Well, I hope you folks enjoyed yourselves. Catch ya further on down the trail.

EMI, DRM, and BK Get Together in Hopes of Forming a Complete Word

Apparently, one of the higher-ups at EMI owns an XBOX 360. After hours spent playing Burger King’s Sneak King video game, it became clear to this higher-up that there was no better way to reach consumers than through the big taste of Chicken Fries. Accordingly, EMI has announced that it will release DRM-free tracks to customers looking to have it their way, saying:

"Under the campaign, consumers will be able to search for, sample, and download a pre-paid EMI Music track from a specially created microsite after inputting a unique code. Codes are being distributed to Burger King consumers upon purchase, and there will be links from the microsite to an online retailer, allowing consumers to purchase further tracks by EMI artists featured on the microsite."

The question remains, however, if Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch” will be available for download, seeing as she left the label in 1999.

Finally, I Have An Excuse To Write About How Much I Like Bonde Do Role: Bonde Do Role Tour

Bonde do Role is the kind of band we'd start together. You know, the one where we’d just cut up samples and loop them over some loud, funky beats, and then all shout into microphones like crazy people? And we’d writhe around the stage and hump each other and bring fans up on stage and then hump them too? And fuck the FCC, because we’d use any samples we wanted! We’d even illegally sample music that sucks! That would show them! It would be so awesome!

Well, that band already exists, and it is awesome. Bonde do Role were the first artists signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent label, which makes them far realer than our proposed band. Other cool points they have over our band include:

- Their first LP, With Lasers, came out June 5, and it is totally sweet.
- They were featured in Rolling Stone, the only magazine that still has the guts to tell the truth about music.
- They are a baile funk group from Brazil, which is a much cooler scene than the collective space in front of our laptops.
- They use funk carioca beats in their songs; we'd use mostly Apple Loops.
- They make music videos like this; we'd make music videos like this.

This fall, MCs Marina Vello and Pedro D’Eyrot, along with MC/DJ Rodrigo Gorky, will cause boners to be popped all across the North American continent. They will play shows nearly every day for a month, only taking brief breaks to apply Marina’s more severe hair dyes. We should totally see them. Check out this video if you don’t believe me! Come on, this will be cooler than that time we found that pineapple full of bees!

At least we knew about their tour before Todd did:

Anteater to Eat Ants, Fly to Fly, Diplo to Tour

My theory is that Diplo is actually a set of identical twins taking 12-hour shifts. One is a Buddhist and blind in the left eye. The other can run slightly faster and has 11 fingers, which no one seems to have noticed. This is the only possible way I can imagine how he (they?) can have so many projects yet still have time to buy milk and sponges. (Either that, or Diplo has evolved a gland that secretes liquid productivity. In this case, it would be my job, as a journalist, to find Diplo, kill him, harvest his gland, synthesize the chemical, and sell the formula to the highest bidder.)

This summer alone, Diplo has released an iTunes-exclusive EP, produced some tracks for M.I.A., toured throughout Europe, and started a non-profit program to support young musicians in underprivileged communities (which you can support by buying their first single on iTunes). On top of all that, Diplo has been making mixes/remixes, updating his podcast, and editing his baile funk documentary, Favela On Blast.

How does he even have time to listen to records?

I've already told you how: secret twins. Think of the wacky situations they must get into! I bet, at least once, they coincidentally took two women out on separate dates to the same restaurant at the same time, and one woman saw the wrong Diplo, so they had to switch places, but then they almost got caught when one Diplo didn’t realize that the other Diplo’s date was casually referencing something the first Diplo had said during coitus the previous night and thought she was quoting the movie Duck Soup.

Even for two people, Diplo absorb and create an impressive amount of music. Just check out their podcast, Mad Decent Worldwide Radio, the “NPR for the streets.” Posting their own mixes or mixes from local DJs, Diplo set out to expose the local music of different communities to listeners who would never hear it otherwise. Quite a few cultures are represented, and any of these mixes can rock a party much harder than that last dance mix you made (the one with “I Want You Back” on it three times).

As for Favela On Blast, Diplo have not yet set a release date for the film. They also have not set an announcement date for the release date of the film, but they have hinted that this release date is soon-to-be announced. They have, however, released SEVEN TRAILERS (my favorite is the sixth). This movie focuses on the bailes funk in Rio de Janeiro, a remarkably underexposed scene that Diplo have become enamored with in recent years.

Sipping sweet secretions of your mutated anatomy on the following dates:

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