It's made recent headlines that the US Senate has unanimously approved the Music Modernization Act of 2018 (S.2334) which could be the biggest reform for music licensing in 20 years. The bill is now on it's way to the House, then to the desk of President Trump. With all of the content detection and copyright chaos in this post-internet music industry, a major update to the music licensing process is desperately needed; and While many of the art-related bills favor big companies and are typically terrifying for creators, this one is actually a good move into the right direction.
So what is it exactly?
This bill pretty much updates section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act, blending 3 key pieces of legislation:
The Music Modernization Act,
which removes many of the kinks from the music licensing process to make it easier for rights holders to get paid when their music is streamed online. It would work by creating a new governing agency which would issue blanket mechanical licenses to digital services, collect, and distribute royalties to rights holders. This would prevent rights holders like major labels from entering into agreements with digital services. Currently, digital music services like Spotify and Apple Music are responsible for identifying the rights holders to each individual song in their catalogs - a job that would switch to the new entity created by this bill. Digital services will have to handle the costs for this new entity as well. Mechanical royalties would be paid to songwriters whenever a physical or digital copy of their song is made, and it would be based on what a buyer and seller negotiate in an open market vs the current standard rates. The rate court system would be overhauled. Currently ASCAP (American SOciety of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) and BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) are assigned a single judge who handles all of their rate court cases. Going forward, the bill proposes that a district judge in New York's Southern District would be randomly assigned to each case. The bill would repeal Section 114(i) of the U.S Copyright Act which prevents rate courts from considering sound recording royalty rates when setting performance royalty rates. The biggest change would be this new agency which could possibly solve the biggest issue for songwriters: getting paid accurately and on time. Part of the bill states that the agency would create a public database containing song ownership information to help songwriters identify which songs haven't been properly attributed to them.
The CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act) for recordings dating before 1972.
The AMP Act (Allocation for Music Producers Act), which improves royalty payouts for engineers and producers from SoundExchange when their recordings are used on satellite and online radio. This is the first time producers have ever been recognized in copyright law and isn't really controversial because it doesn't create a new right as producers and engineers will continue to collect royalties they were previously due. But it will establish a legal procedure for them to collect their funds directly from SoundExchange instead of the artist or label. Artists can already pay their producers and engineers royalties directly by accepting "Letters of Direction," but the AMP act would formalize this process.
Although the Music Modernization Act was majorly supported my artists, songwriters, and practically every corner of the music industry, it me a bit of opposition this summer. Sirius XM and Music Choice are cashing out on lobbying firms in an attempt to fight this act as they aren't happy with the CLASSICS Act portion of this bill. XM's CEO, Jim Meyer, criticized the bill for expanding the royalty requirements for satellite radio without also expanding the requirements for terrestrial radio. (The CLASSICS act will not change anything to require traditional radio stations to pay for the broadcast of any recordings in the U.S. post- or pew-1972.)
If all goes well this could be a major improvement to the music industry's royalty distribution system, making it less of a headache to receive credit and payment. We'll be keeping an eye on the progress of this bill and bringing you updates.
Daniel Cicchelli is an amazing artist who's making big creative moves around the country. I met Daniel in 2015 when he did live painting at our TRiP 420 Party at Gold Star Market in Detroit MI. Seeing the way this guy selected his colors and moved his hand across a canvas was mesmerizing. He's been doing his thing at just about every Detroit KL event since.
Now let's talk about Creativity!
What kind of art do you make? Why?
Raw, visceral art. There’s a kind of punk rock sensibility to it. A long time ago, a college
professor referred to it referred to as “Fuck You Art” and I really dug that. I want my images
to strike emotions we’re scared to confront. I make paintings, drawings, sometimes a
combination of the two. Sometimes I use some pretty wild materials to create mixed-media
pieces. At the core, art is very therapeutic for me and painting is an outlet for intense
emotions that I don’t feel can be appropriately articulated in the everyday reality we live in.
Do you feel different?
I guess “different” is a pretty relative term, but if I had to say yes or no, I’d say absolutely
yes. I’ve always been pretty quiet for as long as I can remember… kind of just in my own
head. Anxious. At the same time, I’ve always felt super susceptible to stimuli in my
external, surrounding environment. I don’t know. There’s a lot of wild shit going in my
head… yet isn’t that the case for everybody?
Did you have a hard time “fitting in”in school growing up?
I got along with most people in school but always gravitated toward creative types. I liked
the weird kids. They were just more interesting and I felt like I could be myself. I wasn’t
troubled or confrontational. I felt isolated but it was my choice. I found a sort of comfort in
it. Still do. I think if you asked most people I went to school with about me, they’d just say I
was really quiet.
When did you discover your creative abilities?
14 or 15 years ago. When I was about 13 years old. It started with music. I began playing
bass guitar and something just… clicked. About 5 years after that I started drawing. From
that point it just kept evolving, and now I’m here.
Did your family encourage you to pursue a creative life, or
did they try to convince you to try and be something else?
Thankfully my family is very supportive. They just want me to be happy.
What inspires you to create?
I’m very driven psychologically to make art, and like I said, the root of it is therapy. A few
tangible things that inspire to to create are: books, films, traveling, music, nature, dreams,
and surrounding myself with people that are in search of ultimate artistic truth.
What do you hope to accomplish with your creative abilities?
My creative abilities have become my voice. I hope that through the expression of my
abilities, people are inspired to find that same fire inside themselves and work for
something their soul truly desires.
Do you think that artists are important to humanity?
Absolutely, I think we are essential.
If you had the power to give one single rule or order that
the entire world has to obey, what would it be?
Ugh… just one!? This is hard. I want to say no militaries. You didn’t say it had be realistic
Do you feel like the society that you reside in is
conditioned to accept or reject art and artists?
I feel the powers of the world either view art as unimportant or a threat. Which is why it’s
rarely made a priority in society on a global scale. However, being an artist in Detroit presents
you with a lot of opportunity. I feel generally accepted here.
Do you have any favorite signs or symbols?
Not specifically, but sometimes I start making these weird symbols that almost resemble
hieroglyphs or something. It’s like I make them without thinking… they come straight from my
subconscious. I have fun thinking it’s alien text being transmitted to me telepathically. Haha.
Vivid imagination, I suppose.
What, if anything, are you trying to say with your art?
I’m trying to say there’s something inside all of us that holds truth… both personal and
universal. Even though the path to uncovering these truths can be quite dark and daunting,
realization always brings beauty and liberation.
Do you have any advice or wisdom that you would like for the world to absorb?
Inspiration doesn’t come easy. Don’t wait for it to fall into your lap. Force yourself to make
something if you feel lazy. Force yourself if you feel depressed. It can seem like the hardest
thing to do, but not once has it made things worse for me. In fact, I’ve created some of my best
work this way.
Reality Tell Your Vision is a project by Leo Ayrault, a Journalist from Detroit MI.
Check out this exerpt from his story found on his website.
"My name is Leo Ayrault and I am a Japanese-American college student at Wayne State University. I am studying my passion in Broadcast & Journalism, and am currently interning for the Detroit Lions.
My college career started similar to a lot of people. I did not know what I wanted to do with my life and was miserable going to school. I hated the concept of spending thousands of dollars for classes that were teaching me things I don't see myself enjoy doing. The lack of inspiration got so bad, I was warned by my school for academic probation.
Around this time, my Grandfather who I loved dearly, was notified with cancer. I was going back and forth to the hospital, my job, and school. Even someone who I deemed so strong did not win his battle against cancer. I witnessed this mans' very last heartbeat with my own eyes. It gave me the epiphany that, "life is too short, never take it for granted, and do what you enjoy."
At his funeral, I had another epiphany. There were so many people in all ages and ethnicities who showed up to celebrate my grandpa's life. So many came up to me and said, "Leo, your grandfather was a great man," "He made a positive impact on my life." From that day on, it became my biggest life goal to positively impact as many people as I can altruistically.
My grandfather had an innate ability to talk to anybody, anywhere and make them feel important and good about themselves. He was genuine as it was. I feel, he has given me that personality trait and it is my destiny to honor his legacy. The best vehicle I could think of was Broadcast & Journalism.
Interviewing people and acknowledging them for who they are and what they bring to the table has always been my passion. Ever since I changed my major in school, I have been a 4.0 student.
My greatest memories I have with my grandfather is watching the Detroit Lions play on Sundays. Soon after deciding to continue my grandfather's legacy and pursue my career in broadcasting, I attained an internship position for the Broadcast department for the NFL (Detroit Lions).
With the knowledge I gained from all of my teachers in life, I am confident to pursue my ultimate goal.
Reality Tell Your Vision is a platform where I can continue my grandpa's legacy. Our goal is to positively impact as many people as we can by bringing on positive people and messages.
We provide a platform to those who deserve recognition, with one digital content at a time.
Yebu-Tonu is an amazing Digital Artist that Kaleidoscopic Label connected with through the Glitch Artist Collective, an online community of data benders and digital punks with no limits to how they use technology to create. Check out this in depth interview with Yebu!
Let's start with the basics...
Now we're going to talk about your creativity...
8. What kind of art do you make? Why?
I have made, and make, a combination of glitch art and 3D art. Recently I have tried combining some of the concepts I understand in theory into my art, such as psychoanalysis. I’m sure if I wasn’t creating in a digital format of art, I’d be trying to express myself in other ways. One could say I have a lot to “sublimate” from within my body, and making art is as much creative as it is connected to my symptoms.
9. Do you feel different? If so,when did you first discover that you
I’m sure all of us feel a bit different? Or I would hope so, as individual subjects can be quite different from one another. I suppose, in terms of myself, I definitely did feel a bit like an “alien” or “outsider” growing up. Although, I think a lot of these things stem from pretty likely locutions in the end: your familial environment, historical conditions, how you’re thrown, etc.
10. Did you have a hard time “fitting in”in school growing up?
Somewhat implicit in the last question, yes, I did. I rarely “fit in” when growing up. In high school, my best attempts at growing up and fitting in came from trying to embellish a masculinity in me, I felt was mandated by older boys and young men. It was also a means of being able to “work through” other complexes in myself I had no language for at the time. Suffice to say, I’m no long a big weight lifter, and instead prefer making art and reading today.
11. When did you discover your creative abilities?
Probably around the age of 14 when I got access to this game called Jedi Knights Jedi Academy, and installed this server-side mod (Lugormod) for a server I started that allowed the admin to sort’of re-script the game using its own libraries while playing it. I built entire cities, quests, attractions, etc. It was probably the first time I felt genuinely creative, and also responsible in creating a small online community.
12. Did your family encourage you to pursue a creative life, or
did they try to convince you to try and be something else?
It definitely was a mixed bag. I think my family a lot of the time was trying to figure out what to do with me and my anxiety. My desires seemed to be all over the place (and sometimes that continues today), so it was difficult for them, as much as for myself, to orient things such as creative pursuits.
Now let's talk about your artwork...
18. What are your mediums?
My mediums are Cinema 4D, Daz Studio, Photoshop, After Effects, Processing, Python, and the list goes on…
19. What have you been working on lately?
Mostly on client work recently. However, I’ll soon be getting a new computer, so hopefully I’ll be letting out some exciting stuff around the corner.
20. Do you have a favorite piece that you've made? Why?
I’d have to say I have two favorite pieces currently, not one. The first being the animation I created called Waterslide. The second being a still I made called Narcissistic Perversions. Both are inspired by psychoanalytical material.
21. Do you have any exhibitions coming up?
Not currently—just finished working with a client for a good period of time, so I need to start submitting and creating again soon.
22. Do you have a dream exhibition in mind?
Five words: biofeedback cubist video projection installation.
23. Do you have any favorite signs or symbols?
Enactments “symbolically” have been something I’m interested in exploring further. How are the characters interacting with each other? What are they doing? What are their relations to one another in and of-themselves?
24. What, if anything, are you trying to say with your art?
To speak from somewhere raw or more refined, that maybe plays with the tension or boundary of something either being raw or refined. At-least that is the best thing I can really say for now.
25. Do you have any advice or wisdom that you would like for the
world to absorb?
Really interrogate with where your desires and feelings come from, and “enjoy” your symptom.
It's that time again. Time for The List Vol 3, a periodic free-to-download playlist curated by Kaleidoscopic Label made up of DOPE and UNIQUE songs created by independent musicians from all over the planet. With these projects we try not to stick to any specific theme or boundaries. We look for a psychedelic vibe and different mind-bending aspects that aren't found in the stuff that people are typically being fed through the radio or mass media. These projects are usually released on Archive.org for free under the CC-SA license.