An inaugural conference for public media’s music stations gave individuals an unprecedented danger ultimate week to talk about common worries among their businesses, including adjustments to copyright regulation that might help them innovate on digital structures.
Held May 13 and 14, the primary-ever Public Radio Music Summit turned into prepared with the aid of the nonmusic Alliance, a collective launched by way of NPR and stations ultimate 12 months to propose on behalf of public radio’s song stations. Among their shared priorities, the stations’ use of track in podcasts, in-studio performances and different programming “present licensing and rights-use challenges that, over time, we hope we’ll be able to found in a clearer photograph to policymakers at the Hill,” said Mike Riksen, NPR’s VP of coverage and representation and govt director of the Alliance, in an interview with Current earlier than the occasion.
Conference attendees shared examples of the barriers they face due to copyright law. “There’s fantastic confusion around what’s a felony and what’s now not,” Suzanne Nance, CEO of All Classical Portland, told Current. Her station was providing a complete archive of a film-music show online whilst it observed out that it was in violation of copyright law, Nance said. It now posts only episodes from the final weeks.
“We need to make certain that everybody has to get entry to that application and other packages people are ingesting on-demand,” Nance said. “… Right now, it’s not as uncomplicated as we’d all find it irresistible to be, and we want to make certain that we can provide get admission to. There are quite a few gray regions.”
As a part of the advocacy effort, the nonmusic Alliance released a document May 15 that pursuits to provide an explanation for public radio’s tune stations to policymakers and song industry representatives. It offers a top-level view of the 734 stations that feature track as at the least 30% of their programming, accomplishing a mixed 20. Five million listeners weekly.
The document is “a first step” within the Alliance’s effort “to try and lay the basis for destiny coverage projects,” said Joni Lupovitz, NPR’s senior director of public coverage, for the duration of the summit’s beginning night. Lupovitz led work at the report.
It’s additionally important for advocacy on Capitol Hill, Riksen advised attendees. Most Hill staffers have stable relationships with nearby song stations, Riksen said, however, don’t recognize that “public radio has a string of public radio music stations in just about each network throughout the USA.”
“When we began telling them that, they commenced searching at us not as being voices of NPR and NPR Music, a without a doubt vital part of the general public radio music scene, however in reality something an awful lot more substantial, a whole lot deeper and extra related to communities that only a single station,” Riksen stated.
The Alliance will launch greater reports on song stations, Riksen stated, with the subsequent one measuring and highlighting their impact.
Raising the profile
The two-day summit marked the primary amassing for public radio music stations of all genres for the reason that 2011, while the Association of Music Personnel in Public Radio held its very last convention. The company, which targeted specifically on classical stations, merged its convention into the Public Radio Program Directors Association convention the subsequent year.
Last week’s summit preceded the Non-Commvention, an annual conference at WXPN centered on public radio’s Triple-A stations and drew almost 100 attendees. Riksen said he hopes the summit will become an annual occasion.
Another aim of the nonmusic Alliance is to elevate the profile of public radio tune stations of all genres, Roger LaMay, GM of WXPN and a member of the Alliance’s advisory council, instructed attendees.
Doing so “now not handiest reinforces and units up” advocacy in Washington however facilitates “to position us as a group and as pressure and … have the profile and the clout that’s commensurate with the audience percentage and the importance of the work that we do,” he stated.
Station leaders heard from Capitol Hill insiders that highbrow belongings troubles are many of the few problems in Congress that revel in bipartisan support. Jason Everett, special counsel at regulation company Covington & Burling and previous Democratic deputy chief recommend to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, stated that with highbrow assets issues, there’s a “particular possibility to paintings to get stuff achieved, due to the fact we work together on a bipartisan basis.”

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