Music policy determines what is possible in the evolving global marketplace for music. It is no longer enough to learn the nuts and bolts of the business; long-term sustainability also requires a working knowledge of the laws and regulations around the world. The goal of this course is to expand your knowledge base around policy and cultivate leadership to help solve persistent problems in the global music industry. The course demystifies complex topics and inspires confidence to engage in these important issues. Music policy has a direct impact on the paychecks of working artists and entrepreneurs, and seizing opportunities means taking a proactive role in the debates that are shaping the future of creativity and commerce. In addition to understanding the systems and structures that govern music, you will learn real-world strategies via case studies featuring musicians such as My Morning Jacket, R.E.M., OK Go, and more. By the end of the course, you will recognize how creators, technology, and fan communities can work together to effect positive change. More importantly, you will be able to use this knowledge to make a difference in your own communities all the way up to the international policy arena.
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- Make decisions based on an understanding of how federal, state, and municipal policy shapes the music ecosystem from the local to the global
- Analyze the challenges to devising and implementing music policy and opportunities to evolve the global framework for music entrepreneurship
- Identify the zones where policy intersects with music: copyright, digital distribution, telecommunications, broadcast, live performance, and urban development
- Analyze the primary stakeholders in music policy, including their historic emphasis and situational leverage, in current debates on issues such as copyright reform, access to audiences, participatory economics, and competition
- Explain how bills are drafted, introduced, and passed
- Debate copyright reform from the position of recognizing the basic history of how this specific body of law established the framework for every business directly or indirectly involved with recorded music
- Evaluate how public policy provides for differing levels of equity for artists
- Explain the different standards for setting statutory rates for the use of sound recordings, the rationale behind each, and the practical ramifications regarding modification
- Explore how new tech developments, such as the blockchain, may reduce the necessity for policy intervention, and evaluate where policy guidance may still be required
Lesson 1 Introduction to Music Policy
Lesson 2 Music as a Special Interest
Lesson 3 Schoolhouse Rock!
Lesson 4 Recorded Music Policy
Lesson 5 Recording Artist/Label Challenges and Opportunities
Lesson 6 Songwriter/Publisher Challenges and Opportunities
Lesson 7 Music Policy and Digital Distribution
Lesson 8 Rights Enforcement in the Digital Age
Lesson 9 The Quest for Industry Transparency
Lesson 10 Radio and Broadcast Policy
Lesson 11 All Politics Are Local
Lesson 12 All Politics Are Global
Proof of a Bachelor’s Degree
Proof of a bachelor’s degree is required to enroll in this non-degree, graduate-level course.
Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements
- Awakening: The Music Industry in the Digital Age, by Mark Mulligan, MIDiA Research
- How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy, by Stephen Witt, Viking
- Streaming, Sharing, Stealing: Big Data and the Future of Entertainment, by Michael D. Smith, MIT Press (2016)
Author & Instructor
Casey Rae is Director of Music Licensing at SiriusXM satellite radio, a service with more than 40 million listeners in the United States. He is responsible for the direct licensing of repertoire for transmission across 150 channels, overseeing metadata, royalties, and performance. Casey was previously CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, DC-based education and advocacy organization for musicians and composers. He is also a musician, recording engineer, professor, and author. He regularly speaks on issues such as emerging business models, creators’ rights, technology policy, and intellectual property at worldwide conferences, universities, and in the media. He has testified before Congress on copyright and has written hundreds of articles on the impact of technology on the creative community in scholarly journals and other publications. Casey is an in-demand commentator in media outlets such as NPR, Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Billboard, L.A. Times, CNBC, and more. Casey is a member of the faculty at Georgetown University and Berklee Online, and serves as board President for the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. In his “spare time,” he runs the DC-based label Lux Eterna Records.