Yearly Archives: 2014

One Songwriter’s Opinion – Michelle Shocked’s DOJ response

Do the Consent Decrees continue to serve important competitive purposes today?

No, they are egregiously outdated if, in fact, they should have ever been dated at all

Why or why not? 

Apparently, at the time the decrees were created, broadcast was considered a delicate new technology that needed anti-trust protection from songwriters who were organizing to -ahem- protect their property. Needless to say, the times they are a-changing.

Are there provisions that are no longer necessary to protect competition?

The provision that protects competition from the so-called free market might be a worthwhile place to begin an examination.

Are there provisions that are ineffective in protecting competition?

Sure. It’s called lobbying and unlimited corporate political contributions.

What, if any, modifications to the Consent Decrees would enhance competition and efficiency?

Call me radical, but eliminating the decrees entirely is a modest modification.

Do differences between the two Consent Decrees adversely affect competition?

Not one iota.

How easy or difficult is it to acquire in a useful format the contents of ASCAP’s or BMI’s repertory?

Compellingly easy. An online database is available for all to purvey.

How, if at all, does the current degree of repertory transparency impact competition?

It simply makes it easier for tech advertisers to copy/paste our intellectual property to their spreadsheets.

Are modifications of the transparency requirements in the Consent Decrees warranted, and if so, why?

No. You’re putting new wine in old wineskins. The cat is already out of the bag on this one.

Should the Consent Decrees be modified to allow rights holders to permit ASCAP or BMI to license their performance rights to some music users but not others? 

The premise of regulating rights holders but not tech advertisers is downright ludicrous. You want to shore up a levee to hold back a tsunami?

If such partial or limited grants of licensing rights to ASCAP and BMI are allowed, should there be limits on how such grants are structured?

Face it. It’s a jungle out there and everyone knows it. This review process is a farce. There is little to no enforcement currently protecting rights holders and in that context,  considerations as to modifying the consent decrees will only produce derision – both from rights holders who are being ravaged and the rapacious industries of finance who commodify derivatives anywhere they can. My intellectual property is just the latest bumper crop for this locust horde.

Should the rate-making function currently performed by the rate court be changed to a system of mandatory arbitration? 

Sure. Give us a few more months to eke out a livelihood before their lawyers figure out how to exploit a new loophole for their rigged juries.

What procedures should be considered to expedite resolution of fee disputes?

Two words, three times: Free market. Free market. Free market.

When should the payment of interim fees begin and how should they be set?

Now? Is now good? As to how they should be set, please see above.

Should the Consent Decrees be modified to permit rights holders to grant ASCAP and BMI rights in addition to “rights of public performance”?

We are going around in circles. Modifying the consent decrees to grant rights holders additional rights in this lawless climate of unregulated greed by tech advertisers is like offering to put a sail on a slaveship so that the galley won’t have to row so hard. Thanks for all the concern, fellas.

Addendum – Spot Loves Spotify

Michelle Shocked News – July 2014

Click here to see online

May Daydreaming

If you’re sunnyside up, spring is here on the hemisphere. What joy! The only thing that could be more exciting is news that a Google insider has turned whistleblower. This is Big. I declare the effort to Occupy Google a complete success. Bring on the class action! Party on! The Google AdSense leak is in Part 1 and Part 2

Last month I had the sublime pleasure of swinging a few tunes at the Viva Cantina roundup with Deputy Dave Volk and the Regulators. Dave posted this video and I don’t believe I mind the cameo.

In case you’re interested what straight, white (slightly albinist!) dudes pretending to be offended lesbians look like, this Twitter troll named ‘Anna K’ took umbrage at Deputy Dave’s gracious invitation. The only follower on “Anna’s” blogspot is the ersatz Yahoo News/Hollywood Reporter who first ‘broke’ the “Michelle Shocked is a Hatemonger” story, Chris Willman. When the hysteria dies in Sterling Vs Reality, the evidence that will remain is that a ho blackmails her john while a pimp observes from the shadows.

Last night at SAG’s screening of Richard Montoya’s new Chicano noir Water & Power, I coulda swore I saw Vivenne Dominguez herself amongst the luminaries in the crowd. This film opens today in AMC theaters in SoCal. Orale!

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I posted the first chapter of Perrin Blackman’s stranger-than-fiction epistle, Truth Vs Reality.

I was supercharged by Vulfpeck’s most excellent Spotify spoof,Sleepify and the subsequent success of raising $20,000 with the concept, described here. I’m gonna try my hand at a variation on the theme; Inaudible Women.

Enjoy the sunshine, people!

A St Patrick’s Day Hangover Cure

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! Admittedly not above the radar, I have been quite feverish. By the time you read this, I’ll be in situ at the inaugural Content Creators Coalition meeting on the west coast with plenty to contribute and observe in the discussion of copyfight and artists’ rights. Here’s a snappy little video selfie that I made for the Copyright Alliance ‘Art Matters’ and the #iRespectMusic campaigns.

I guess my big news is that I am publishing an iBook by an author who has keenly observed events of the past year and I’m gauging interest in preview  material. The ebook, Truth Vs Reality, will be released this spring.

It’s an interactive project, so I need appx 2 dozen UN observers monitoring social media for a known group of conspirators who, by now quite familiar to me, have targeted my livelihood and reputation. I will provide the dossier on those involved in this smear campaign and the preview material will provide ample background for the purpose of the effort. Hit me back if you’re interested in participating.

With that in mind, I can cautiously announce plans for a UK tour in October and a US tour in November. And any who are in the LA area are invited to come down to Viva Cantina in Burbank on April 3 for their monthly Western Music Association jam. My favorite intellectual property rights lawyer, Greg Victoroff, will be swinging the brushes and I heard rumors that a delightful singer named Vivienne Dominguez sits in on a few songs! Orale!

Otherwise, it’s been a plethora of self-improvement projects; Jedi classes with Master Guo have incepted the first 15 Chen Taiji moves; a former Stockhausen disciple has infused piano chords into my fingertips with minimal catechism,  and a wonderful senora in Pasadena has me conjugating verbos and splitting infinitivos en espanol. Me gusta mucho!

© 2014


This is not a story about Michelle Shocked.  This is a story about a leviathan. This is a story about click-happy consumers who have become the by-product, and of thought leaders who operate with paid and unpaid legions of enforcers that we might as well call “thought police.”

This is a story about hate.  Not H8.


It isn’t pretty.  But it sells!  How we love getting caught in the current of righteous indignation!  Get caught in that current and faster than you can fathom, you’ll find yourself front page news.

The underlying message: Keep your head down.

The darker message: This isn’t limited to red states or blue states.  Media content is filtered for all but the most glaring and blaring statements.  Subtlety and nuance lost, critical thinking is the casualty unless you’re willing to actively and doggedly pursue every suspicious fact you are fed.

Like pre-cooked meals, anger (and fear) sells.  Packaged and processed, news is now sold a la carte.  This is a business model that ensures profits for NOH8 campaigns. And HATE campaigns.

How? By registering your likes and dislikes, but mostly, by harvesting your clicks.  Anger feeds this monster and daily fuels the click-machine. “A click is a click,” Ryan Holiday explains in “Trust Me, I’m Lying.”  It doesn’t matter whether you clicked on a well-researched story or a sensational headline that asks, “Is Barack Obama Gay?” Even when the answer is, “of course not, silly,” it doesn’t matter because… you clicked. And hopefully you shared the story as well.

As for this story, while I am using continue

Michelle Shocked News – February 2011

Click here to see online.