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Chris Castle
Chris Castle is the founder of Christian L. Castle, Attorneys with offices in Austin, Texas. The firm represents a variety of clients in music, motion pictures and television, as well as technology companies and video game publishers. Chris also consults leading organizations on public policy matters relating to copyright and artist rights.

Before law school he was the drummer for Long John Baldry, Rand Bishop, Yvonne Elliman and Jesse Winchester among others, and was a member of Local 47, American Federation of Musicians AFL-CIO.

Entries by Chris Castle

Is the Odd Antitrust Investigation Into Apple Music a Failure to Innovate?

(1) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 8:06 AM

You've probably heard that Apple and the major labels are being "investigated" over Apple Music by the Department of Justice, the European Commission as well as State attorneys general for New York and Connecticut.

Understand that the way most of these investigations get started is that someone complained to...

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The 'Zero Effect': Do New Consumption Charts Penalize Compilation Records and Artists Who Window?

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 4:23 PM

The number of plays from some music streaming services are now being included with sales results to rank releases in various music industry "charts" -- the standard reference point for success in the commercial music business. What are these new "consumption charts" actually measuring? Do the consumption charts overstate records...

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Interview With Terry Manning, Legendary Producer and Engineer

(1) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 5:37 PM


Photo by Simon Mott

"Manning is one of the most respected engineers and producers in music history -- Led Zeppelin III, the first two Big Star records, Al Green, ZZ Top, the Staple Singers, Albert King, Shakira, Lenny Kravitz, and literally over...

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The Spy Who Googled Me: Who Spied First, the NSA or Google?

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 11:37 AM

The National Security Agency is getting slammed again this week for a variety of things -- why? Because they are subject to oversight. They may have abused their authority, but when they honk down huge amounts of data -- more than it seems they could possibly use or analyze --...

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How Valuable Are 46,000 Adsense Accounts -- and to Whom?

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 8:03 AM

Google acknowledges in its recent "How Google Fights Piracy" report that it has voluntarily terminated a significant number of Adsense publisher accounts (at p. 24):

In 2012, Google disabled ad serving to 46,000 sites for violating our policies prohibiting the placement of ads on sites with...

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Ranking Member Mel Watt Makes a Bold First Step in Freeing Creators From the Government's Heavy Hand

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 3:58 PM

I've been writing about -- well, OK, a blaringly vocal advocate -- for getting the government out of the music business for quite some time. Unsurprisingly, I'm quite pleased with the Free Market Royalty Act introduced today by Ranking Member Mel Watt (D-NC) of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on...

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Getting the Government Out of Songwriting: Voluntary Licenses Should Replace Consent Decrees or Compulsory Licenses

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 11:02 AM

Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is holding a useful series of thought provoking hearings before the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet reviewing the current state of the U.S. Copyright Act. The next in this series is on September 18, entitled "The Role of Voluntary Agreements...

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Five Things Congress Could Do for Music Creators That Wouldn't Cost the Taxpayer a Dime Part 4

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 2:15 PM

The US is alone in the world in maintaining a compulsory license for songs. The government forces songwriters to license their songs at a rate approved by the government and then has rather flimsy rules about how songwriters actually get paid. These flimsy rules, I suggest, have resulted in unknown...

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Five Things Congress Could Do for Music Creators That Wouldn't Cost the Taxpayer a Dime Part 3: Create an Audit Right for Songwriters

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 11:42 AM

Once a song is distributed to the public with the permission of the owner of the copyright in the song, the U.S. Copyright Act requires songwriters to license songs for reproduction and distribution under a "compulsory license." This license is typically called a "mechanical license" because it only covers the...

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Five Things Congress Could Do for Music Creators That Wouldn't Cost the Taxpayer a Dime Part 2: Update the Compulsory License for Songwriters

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 3:23 PM

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is holding hearings on a potential revision to the Copyright Act. One area he might want to take a fresh look at is whether we still need a compulsory license to protect the public from the antitrust ambitions...of songwriters.

A "compulsory license" is...

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Five Things Congress Could Do For Music Creators That Wouldn't Cost the Taxpayer a Dime Part 1: Pre-72 Sound Recordings

(11) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 3:54 PM

In this and future posts, I will be addressing five things the Congress could do for music creators that are easy to do and that would help develop an online market for music. First up is a slightly esoteric, but important area: royalties paid by companies like SiriusXM for sound...

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How Chairman Goodlatte Could Stop the Ennui of Learned Helplessness

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 5:49 PM

Today, Chairman Goodlatte held a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet entitled "A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project."

The Copyright Principles Project is an ad hoc group predominantly comprised of "high tech" lawyers and...

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FCC Needs to Step on the Gas and Move Fast on the Incentive Auctions

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 5:21 PM

Big Tech's "rock stars" are known by their first names only. There's Larry and Sergey, Bill and Steve, and even Mark and Meg.

So it is for the Big Tech commentariat, where two of the most revered names...

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Growing the Internet: IP Network Conversion Helps Creators, Too

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 2:53 PM

A huge technological transformation is underway in the U.S. and around the globe: Consumers are abandoning older technologies in favor of high-speed Internet services that rely on modern, fiber-based or IP-enabled broadband networks. As consumer demand skyrockets, it becomes more and more imperative to upgrade the old public switched telephone...

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Some Good News for Songwriters: Universal's Innovative Licensing Bringing Multichannel Networks in From the Cold

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 7:09 PM

Universal Music Publishing recently signed agreements with Maker Studios and Fullscreen, two of the YouTube "multichannel networks" or MCNs. MCNs have been criticized for being unlicensed and of course YouTube has been criticized for permitting these unlicensed networks on the YouTube system.

Fortunately for all concerned -- starting...

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The Tide Has Risen: Five Reasons to Worry About the Internet Radio Fairness Act

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2012 | 6:49 PM

Big Tech and Big Media have joined forces in the "Internet Radio Fairness Coalition" which includes Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Computer and Communications Industry Association (Google), Consumer Electronics Association (Google), Digital Media Association (Google) and... Pandora.

So you see, it sure looks like the way this works...

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What's Missing From the Google Transparency Filing?

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2012 | 11:59 AM

"Come to me when thou hast seen the elephants dance..." -- The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The elephants are dancing in the Northern District of California, and the presiding judge has had about enough of it. In an interesting twist to the Oracle v. Google case, Judge William Alsup...

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Is Google Hiding Pivotal Documents in Key Antitrust Investigation? That's Right, You're Not From Texas

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2012 | 3:06 PM

We have heard much about Google's many self-inflicted legal woes. The Street View/Spy-fi debacle alone has produced convictions of Google in at least nine countries, according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, not to mention Google's $500 million fine under a no-indictment agreement with the U.S....

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Talking With Leslie Lewis, GRAMMY Nominees and Ted Soundtrack Producer

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2012 | 9:42 AM

Leslie Lewis has had an active role as a record executive, producer, manager, recording artist, marketing executive, artists & repertoire executive, advocate, motion picture music studio executive, soundtrack music executive, and as the Director of the Producers & Engineers Wing.

She co-founded and continues to produce the...

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Interview With David Lowery of Cracker

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 7:26 PM

I interviewed David Lowery of Cracker and Camper van Beethovan about his viral blog post on The Trichordist discussing artist rights. Lowery's post was itself a response to an earlier post by an NPR intern, Emily White, and was widely viewed as a game...

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