Ok, now that 90% of you have tuned out of this post based on the title alone, I would now like to let the radio, webcasting, tech, and copyright geeks in on the dirt from a conference I attended in Washington, D.C. on May 2.
The Future of Music Coalition magically planned a meeting of the minds at exactly the right time in history, setting aside a day for webcasters, musicians, copyright lawyers, legislators, and performance rights organizations to engage in a civil discussion about contentious topics like net neutrality and the Copyright Royalty Board's webcasting rate hike. I observed some meaningful conversations between groups who have been at odds with each other, but I also witnessed the old guard struggling to come to terms with technologies that are at least a decade old. I came away from the meeting half hopeful about open lines of comminication between previously warring parties, and half convinced that current attempts to create meaningful laws for music technology and intellectual property are futile and doomed to failure in our rapidly morphing media environment.
But you can form your own conclusions. FMC has generously posted streaming video of their entire Technology and IP Policy Day, broken down into individual talks (click here for the schedule and video links). Below I've reposted direct video links to each talk:
Webcasting royalties discussed by a panel including the CEO of Pandora, the Executive Director of Sound Exchange, an independent musician, and others, expertly moderated by FMC's Brian Zisk. This was the hot button session for me: the VP of XM shoots down Sound Exchange for claiming that airplay has no promotional value, the indie musician says that Pandora helps him sell music, and the CEO of Live 365 begs Sound Exchange to return his calls... How much sexier can it get? Video: Windows Media | Real
David Carson of the U.S. Copyright Office
Learn what a digital phonorecord delivery is, and where downloads and audio streams fall under this definition. Kind of. Maybe. Ok, so I was kidding. But it is amusing (and sad) to know that the copyright office is well aware of the blunders and logistical roadblocks built into the DMCA. Video: Windows Media | Real