Guest post: Last week at the terrific inaugural RightsTech Summit, a wide range of very knowledgeable people came together to discuss the current state of digital rights management, and more importantly, the direction that new technologies are taking this field.
If I had to sum up the common themes from the event in two words, they would be: Metadata and Standardization.
Figuring out if, how much, and which metadata about digital assets – such as a song, or an e-book – can be shared, especially among companies with different goals and interests, was one sub-theme. Also discussed was the right mix of technologies to facilitate sharing and tracking of metadata; of course, blockchain technology was a key topic of discussion. But we also covered other distributed technologies that address not just the management of the metadata, but also of the underlying content.
Something that struck me was the extent to which there was agreement among participants — ranging from start-ups to established industry players — that many of the best new use cases being proposed for the “rightstech” industries depend on contracts for digital assets being standardized and simplified, and ultimately rendered in machine-readable code. Continue reading “Making the Creative Commons Smarter”
A few weeks ago Jesse Walden of Mediachain Labs asked me a deceptively simple question: What would a Creative Commons-type license look like if in addition to requesting attribution (as is required by many open licenses), the license also required licensees to let the author know about any re-use?
This exploration is a thought-piece, designed to spur discussion around new technology and the commons. Nothing I say here has been endorsed by the Creative Commons (“CC”) organization, nor am I advocating adoption of any specific new license by that organization. We are simply using the existing public models as a leaping-off point. We are calling the license Gratitude 1.0 and while I’d urge you to read through the background information first, if you want to jump to the license itself, you can read it in full here. All comments and criticisms welcome!
A recent Spotify ad campaign plays on how well the digital music-streaming company knows its users’ tastes. The ads, found plastering New York City subways, showcase Tweets where listeners extoll how a Spotify playlist knows them well – “like former-lover-who-lived-through-a-near-death experience-with-me well.”
But Spotify will no longer just use this intimate knowledge of a user’s musical palate to generate personalized playlists. It’s now using that information as a powerful leveraging tool for advertiser dollars: Spotify announced this week that it is opening up user data collected from its 70 million free subscribers for programmatic, automated advertising.
PluraVida is an emerging company at the forefront of the RightsTech movement for digital content distributors, focused on the need for more accurate rights and ownership tracking and payments administration. After two decades in the industry, CEO and founder Sam Gilchrist sought to fill that need with the launch of PluraVida in 2014.
In the complex ecosystem of partners and channels that digital media companies operate in, PluraVida provides platforms that allow content creators and distributors to manage things like analytics, data, and revenue settlement. In the world of movies, video, music and video games, PluraVida plays a critical role in tracking rights and ensuring fair payment to artists and rights owners.
Prior to founding PluraVida, Gilchrist was President of Tradescape, and before that, he was Chief Information Officer at The Harry Fox Agency, and held leadership positions at SoundExchange and British Telecom. Digital Media Wire had the chance to ask Sam some questions about PluraVida and about his inspirations and goals as a company founder. Check out the interview below.
The cyber attack, according to CEO Ned Scott, affected over 260 user accounts. As he confirmed further, the platform have also incurred a small loss – worth around $85,000 – in the form of their native cryptocurrencies Steem Dollars and Steem. While the origin (of the attack) and perpetrators behind it are still unknown, the platform is currently working with cyber security experts and law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident.
Steemit has successfully contained the security threat. As the team works on assessing the damage and investigate further into the incident, some of the features may be temporarily unavailable for the users. Steemit has comforted the community by announcing that the user accounts and wallets are not at any risk and the normal operations will be resumed soon.
Last week’s announcement that the U.S. Copyright Office had successfully accepted a bulk submission of notices of intent (NOIs) for compulsory mechanical licenses in electronic form marked a major milestone, both for the Office and for Music Reports Inc., which delivered the NOIs on behalf of music streaming service Guvera.
Music Reports has been working with the Copyright Office for more than a decade as part of the Office’s fitful, and at times halfhearted, effort to upgrade the creaky, pre-digital process for submitting and accessing music publishing information to at least 20th century standards if not quite 21st. Last week’s successful test run on the Office’s new, electronic submission system, involving about 100 tracks, is believed to be the first such hand-off.
“We’re now ready to start doing this at scale. It’s a big, big step,” Music Report’s VP and general counsel Bill Colitre told RightsTech.com.
But it was only one step toward solving what Colitre says is a much bigger problem: the vast and fast-growing amount of music being released on digital platforms today for which publishing information is not available, if it was ever collected in the first place. Continue reading “Wagging Music Publishing’s Long Tail”
It should now be abundantly clear that the data identifying recorded music and its split ownership rights is a key component linking the money flow between Great Music and Engaged Fans. Without clean data, no one knows who created what, how to license what from whom, who to pay, or how much. The messiness of music rights data is our industry’s “hair shirt” and I’m not sure how much longer we can collectively stand to wear it.
Now that there is consensus that streaming is here to stay, it should also follow that systems need shoring up. This particular problem is best solved from within the industry itself or at least by companies who view labels, publishers and artists as their customers rather than the DSPs – a fundamental requirement for business alignment in who is working for whom.