OMI Looks to Move Into Next Phase of Development With Intel Deal

intel_insideThe Open Music Initiative (OMI) this week unveiled a new partnership with Intel to make the chip giant’s Sawtooth Lake blockchain technology as a reference platform for the open-source rights data architecture.

Under the arrangement, Sawtooth is expected to become a foundational platform for reference implementations of OMI’s protocols and APIs.

“We need to move from the phase of talking about things to the phase of doing something, OMI’s co-founder and director of Berklee College of Music’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship Panos Panay told RightsTech. “This [deal with Intel] is an important step in moving into that new phase. Continue reading “OMI Looks to Move Into Next Phase of Development With Intel Deal”

Managing the YouTube Economy the Focus of RightsTech Workshop

youtube-icon-full_colorFrom humble beginnings above a pizza shop and a Japanese restaurant just over a decade ago, YouTube has grown into a global powerhouse, attracting more than 7 billion video views per day and spawning an entire economy of creators, content aggregators, ad servers, and rights-management services.

The rules by which that economy operates have often been the focus of controversy. Last week, the European Commission formally introduced its long-awaited proposals for reforming copyright laws, which, if adopted, could dramatically tilt the playing tilt the YouTube playing field in favor of rights owners. Here in the U.S., YouTube faces continued pressure from rights owners, particularly those within the music industry, over the posting of copyrighted works by YouTube users.

On September 27th, however, will host a hands-on workshop for creators, rights owners and entrepreneurs on the tools available today for getting the most out of the YouTube economy. The RightsTech in the YouTube Ecosystem workshop will be held in the RightsTech Cafe + Lounge during the New York Media Festival at the Museum of Jewish Heritage overlooking Battery Park in lower Manhattan.  Continue reading “Managing the YouTube Economy the Focus of RightsTech Workshop”

Introducing the RightsTech Workshops and Lounge at the NY Media Festival

nyme300_250This year’s New York Media Festival, September 26-29 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage overlooking Battery Park, will feature a special RightsTech Lounge, where attendees can hang out and get hands-on demonstrations of the latest advances in the technology of rights management for music, video, games, and other types of media.

On September 27th and 28th, will host a pair of half-day educational workshops in the Lounge, focused on the emerging RightsTech ecosystem and featuring technology demos, technical presentations, and discussions by leading rights-management technology developers and data standards organizations.

On September 27th, the RightsTech in the YouTube Ecosystem will focus on the nuances of YouTube’s Content ID tool, along with other tools available to creators, rights owners and distributors for managing their rights YouTube and other UGC platforms.

On September 28th, the Master List: Rights Data, Metadata and Registries worskhop will focus on industry initiatives to develop comprehensive databases and registries of creative works and their rights owners, and on how such machine-readable rights data can help facilitate commerce in those works.

Click here for more information on how to register.

Making the Creative Commons Smarter

Lance Koonce,
Lance Koonce, Davis Wright Tremaine

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.

Standardization of the metadata also took center stage, especially during Benji Rogers’ keynote/fireside chat discussing his dot-blockchain project and the Berklee Open Music Initiative. Another key issue involving standardization was interoperability among content platforms.

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”

DOJ Cites Music Industry’s Data Problem in Rejecting Changes to ASCAP, BMI Consent Decrees

577cc1d010909-imageThe U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division formally closed its revue of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees Thursday, issuing a lengthy statement spelling out why it decided not to make any changes to the decrees, at least for now, and why it now reads those decrees to require 100 percent licensing by the PROs of any works in their repertories even if they don’t represent 100 percent of the owners of those works.

The DOJ’s position was, to put it mildly, not universally popular within the music industry.

BMI immediately vowed legal action challenging the 100 percent requirement and sent a letter to the U.S. District Court overseeing its consent decree asking for a pre-motion conference.

David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), appeared on the verge of a stroke. Continue reading “DOJ Cites Music Industry’s Data Problem in Rejecting Changes to ASCAP, BMI Consent Decrees”

Apple Dusts Off its Ebooks Playbook for Music

Library_of_Congress_(1)It’s hard to tell whether Apple is simply trolling Spotify with its pitch to the Copyright Royalty Board to adopt a fixed, per-use royalty rate for songwriting rights on streaming services in place or the current revenue-based formula, or whether it’s a serious proposal. But if it’s the latter, the CRB should at least consider the source before adopting it.

Whatever the proposal’s merits — simplified accounting, greater transparency, more money for songwriters — it has distinct echoes of Apple’s efforts to rewrite the rules for how ebooks are licensed that led to its being sued by the Justice Department for illegal price-fixing — a case Apple lost.

In that instance, Apple was looking to break into an ebook market thoroughly dominated by Amazon. At the time, Amazon purchased ebooks from publishers on traditional wholesale terms, just as it does printed books. Much to the chagrin of publishers, however, Amazon often sold ebooks at a deep discount, below its own cost, to help build the market for its Kindle ebook readers.

In the eyes of many publishers, that practice undermined the market for print copies, which were generally priced higher than the ebook version even without Amazon’s discounting. But there was little legally the publishers could do about it. Continue reading “Apple Dusts Off its Ebooks Playbook for Music”