Link: Epicenter - Wired Blogs.
19 posts from June 2007
June 26, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 23, 2007
Videos of my keynote speech at Canadian Music Week 2007: "The Future of Music, and Music Like Water" (Gerd Leonhard, Music Futurist)
An audio version is here or listen to my SongSpot PodWidget ;)
June 22, 2007
Good overview of Social Music Communities. Best of all, Sonific is listed ;) Link: Rock On: 12 of the Best Music Social Networks.
June 19, 2007
If you like hardcore research and the LongTail concept this is for you!
Link: A practical model for analyzing long tails.
Good guide here: Link: Video Editing 2.0: 8 Ways to Remix Online Videos.
June 18, 2007
Andrew Dubber is sharing some good stuff here - take a look. The pdf book is recommended, too. Link: The 20 things you MUST know about music online at New Music Strategies.
Actually using a soundtrack provided by Youtube!
Check this out - Here is an artist (Geoff Lapp from Montreal) that signed up at www.sonific.net yesterday, made his music available as a songspot widget, and then embedded it on his myspace profile. The cool thing is that his visitors can now get their own widgets with his music, too - and they won't just work on myspace! Good going Geoff (and .. great track, too!) Link: www.myspace.com/geofflapptrio.
On May 30 / 31 I was invited to attend the first Copyright Summit in Brussels, Belgium, organized by some friends of mine on behalf of CISAC (the RIAA equivalent of the copyright societies /PROs / MROs). I moderated a panel, too, and quite enjoyed it... but more on that later.
This event was basically a constant succession of hot and cold showers (albeit most of them were on the chilling side): on the one hand, copyright societies, composers and various intellectual property functionaries (and boy, did that label apply - even Charles Aznavour was turned into a shining example of righteousness!) constantly lamenting how badly things were going because the Internet really is just a giant rip-off machine (this, of course, was always and without fail linked to the instant urging for more protection); on the other hand some lonely but outspoken and 'keen-to-help' technologists, visionaries, consultants, entrepreneurs and Music2.0 advocates (I guess I did fit in there somehow, myself;) that tried to insert some sort of reality-check into the proceedings.
At one point I felt that one might as well summarize this entire conference like this: "PLEASE try to get it - the utter control of this ecosystem is OVER. Finished. The Past. You need to move forward and make money in a new way. Go and DO IT. NOW."
This thought, I felt, was somewhat echoed by Andre LeBel, CEO of the Canadian Society SOCAN and without a doubt one of the most forward-thinking people as far as PROs go - Andre was one of the few PRO speakers that did not just dwell on 'we need more protection' but instead urged his peers to change, and to change fast. Somehow it seems that Canadians are always ahead in these things, and open - why is that?
Unnervingly, at times the event felt like most people on the stage were shooting to stage a mutual love-fest with their peers in the audience, and other times it felt like a stoning was immanent (particularly when Larry Lessig entered the stage - I really thought he did a great job defending the Creative Commons initiative considering that the audience basically told him to stuff it and stop talking about it in public: "it makes life harder for us to have you out there saying these ludicrous things..."). Still, Larry did a great job, as usual - I just wished he would have had more time and a better moderator. The UK Register has some juicy comments, here - as usual, good stuff, Andrew O.
Below is a short video with some excerpts of Ben Verwaayen's keynote speech (yes, the CEO of BT... at a Copyright Event!) which I thought was very much spot-on and quite daring given that the audience consisted mostly of fairly up-front and ready-to-blast-you copyrightists and people that want to see 'their IP rights defended'. Sorry for the abrupt cut btw, my my new NokiaN95 could not be kept steady any longer ;)
My favorite quotes from his speech: "...because the consumer of today is no longer the consumer you're used to..." ... "The question is not where the value was yesterday but where it is today".
The Hollywood Reporter comments: "Verwaayen flatly rejected suggestions that operators like BT need to compensate rights owners because they provided the infrastructure for online piracy. "It's nonsense," he said. "It's the same issue in many industries: Is one responsible for the problems of another? If you think someone else will solve your problems for you, forget it -- it won't happen." The Register comments here.
I think Ben's speach was great because he really cranked up the opposition in the audience, most of which apparently believed that telcos should just pay for the music their users get on the network, and thereby solve everyone's problem (no... we are not talking about a flat rate here... we are talking penalty).
And somewhat surprisingly to me, a really great contribution was made by Billy Bragg, (in)famous for his run-ins with Myspace who high-lighted some of the great advantages that the Internet has brought us, and successfully bridged the gap between the techno-phobic crowd and the rest of the audience. "As Artists we have to find a way to get together.... technology and the audience are well ahead of us" Well done Billy!
The video stream is here. John LoFrumento, CEO of ASCAP, delivered a good example of playing to the crowd but otherwise was unfortunately not adding much value: "this is stealing... and hurting a lot of people". These kinds of utterings could be heard from many panelists and speakers and panelists, over and over again, thereby, I guess, enhancing the opportunities for some good mutual back-patting... you cry for me - I cry for you. Congratulations. I think it would have been much better to have some honest conversations about CHANGE and why it's needed, and why it's urgent (which is something I dare I say I tried during my panel... hope I achieved it at least some of the time).Download john_lofrumento_copyright_summit
Unfortunately, the 2nd day at the conference was somewhat ruined by a ueber-ludicrous flyer that some ASCAP people passed out at the entrance - a bizarre cartoon-one-pager called Donny the Downloader which depicted a freaked-out musician that's working in a fast food joint because the very people that order food from him have just been free-loading his music instead of paying for it. A scan of this flyer is below. Sorry, ASCAP and everyone there that is doing a great job to bring real change into the organization - but this kind of thing is just SO utterly simplified and makes you look deeply ridiculous - it's hard to believe that you would even consider publishing something like this. It's not the free downloading that's hurting the composers and publishers - it's the industry's (and that means labels and publishers) refusal and / or inability to license music on different terms than they're used to. Get with the program and enforce participation not punishment - You can't outlaw 90% of the population. I, and many people next to me, were amazed at the idiocy behind this flyer - it reads like something from 1999! WHERE have you guys been?
All in all, though, it was still a very interesting conference - mainly because I learned a lot (even though I had to have my flame shield on most of the time), and got to talk to a lot of people that were very sure of what they do, and that always makes for interesting conversations. The organization was flawless and even though I wished there would be been fewer yes-sayers and more speakers that pushed the envelope and questioned the comfortable 'we just need more protection' attitude that prevailed through-out. But then again, it was a CISAC show... right?
Update: just found this video on YouTube - the opening speech by Prof. Christian Bruhn (Chairman of CISAC). Listen, smile... or cry?
June 17, 2007
Some very cool videos here - great collection from the Google Zeitgeist 2007 conference
Link: Zeitgeist Europe 2007: Let me entertain me
This site is in Dutch but the videos are in English. Thanks for the link to Radio Visionary Jonathan Marks.
One of my favorite videos: Mark Thompson of the BBC - on broadcasters and CONTROL ! Jonathan Marks' comment is here
June 15, 2007
Sonific now offers all content producers (music & audio) a no-strings-attached home for their productions if they want to provide free widgets. I am using the new service, Sonific.net, to put up my own podcasts and allow people to embed them on their own web pages - this seems like a great way to spread the word. Here are a few SongSpot 'PodWidgets' (hey... this is a world premiere!).