Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski brought his rallying cry for Net Neutrality to the Future of Music Conference in Washington on Monday.
Noting the musicians that have supported this cause - from Bruce Springsteen to R.E.M. and Pearl Jam - Genachowski said, ?With a free and open Internet, you don?t have to have big-time, star-power leverage over record labels, publishing companies, commercial radio stations, or particular retailers to get your music to the public. In today?s broadband world, the artists themselves can be self-empowering ? they are free to connect with audiences, paying customers, and musical social networks in ways previously unimaginable.?
The FCC has yet to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) formally kicking off the process of writing and promulgating net neutrality regulations, but the battle over the scope of the new rules is already well underway within media and technology circles in Washington, D.C. At the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit on the campus of Georgetown University on Monday, for example, panelists clashed over whether the agency will or should allow, or even mandate, the use of deep packet inspection (DPI) and other invasive techniques to block the illegal transfer of copyrighted content over broadband networks.
The Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit got rolling Sunday, an annual meeting of musicians, tech-heads, artist managers, academics and music-biz entrepreneurs. The summit?s forward-looking approach is all about making the best of the new reality created by Internet technology and how that might be affected by government policy decisions.
Twenty years ago, the ?Future of Music? was compact discs (remember those?). Ten years ago, the ?Future? was all about mp3s, Napster, and peer-to-peer file sharing. Curious about the future of music today? Aren?t we all.
The Future of Music Coalition is hosting a policy summit this weekend in various venues across campus, tackling the big questions about the music industry in the digital world. The Summit will examine issues in the music industry, ranging from new music business models and policy decisions, to the impact of technology, to how to look at copyright laws in the digital age, according to Michael Bracy (COL ?90), Policy Director of the FMC.
In the news this week is President Obama?s appointment of Victoria Espinel as the new Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, or as she?ll likely be known, IP Czar. Jim and Greg talk to Michael Bracy, the Policy Director at the Future of Music Coalition, about this appointment. Bracy gets the sense that Espinel is pretty safely down the middle of copyright issues, and believes the Obama administration is more concerned with access to internet and competition. He explains that until a legitimate digital media marketplace fully evolves, it remains to be seen how copyright laws should changed and be approached differently in the courts. Bracy and the folks at the FMC will be continuing discussions on this topic and more at their annual summit this weekend in Washington D.C.
The anti-Net Neutrality brigade is at it again. Some may have seen the recent opinion piece at NPR.com by Scott Cleland, which offers a litany of reasons why net neutrality — which makes the internet go vroom! — should be done away with to fill the coffers of a few powerful Internet Service Providers (ISPs). We've heard Cleland's views on the issue many times, but we couldn't disagree more with his position.
In the article, Cleland claims that net neutrality principles are damaging to free speech and business. Actually, it's kind of the opposite. read more
What?s your role in the Future of Music Coalition?
I started going to the Policy Summit when I was still in law school, on a musician scholarship. Since then I?ve gotten to know most of the people on the board, particularly Michael Bracy, the co-founder and policy director. I?ve done a bit of transactional work for FMC, but mostly I?m just an avid supporter and a member of their advisory board. I?m doing a panel at the Policy Summit next month, which is a huge thrill. It?s a real honor and privilege to be involved and to participate in the policy discussions. It?s such a challenging yet incredible time for this industry. read more
Back in the early part of the decade, a certain peer-to-peer application went from being a small bit of code kicked around on college campuses to a worldwide phenomenon. It?s been nearly ten years since the arrival of the original Napster changed the game for everyone in music. What?s changed since the file-sharing shot heard ?round the world? How have artists dealt with the opportunity and uncertainty presented by an ever-growing number of new technologies? Where do we go from here?
The 2009 Future of Music Policy Summit aims to address those questions and more through three days of engaging, interactive programming where the brightest minds in music, technology and policy will discuss the issues that impact the entire music ecosystem. From Oct 4-6 at Georgetown University in Washington DC, an incredible mix of musicians, artist advocates, policymakers, entrepreneurs and music industry professionals will discuss everything from getting paid in the digital age to how policy impacts the lives and careers of artists. read more