I’m pleased to be moderating a panel on user-centric streaming royalties with some of the smartest people in the music business at SXSW on Thursday, March 19 at 3:30. Helienne Lindvall from Ivors Academy, David Lowery of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven and Portia Sabin from the Music Business Association will join me in a discussion of this important topic that seems to pick up support daily.
Please put us on your calendar if you’re coming to Austin for the conference! We really want this one to be collaborative with the audience. Watch this space for further updates. If you are new to the topic, a good place to start is the “ethical pool” post from last year.
I have a workshop in the SXSW.edu track titled “TEACHING ARTIST ROYALTIES TO CREATORS AND STARTUPS.” It follows my philosophy that we need smart artists and smart startups to work together if we all are to succeed.
The workshop has three purposes:
–A building block approach to teaching artists and songwriters about the principal royalty streams that sustain them. This is targeted financial literacy which is as critical to artists and songwriters as balancing your checkbook.
–A licensing roadmap overlay for entrepreneurship studies. It’s far too frequent that entrepreneurs spend more time developing their product roadmap and critical path than they do developing their licensing roadmap side by side with the product. That way when a startup gets to launch there is less likelihood they will go into the terminal holding pattern or worse–launch without licenses.
–the importance of clean and stable metadata to both artists and startups (and mature companies) and how to accomplish this goal starting with the digital audio workstation.
The class description:
Royalty rates, royalty reporting and earnings are some of the least understood–yet most important–parts of a creator’s career or a startups nightmare. Understanding royalties is as important as understanding how to balance your checkbook. Starting with metadata and simple revenue streams, leading to complex calculations and government run compulsory licenses and sometimes impenetrable royalty statements, the workshop gives educators tools and building blocks to teach the subject.
I’d really appreciate your vote for the class in the SXSW Panel Picker here. To vote, you just need to sign in to PanelPicker or create a free SXSW account with your email only.
11:50am-12:50 pm Music Modernization Act (US) / International Developments
The Music Modernization Act could be the most consequential copyright legislation in a generation. This panel will describe what it does, what it doesn’t do, how it affects current business and legal practices, and its effect on domestic and international copyright holders. Bring your questions.
Panelists: Marc Jacobson, Esq. (Moderator) Chris Castle, Esq. – CC Legal Firm and Music Tech Solutions Blog Charlie Sanders, Esq. – Counsel-Songwriters Guild of America Alexander Ross, Esq. – Wiggin LLP (UK) Christine Pepe, Esq. (IP, Music, and Digital Law Consultant)
We have proposed a panel for SXSW in the Panel Picker with some great speakers I’ll be moderating. “Getting to Beta Without Getting Beat Up” will emphasize the importance of licensing strategy milestones that overlay a music-tech startup’s product development strategy milestones.
A well-executed licensing strategy is every bit as much a part of the supply chain logistics as any other element of product development, if not more important.
A buggy product can usually be fixed. Failure to execute a bespoke licensing strategy can subject the entire company to crippling and endless copyright infringement lawsuits. In fact, if you are unlicensed or insufficiently licensed, one thing is a pretty sure bet: The more successful you are, the more likely it is you’ll be sued–a proposition ripped from the headlines.
That scenario can waste the stockholders’ money, be defocusing in the extreme for management and severely damage relationships with the creative community–the life blood of any music startup.
On the other hand, “over clearing” while less costly than litigation still syphons off resources that for the most part lie fallow.
Our panel are all experienced hands in the licensing and metadata world and are themselves entrepreneurs:
Big thanks to Texas Accountants & Lawyers for the Arts and Norton Rose Fulbright for hosting my presentation on the “address unknown” loophole and what to do about it. As MTS and MTP readers will recall, this is a vital issue for songwriters that is a festering sore that no one has addressed. We appreciate the support from I Respect Music Austin!
All are welcome. One hour of Texas CLE credit pending.
6:15-7:15pm Presentation “Address Unknown: Are You Missing Money from Your Songs”
7:15-8:00pm Mixer with attorneys, artists, managers, and other participants
Save the Date! On June 20, 7 pm at Capitol Factory (Austin Omni), Chris Castle presents “Music Tech Licensing: Getting Your Beta Out without Getting Beaten Up” with special guest Keith Bernstein, CEO of Crunch Digital, sponsored by the Austin Music Tech Meetup. Topics will be copyright basics and licensing strategy for startups.