Debating the Future of Music

By 
Margot Edwards
March 26, 2008

Berklee College of Music presents Envisioning 21st-Century Music Business Models, an ongoing series of discussions about the music industry. The series kicks off with a panel discussion on Thursday, April 17, 7:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m., at Berklee' s David Friend Recital Hall, located at 921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA. The event is free and open to the public. Call 617 747-2152 for more information.

The event begins with a keynote address by Marybeth Peters, U.S. Register of Copyrights, followed by the panel discussion. Participants include prominent record industry executives, artists, journalists, and managers (complete list included below). The panel will focus on one of the key components of the service-based music business model: digital music licensing. Register Peters has been, for the past several years, at the forefront of negotiations between competing parties to streamline the copyright licensing process for digital uses, which resulted in the introduction of the Section 115 Reform Act of 2006 (SIRA) to Congress.

The Envisioning 21st-Century Music Business Models series was created by Berklee's Music Business/Management Department to provide a forum for discussion among industry professionals, academics, and college students, with a focus on nurturing and developing innovative ideas for redesigning the music industry in the new millennium. In recent periodical articles, two prominent heads of major record labels-Rick Rubin of Columbia Records and Doug Morris of Universal Music Group-espoused the merits of a service-based music business model similar to the one advocated by Dave Kusek, vice president for Berklee Media, and Gerd Leonhard over three years ago in their book,The Future of Music

Panelists:

Marybeth Peters, U.S. Register of Copyrights

Richard Blackstone, senior advisor to the chair and CEO of Warner Music Group and former chair and CEO of Warner-Chappell Music Publishing Company, the second largest publishing company in the world

Susan Butler, Esq., senior legal and publishing editor, Billboard magazine

Mike Dreese, owner and CEO, Newbury Comics, New England's largest independent in-store music retailer, and Berklee board of trustees member

Albhy Galuten, vice president of digital media technology strategy, Sony Corporation of America, and Berklee alumnus

Eric Giler, President and CEO, Groove Mobile, a mobile phone music aggregator

Steven H. Holtzman, Chair and CEO, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, and Berklee board of trustees member

Dave Kusek, Vice President for Berklee Media, and coauthor of The Future of Music

Gregg Latterman, President and CEO of A-Squared Management, manager of the Fray, John Mayer, Brandi Carlile, Train, and Five for Fighting. Mayer and the Fray are the leading digital album-selling artists in the industry.

Jennifer Link, Vice President of Licensing, SpiralFrog, an innovative ad-based Internet music downloads site, and Berklee alumna

Michael Rexford, Senior Director of Business Affairs, Universal Music Publishing, and Berklee alumnus

Makeba Riddick, Berklee alumna and Grammy nominated songwriter, with credits on albums by Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and others

Ben Wysocki, drummer of the band the Fray, which was the industry leader in digital album sales in 2006