Rudolf Strohmeier, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Viviane Reding for Information Society and Media, European Commission
who proceeds to speak on Online Content in the Information Society. Not a lot to say about his other than everybody’s back from lunch and not really up to speed yet. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
Next up is a panel on – How can technology improve rights management? – with:
Patrick Attalah, Managing Director, ISAN International Agency (Switzerland) Del R. Bryant, President & CEO, BMI (USA) Rich Lappenbusch, Director Entertainment and Devices Division, Microsoft (USA) FX Nuttall, Technology Intelligence Senior Consultant, CISAC Hervé Soursou, Director of Business Development, Mach (Denmark) Gerd Leonhard, Music & Media Futurist and Author of “The end of Control” (Germany) – Moderator
Gerd kicks it off and promises lots of interaction and to keep the intro bits, which has taken up most of the time in the other panels, to a minimum. Slight cheer from the crowd. There is very little interaction and the intros take up most of the time. Very disappointing. I thought this may be one of the more interesting panels and it’s a huge damp squib. Everybody is avoiding the dreaded DRM acronym like the plague. Serious lack of energy in the panel themselves. The only person who acquits himself is Del Bryant, from BMI, who actually does a good job of making the case for the BMI being a forward looking and progressive organisation. This is the only thing I got out of this panel. Disappointed. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
There is supposed to be a debate but they slip in a quick Q&A with:
Alfonso Cuarón, Mexican film Director,
who comes across very well. Admits to being new to the whole technology world but likes what it offers him. Says his first question he asks when someone says they’ve seen a pirate version of his film is “How was the quality?” (which generally turns out to be poor). Goes on to say he’s pretty sure he’ll be less than impressed with the pirating thing if the cheques stop coming. Has raised $100 million to do 5 films with a collective of directors. Says the studio system is doomed. Like this guy – he’s got an opinion. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
Next the debate. Can creators and technology/service providers find a common ground? – with:
Benjamin Bejbaum, Co-founder & CEO, DailyMotion (France) Alex Callier, Songwriter/Bass player and producer, Hooverphonic (Belgium) Henk Hofstede, Singer/Songwriter, The Nits (Netherlands) Bendik Hofseth, Composer, Saxophonist and Singer (Norway) Yves Bigot, Programme Director, RTBF (Belgium) – Moderator
There was also a speaker from a new start up/ex-Siemens there as well and I missed his name. This was another damp squib. I was really looking to hear what Benjamin Bejbaum had to say but he didn’t get much of a chance to speak. The only thing to say about this was I made a point at the end for the artists on the stage to go to boingboing.net and see how fellow artists were filtering the Internet for the best/weirdest/most artisitc things they could find/get sent. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
After that there was a viewpoint by:
Robin Gibb, Singer/Songwriter member of the Bee Gees UK
entitled Are Creators’ Works like Any Other Goods? which basically made the case that artists should be wrapped in cotton wool by their masters and left to get on with the creative process. Fair enough. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
And then it’s wrap up time with:
Jens-Peter Bonde, Member of the European Parliament (Denmark) (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC) Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, Playwright and Author, Vice President of CISAC and Chairman/Director General of SOGEM (Mexico) (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
At this stage all I want to do is head for the Eurostar but to be fair to Jens-Peter Bonde he makes a pretty impassioned speech to maintain collective societies and to fight the internal market mandarins in Brussels. Still it’s home time – and the room is more than half empty – so it doesn’t get the listen it deserves.
Nikesh Arora, President for European, Middle East and Africa, Google(UK)
with a keynote speech – The Value of Content in the 21st Century.
Will there be blood on the carpet? After the reception Lawrence Lessig got yesterday this must be about to get ugly? The answer is a resounding no! To make matters even more boring, Nikesh proceeds to explain what the Internet is and bring out the dreaded “Long Tail”. Waste of time. Nothing to see here. Move on. (Update 28/3/08- official video from CISAC)
Next up is a panel discussion – Understanding Mobile and Online Licensing Systems – with:
Ventura Barba, Director Legal & Business Affairs, Yahoo! Music International (Spain) Eduardo Bautista, Chairman of Board of Directors, SGAE (Spain) David M. Israelite, President & CEO, National Music Publishers’ Association NMPA (USA) Gerhard Pfennig, General Manager, BILD-KUNST (Germany) Steve Porter, Chief Executive, MCPS-PRS Alliance (UK) Cees Vervoord, Chief Executive Officer, buma/stemra (Netherlands) Alison Wenham, Chair, Worldwide Independent Network WIN (UK) Alain Strowel, Professor, Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis and University of Liège (Belgium) – Moderator
Alison Wenham makes a bright start with talk of a online global licence. At last, someone who understands what’s required for licensing online content. Steve Porter brings more joy by saying how depressed he has been by the attitude displayed and the failure to grasp the nettle of having people bypass the traditional route to access content. Then it all falls apart. Eduardo Bautista proceeds to say that what’s required is for everybody to do nothing. Stick together and all will right itself. Madness – but the room erupts with joy and he gets a huge applause. I fear Steve Porter may slit his wrists and Alison can take her noble ideas and peddle them on the sidewalk, there is obviously no takers here. David Israelite takes the opportunity to put the boot into Lawrence Lessig again, which gets more applause, but yet strangely doesn’t offer a constructive alternative. The discussion fails completely to talk about understanding mobile and online licensing systems. Another wasted opportunity. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
Next panel discussion is – New Revenue Streams… Where’s the money? – with:
Larry Kenswil, President – Universal Music Group – eLabs (USA) Bob Kohn, Chairman & CEO, RoyaltyShare (USA) Joe Mohen, Chairman & Founder, SpiralFrog (USA) Tim Renner, Founder & Managing Director, Motor FM (Germany) Satoshi Watanabe, Manager of International Relations Department, JASRAC (Japan) Paul Brindley, Managing Director, MusicAlly (UK) – Moderator
Paul Brindley starts it off saying he’s of the “glass half empty” persuasion and challenges the panel to cheer him up. Statoshi Watanabe doesn’t. Larry Kenswil is refreshingly frank and gives a very bleak view for the future of the CD as a format. This is definitely not cheering Paul up. Bob Kohn feels optimistic. Hope here for Paul. Alas no, as Bob launches into a sales pitch for RoyaltyShare. Then a surreal turn of events. Joe Mohen is hugely optimistic – but wait – Paul wants to know if he has fired all his marketing staff and not taken up a second round of VC funding. Cue much embarrassment as Paul obviously has an axe to grind and choose to do it in front of the summit audience. At this stage Joe has every right to just leave the panel, as this is an ambush – but to his credit he deals with the insanity from Paul and goes on to explain how SpiralFrog has gone about it’s business to get legitimate access to content. It sounds like a nightmare, with huge amounts of time and money being poured into trying to clear rights for North America. Their revenue stream will be ad based. No other revenue stream options are discussed. Guess no one has figured out the new bit yet. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
The general focus so far is from the perspective of the collection societies.
Two panel discussions and a debate this afternoon.
The first panel discussion – IP & Copyright – Can Rights Owners Get Some R.E.S.P.E.C.T? – consisted of:
Michael Keplinger, Deputy Director General, World Intellectual Property Organisation WIPO (Switzerland) Cornelia Kutterer, Senior Legal Advisor, European Consumers’ Organisation BEUC (Belgium) John LoFrumento, Chief Executive Officer, ASCAP (USA) Manuel Medina Ortega, Member of the European Parliament (Spain) Nicholas Motsatse, Chief Executive Officer, SAMRO (South Africa) Emma Pike, Chief Executive, British Music Rights (UK) Ted Shapiro, Deputy Managing Director, VP & General Counsel, Europe, Motion Picture Association (Belgium) Leo Cendrowicz, Journalist & Correspondent, TIME magazine / The Hollywood Reporter / Billboard (Belgium) – Moderator
Each was given about 10 minutes to state their view, which meant that there was no time for them to elaborate on any points or to get into a detailed discussion. That was a shame as there was some very interesting people on the panel and it would have been interesting to have their views fleshed out.
The common message seemed to be to – “Educate! Educate! Educate!”. There was recognition that suing the people who buy your goods may not be the smartest move in the long run and that the way forward was to educate people on copyright. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
Brett Cottle, Chair of CISAC’s Board of Directors and CEO, APRA (Australia) Prof. Lawrence Lessig, Author of “Free Culture” and Founder of Creative Commons (USA)
with Emmanuel Legrand, Independent journalist (UK) as moderator
World. War. III.
The collection societies do not like Lawrence Lessig. They seem to think that he wants to undermine copyright.
He states he doesn’t and what he wants is to allow people to move between the commercial and non-commercial world.
Much murmurs of discontent and a general feeling that the baddie is Lawrence Lessig.
I must be from a different planet – because what Creative Commons has done is make people think about rights – and here’s a room full of people getting seriously annoyed with this guy who makes people think about rights after they have spent most of the day bemoaning the fact that no one thinks of the rights of the artist anymore!
Now, the fact that they may disagree with how he has implemented his rights model may be pertinent – but to be so openly hostile to someone who is actually on their side is mind-blowing. This guy is giving them a signpost for the future – they may not like the colour of it or the direction it’s pointing but hey it’s not a bad starting point. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
The alternative is what? There is no alternative that they propose – as becomes apparent in the next panel discussion.
This was entitled – Author’s societies – building a new model! – and contained:
Roger Faxon, Chairman & CEO, EMI Music Publishing (UK) David Ferguson, Spokesperson of the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance ECSA and Acting President of the British Academy of Composers and Authors BACS (UK) Kjell-Åke Hamrén, Chairman, Swedish Music Publishers Association (Sweden) Harald Heker, Chief Executive Officer, GEMA (Germany) Peter Jenner, Chair, International Music Managers Forum IMMF (UK) Michel Lambot, Co-Chairman, Play it Again Sam PIAS (Belgium) Bernard Miyet, Chairman of the Management Board, SACEM (France) Heijo Ruijsenaars, Legal Advisor, European Broadcasting Union EBU Philippe Kern, Managing Director, KEA European Affairs (Belgium) – Moderator
This was a very interesting and knowledgeable discussion that went nowhere! The only saving grace was Peter Jenner being passionate about wanting change and wishing to lock all the competing factions in a room and not let them out until they spoke as one voice. Which by the end of this discussion had my full support!
A lot of the pressures and issues that affect the various players were aired here and there was some real desire for some forward momentum to be taken with respect to rights – but it always seemed to end in some well rehearsed, dead-end conundrum. I asked a question at the end – “Is there something on the horizon that, if I start up an Internet company tomorrow, will help me with online rights or should I go the much more profitable YouTube/MySpace route and just do copyright infringement?” – to which the resounding answer was – Nope! Nothing on the horizon. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
A lot of people with a lot of questions about how the new digital age and copyright can co-exist.
Main speakers so far:
Ben Verwaayen, BT Chief Executive – Change is coming for the Rights bodies. Embrace it and develop new business models. The challenge isn’t technological but creative. (Update 28/3/08 – video - official video from CISAC)
Charles Aznavour, Singer, Songwriter and Actor - Creators must get paid. Multinational media conglomorates are looking to disrupt and dismantle the Rights bodies to break the creators bargaining power. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
There was also two panel discussions.
The first – I’ve Seen The Future – had:
Susannah Cope, Senior Legal Counsel, MTV Networks International (UK) Sylvie Forbin, Vice President, Public & European Affairs, Vivendi (France) Steve Gordon, Lawyer and Author of “The Future of The Music Business” (USA)
André LeBel, CEO, SOCAN (Canada) Pascal Rogard, Director General, SACD (France) Mark Selby, Vice President Sales & Multimedia, Nokia (UK) Lisbeth Kirk, Editor, EUobserver.com (Belgium) – Moderator
There was very little about what the future will be and a lot of what the past was. The only bright moment was Mark Selby catagorically spelling out that DRM was not the solution. (Update 28/3/08 – video - official video from CISAC)
The second – A new world for creativity? – had:
Glen Ballard, Producer/Songwriter and Arranger (USA) Billy Bragg, Singer/Songwriter (UK) José María Cano, Singer/Songwriter (Spain) Mercedes Echerer, Actress, Former MEP and Director of EU XXL Film (Austria) Agnes Jaoui, Screenwriter, Film Director Actress and Singer (France) Vittorio Storaro, Director of Photography (Italy) Keith Harris, Director of Performer Affairs, PPL (UK) – Moderator
The general feeling was that creators livelihoods were being threatened by this digital age but that the tools being made available to artists were also liberating. Billy Bragg was unique in his open embrace of the opportunities and possibilities being afforded him as an artist to directly connect with his audience and was enthusing on the boom in live music, which he put down to people sharing music and wanting to see the artist live. (Update 28/3/08 - official video from CISAC)
So far, a lot of people with a lot of questions and a desire to get the Telecos, Multimedia companies, the public, the government, etc. to help them. It also seems people want a technological/legislative silver bullet to make the genie go back in the bottle.
The previous two sites do nothing other than index other sites where video has been uploaded – but they add value, as they act as pathfinders. The sites they link to have a lot of video uploaded – but I’m willing to bet a very few people did most of the uploading.
There is an enormous opportunity here for the right people to do the right thing and make sure everyone gets paid and people get to access the content in ways they want, with value being added and quality being assured.