SXSW Tackles 'Collective Licensing' Of Downloaded Music
March 23, 2009 at 5:16 AM (PT)
It has become abundantly clear to everyone in music that the business is in drastic need of an overhaul, as consumer habits have outpaced its ability to adapt. CNET NEWS reports ONEHOUSE LLC Managing Dir. JIM GRIFFIN has been hired by WARNER MUSIC GROUP to help license first universities and then ISPs, so that students and subscribers can download whatever they want with impunity for a monthly fee of $5 or so, with the proceeds split between rightsholders.
GRIFFIN and four other music luminaries debated the topic at a SXSW panel called "Is Collective Licensing for P-2-P File Sharing a Future Source of Income for the Music Industry?" on SATURDAY.
There's a lot to like about this bold approach, called CHORUSS: it lets people consume music in whatever way they see fit, while making sure that long hours spent in a practice space (and on social networks) eventually result in some form of payment for artists. However, as panelist DINA LAPOLT of the entertainment law firm LAPOLT LAW PC said three or four times over the course of the panel, "the devil is in the details."
"We're the first people who have been hit with the problem of anonymity depriving us of our ability to make a living," said SONGWRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA Pres. RICK CARNES. "The way we solve this is going to determine the future of democracy, believe it or not. That's how big these issues are."