At the Future of Music Policy Summit, impressive names that start with "Senator" or "Chairman" or "CEO" or "Rock Star" tend to hog the limelight. But there's so much more that the conference has to offer us mere mortals -- whether we're musicians, techies or label folks (or maybe a combination of all three). In this post, we'll shine a light on five Policy Summit gems with their own brand of star power.
5. Ariel Hyatt and Charlie McEnerney on social networking strategies for musicians. Ariel Hyatt runs Ariel Cyber PR, a marketing and promotions company that has helped thousands of musicians. Through her blog, her "Sound Advice" videos, books and website, Ariel dishes out some of the most practical advice on navigating the ever-changing world of web-based marketing that you're likely to find. Ariel will be joined by Charlie McEnerney, a force of nature from Boston who has interviewed hundreds of prominent musicians for his carefully curated "Well Rounded Radio" podcast series. Charlie's gotten rave reviews from attendees at other FMC events where he has run breakouts explaining strategies for podcasting and marketing. Don't expect any bullshit or "follow your dreams" talk at this session. Instead, Ariel and Charlie will deliver practical advice about how to get the most bang for your buck in the social networking world.
4. Marcy and Paul: The Triple Threat. What do you get when you put a musician, an entertainment attorney and a professor together? At FMC we call it... The Triple Threat. And on Sunday, we have not just one, but TWO members of this exclusive club together on one session. On Sunday, Marcy Rauer Wagman --- a songwriter/producer/musician who founded the Drexel Music Industry Program, oversees its student-run Mad Dragon record label and works as an entertainment attorney -- will be joined by Paul Rapp: An attorney, professor at Albany Law School and drummer for the legendary band Blotto (yes, that Blotto). The two team up for "Digital Ducats: Getting Paid in the Networked Age". Marcy and Paul are seasoned pros when it comes to explaining the complexities of copyright law in a musician-friendly manner, and they can answer just about any question related to contracts, licensing and revenue streams. Bring your toughest questions and try to stump the experts! This session is co-hosted by the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA), and also features Yvonne Harris Burnley -- a lawyer in the Washington, DC area and the manager of the legacy and estate of her father, legendary jazz tenor saxophonist Eddie Harris.
3. The Pho Dinner. It might just be noodle soup to you, but our pre-Summit Pho dinner has become a tradition that's not to be missed. On Sunday, Oct 4, join dozens of other panelists and attendees as we descend on the humble Nam Viet restaurant in Arlington, VA for delicious soup and excellent conversation. It's informal; you find an open seat at a big round table, sit down, and introduce yourself. You might end up next to a lawyer, a musician, a manager, a journalist. At some point, our FMC technologies director and Pho emcee Brian Zisk will shush the room and every person will stand up and make quick introductions. Delicious soup, a jovial atmosphere, and a great way to make some new friends!
2. Metadata: your new best friend. Commonplace occurence: you search for music, then hit "listen" or "buy" on your laptop or iPhone and music pours out of your speakers almost instantaneously. But have you ever stopped to think what goes on behind the scenes? What makes these searches possible? How does that cool Shazam app know what song it's listening to? And, most importantly, how the hell are all these services tracking all these streams/plays/downloads and ensuring the money flows back to the rights holders? The answer in one word: metadata. Good metadata makes the money flow and bad metadata makes, um, many problems. On Tuesday afternoon, some of the most brilliant minds in music/data tracking -- including ÂÂ Rob Kaye from MusicBrainz, Jim Selby from the classical label Naxos, Barrie Kessler from SoundExchange, and Joe Wallace from Mediaguide Â and manager extraordinaire Peter Jenner -- will gather for a honest discussion about metadata: how to build better standards, how to ensure that all genres of music are properly represented in databases and, most importantly, how to create more efficient data sets that make the money flow properly.
1. When Infinities Collide. Sure, there's lots of talk about "cloud computing" these days, but what happens when the entire history of recorded music can be contained on a device the size of a guitar pick? And if that content is shared between users on private networks, where does that leave intellectual property? For some, this may sound like a sci-fi nightmare. But for legendary producer and McGill University professor Sandy Pearlman, it's both provocative conversation-starter and a soon-to-be reality. With the cost of storage quickly crashing to $0, what does this mean for the ongoing attempts to monetize digital music? How does this fit with the currently preferred trajectory that predicts that all music and data will soon be accessed from "The Cloud?" Is the copyright industry's loss part of a broader cultural gain? Can commerce and creativity be reconciled with rapid technological evolution in a way that makes sense for artists? In a breakout session guaranteed to blow minds, Pearlman will sit down with media producer Rick Karr (NPR, "Bill Moyers' Now") to discuss the cloud, the paradise of infinite storage and what happens when infinities collide.
And that's not all. Don't forget about the free screening of the hip-hop documentary Copyright Criminals on Sunday night, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Kembrew McLeod. Or the breakout session about Choruss, featuring the ever-engaging Jim Griffin. And don't forget the rock shows, keynotes, panel discussions and cocktail parties. With so much going on, everyone can discover their own hidden gems. Register for the Future of Policy Summit and look for yours!