This year at the SF Music Tech Summit I moderated a panel called “The Data-Driven Future of Music.” I had pitched the concept for this panel after finishing a consulting project for Spotify over the summer. The project was to analyze the legal and tech infrastructure around creating and clearing derivative works. Specifically, one of the largest trends in music today is remixing and reworking original songs, by sampling and re-using parts of a song. When there was money in recorded music, illegal usage of any part of a song could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, if the derivate work did well. Today, since there is no money in recorded music, a lot of these laws are not enforced, and many illegally created digital works live on SoundCloud. But, in my mind, this is largely because the narrative around sampling and remixing is also changing – it is more acceptable to make a song out of someone else’s song – and often artist’s career’s can be made if their beat is credited or their name is associated with the song. If someone sampled a part of my track, I would find it far more valuable for them to credit me for it than for me to ask them to take it down.
Knowing this trend fascinated me, and so I proposed to SF Music Tech that we have a panel that specifically addresses how industry leaders are solving this today, and what their advice for artists is, to create music safely and legally.
We had Michael Simon (CEO of the Harry Fox Agency), Stephen White (CEO of Dubset Media Holdings) and Ty Roberts (CSO of Gracenote).
Below are the audio and video from the panel discussion we had.