Open Music 2018 Annual Summit: Thank You!

Thank you to the over 150 members who joined us for the first Open Music Annual Summit on November 15-16, 2018 in New York, enjoying keynotes by Desmond Child and Imogen Heap; an MMA panel with top reps from DiMA, NMPA, RIAA, and producer Hank Shocklee; presentations by MIT Connection Science, PwC, URights, Blokur, Gusto and IBM, to name a few; plus governance updates, and working group meetings focused on the board, technology, implementation, and education. Stay tuned for more updates, including a recap of the Summit, upcoming governance sessions, working group calls, board structure, and our next Open Music meeting in February. For now, enjoy this visual recap of a few Summit highlights.

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Nicole d'Avis
Why Success of the Music Modernization Act Depends on Open Standards   

White paper by Panos A. Panay, VP Innovation & Strategy, Berklee College of Music; Alex Pentland, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Thomas Hardjono, Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The passage of the Music Modernization Act into law is a major milestone and opportunity for the music industry to usher in a new era of growth and innovation. Major credit goes to the individuals and organizations who worked tirelessly to pass this legislation including the National Association of Music Publishers, the Digital Media Association, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the many independent publishers, songwriting groups, and other creative industry advocates. With the establishment for the first time of a legal framework authorizing a single comprehensive, accessible database that connects copyright owners of both sound recordings and compositions, the industry can move to a new phase: one in which rights holders’ data can be secure yet interoperable across databases, systems, and applications through shared, open standards.

To read more, and download the PDF version of Open Music’s white paper, please click through and provide the requested information.

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Blockchain+AI+Human

Guest post whitepaper and invitation by Alex Pentland, John Werner, and Chris Bishop, from the MIT Trust::Data Consortium for blockchain+AI research.

We find ourselves at a unique point in history, a moment in time when new technologies are emerging at an unprecedented pace. Specifically, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robots, and Internet of Things (IoT) are combining to create a new wave of change as they begin to take advantage of cryptocurrencies, ICOs, virtual assets, the blockchain and the tokenization of everything. The result of this collision of technologies and human organizations is hand-wringing about job loss, fear of robot overlords, and worries about Armageddon.

But it is easy to get caught up in the hype of the moment, to get swept up by what the media and technorati are saying about what is happening - who it will impact, what the impact will be and what winners and losers will emerge. While there is certainly potential for tremendous change, both good and bad, 90% of what is being written about blockchain and artificial intelligence today is hype or unrealistic, overinflated postulation. What is really going on?

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Report from London: Red Bull Hack and Ace Hotel Artist Meetup

Open Music is a coordinating agent. This ethos expands out beyond our commitment to the coordination and interoperability of tech via open source APIs, and extends to the coordination of ideas and relationships. To this end, with the help of Ace Hotel, we designed this particular event to combine these various coordinating aspects, convening OMI members with Berklee alumni, local London artists and music industry entrepreneurs.

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George Howard
Salzburg Hack: A 12 Hour Sprint to Build A Blockchain Music Product

The first question I was asked on the excellent panel discussion that was held in a building called - I kid you not - The Mozarteum in Salzburg was, “George, why are you here?” That’s a pretty fair question to ask of me in almost any situation, but particularly apt given the fact that it was a Wednesday in Salzburg Austria...and I live and work in Boston. My answer to this question, however, summed up an awful lot about what made the most recent Open Music Initiative project at the Karajan Music Tech Conference so unique. I answered, “I go where the energy goes, and for the past several days, the energy has been in Salzburg.”

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George Howard
On The Road in New Orleans with Ace Hotels

Open Music hosted its first public event on February 27 in New Orleans, in partnership with Ace Hotels.  Artists, entrepreneurs, and curious fans were joined by Open Music’s Panos Panay and George Howard, as well as Peter Guglielmino, IBM’s Media & Entertainment CTO. Open Music members have previously met to focus on cross-industry negotiations, interoperability and API’s, but this was the first time that Open Music held an event focused directly on artists and the creative community, keeping music and artistry at the center.

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Nicole d'Avis
Blockchain and the Music Industry: Turning Pennies into Dollars

Guest post by Irving Wladawsky-Berger, former VP of Technical Strategy and Innovation at IBM.

Just about every industry has been significantly transformed in the past few decades.  But few have been as disrupted as the music industry.  Everything seems to be changing at once, from the way content is produced and delivered, to the sources of revenue and profits.  Digital technologies, - the Internet, smartphones, cloud computing, … - have literally turned dollars into pennies.  Now, blockchain and related technologies may once more play a major role in the music industry, - this time helping to turn those pennies back into dollars.

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Recurring Heartbeat: Dispatch from the OMI NYC Meeting

OMI co-founder Dan Harple recently described the “recurring heartbeat” that has pulsed since OMI launched one and a half years ago, strengthening as more and more members joined from across the music-tech ecosystem. Harple’s industry-wide heartbeat aptly illustrates Open Music, formed to create an open-source protocol allowing the many appendages of the creative industry to work together. To work.

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Nicole d'AvisOMI, Open Music
Why We Do What We Do: The Open Music Summer Lab

As the Open Music Initiative (OMI) continues to “Open Music,” it begs the question: for and by whom? For the last year, OMI focused on the “HOW.” This summer’s Open Music Summer Lab included nineteen students from across the US and the world; experimenting with new methods of digital rights identification and tracking using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and Blockchain.

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Nicole d'Avis
Beginnings of a Musical Future

The Open Music Initiative Summer Lab is an 8-week program, in which the Open Music Initiative  hosts nineteen student software developers, musicians and visual artists at the IDEO Cambridge Studio and Workbar Cambridge. During the 8-week program, four teams are challenged to envision a future for music and its industry through the lens of human-centered design, distributed ledgers, and the OMI API. Throughout the program, each team will be generating prototypes with the intention of developing and refining a venture concept.

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Eric Chan
“Deploy, deploy, deploy”: Dispatch from the OMI Tech Meeting

The OMI held its inaugural Technology Meeting in New York City on September 13th. The timing was apt. There’s a certain energy around the fall. Beyond it being the season when students leave summer behind and begin focusing on their studies, there’s also a general sense of activity ramping up across all sectors. Whether the fall manifests in energy in university settings or in the business sector as they move towards the all-important fourth quarter of their fiscal year, the unifying theme is a bias towards action.

It’s appropriate, therefore, that Dan Harple (see my interview with him here), opened the proceedings with the exhortation of “Deploy, deploy, deploy.”

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George Howard
Summer Lab: Dispatch 2

If the projects that resulted from the first week’s sprint congealed around the “garbage in/garbage out” problem as it relates to more effectively defining and utilizing data, then this second sprint took aim at better satisfying the customers.

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George Howard
Our Summer Lab Instagram

Every day we post a moment from the Summer Lab to our Instagram account, @openmusicinitiative. It's different every day: sometimes it's the movement of prototyping, or a quiet moment at the start of class. Sometimes Arabian Prince of NWA Skypes in and you get a snapshot of that. And sometimes, it's just post-its.  

Today, it's going to be some heavy-duty making at the IDEO Cambridge Studio, as the fellows prepare for their first Demo Day tomorrow! 

Hope to see you there - follow along with us!

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Ashley Holtgraver
Why Us? Why Now?

Incomes for all those involved in the music-making and producing process have dropped precipitously in the last two decades. There are many reasons for this— most of which most of us in the music and media industries will likely not agree on—but one thing is clear: the infrastructure on which our business has operated for the last century is not adequate to address the new ways music is being produced and consumed today—and even more so, tomorrow.

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Panos Panay