A Call to Action

OMI is a Call to Action  

The accelerated growth of the Internet radically changed the way everyone consumes media.  It was disruptive and grew exponentially, often damaging long-held business practices. I believe that the “supply-chain” of media, and music, starts at its core, the artist.  The Internet brought a pendulum effect to the supply chain, placing the artist on one extreme, and the digital distribution model at the other.  The farther this pendulum swings toward the distribution model side, the less value delivered to the creative forces that drive the industry.  At the root of this problem is the inability to discover, track, and manage an effective flow for music distribution and rights issues.  OMI has been created to solve this thorny issue.  OMI strives for a better balanced equilibrium of these economic forces.

OMI is Different- By Design

Many say this has been tried before, and failed.  The approach we've designed for OMI is different than prior efforts.  Its structure has been rigorously designed, to produce outcomes in the form of reference implementations that are useable and interoperable.  What has informed the structure and design of the "OMI Method?"

The structure and method designed for OMI is a hybrid of years of learning about innovation, and how we adapt and use it to transform markets.  It is not an effort to enforce or drive standards from the top-down.  It is not simply the management of an open source project.  To "design" the OMI Method, we studied innovation ecosystems, how they work, interact, and thrive.  We used network graph theory and Innovation Dynamics: to understand how disparate “nodes” in a graph develop and foster “edges” (connections) to build a stronger network and drive the emergence of unprecedented levels of efficiency and potency.  Our view is that efforts in this area in the past did not have this level of resilience, or interconnectivity.  The efforts failed to grok this paradigm.  The OMI is designed to improve on this earlier gap.  It is in the deeper understanding of our ecosystem's connectivity that we eliminate failure modes of prior efforts.  

The OMI Structure

With that frame for reference, OMI has been designed as a multi-stakeholder inclusive innovation ecosystem.  The OMI co-Founders have worked diligently to bring in members together: building the network graph of the music rights ecosystem, with representation from music and industry organizations, academia, artists and creators, technologists, entrepreneurs, labels, and policy experts.  A common bond is the love of music.  Using this model, OMI now has, as of today's launch, over 60 significant members signed up to participate.  We're off to a good start!

The OMI Structure is based on learnings from our prior industry efforts with at-scale platforms, our prior work at MIT on innovation ecosystems and the models developed in MIT's REAL (Regional Entrepreneurial Acceleration Lab), research at UC Berkeley Haas on Open Innovation, along with a deep comparative study of a variety of innovative and open source models.  Models we evaluated included Apache, Mozilla, W3C, the MIT Media Lab, Hyperledger Project, and a variety of others.  

OMI is not any of these– it is a hybrid of all of them, with a single structural purpose.  That purpose is to generate resilience and cohesion in the ecosystem, enabling a sustainable architectural framework suitable for evolution over decades.  In short, we have spent significant time and resources to pull together the group we feel is conducive to making positive transformative change for music rights and distribution.  This group is the OMI Members. Welcome!

OMI- We are the Digital Maker Movement

A distinct goal for the OMI Method is to produce, to make.  

  • We will strive to produce reference implementations for solutions the ecosystem needs.  
  • We will strive for certain core principles: no central authority needed, no single point of failure, multiple providers for each function, interoperability from one provider to another at a user's discretion.  
  • We will strive to focus on interoperability, not specifying particular implementations or technologies, but leaving those to the OMI development community.  
  • We will strive to focus on describing core functional blocks of the architecture and its interfaces, with open source implementations permitted and preferred, as long as interoperability is built-in.  
  • We will strive for independent certification to deliver an "OMI compliant" certification, enabling participants to work decentralized and distributed.  OMI compliance will essentially define the edge connections between the nodes of functionality.  It is in the strong interoperable edge connections that we will find cohesion and resilience of our OMI solutions.

We don’t strive for disruption, which often has such negative connotations.  We strive for transformation, in a positive way to better the ecosystem of stakeholders, not a winner-take-all model. 

Network effects and at-scale adoption are not driven simply by being “open source,” but more from the ability of disparate systems and firms to interconnect, interoperate, share and collaborate.  We thus see OMI as a manifestation of a next-gen Open Source ethos, a method for the new digital maker movement.  OMI shall apply this ethos to the music and media ecosystem.

We will strive to enable our members to produce reference implementations that prove it works, all of which can be adopted and commercialized in individual ways by the tech firms producing solutions.  This will jump start and enable an ecosystem of solutions that will foster competition and choice in the market.

Next Steps- NYC Kickoff Meeting

I look forward to seeing and meeting our  members at our NYC kickoff.


Dan Harple 

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Dan HarpleContext Labs