The Evolving Music Ecosystem


The Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, invites you to a music law conference.

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine Photography

The Evolving
Music Ecosystem

Thursday-Friday
September 10-11, 2020

Keynote Speaker: Rosanne Cash

9 Hours Virginia CLE (Pending)

George Mason University, Arlington, VA

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Online Registration Closes on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, at Noon ET
Onsite Registration Will Be Available at the Conference, But We Cannot Guarantee A Seat at the Keynote Lunch
Cancellation Policy: Cancel on or Before Wednesday, September 2, 2020, To Receive Full Refund


EVENT DESCRIPTION

The past year has seen major changes to the music ecosystem and the laws and policies integral to its viability. For example, while the Music Modernization Act (MMA) provided a much-needed update to the way artists’ creative contributions are recognized and supported in the digital age, debates over royalties, infringement, piracy, and new distribution models remain. Diverse issues surrounding ownership and control of data, music festival arrangements, and the nature of artists’ roles in the gig economy also made headlines. Despite encouraging steps forward and seemingly unlikely partnerships, arriving at a place of balance in music—where respect for artists and others on the music production side is just as important as facilitating innovative models for listener access—requires more work and cooperation.

This unique conference continues a dialogue on the music ecosystem begun by CPIP Executive Director Sean O’Connor while at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle. In its inaugural year in the D.C. area, the conference aims to bring together musicians, music fans, lawyers, artist advocates, business leaders, government policymakers, and anyone interested in supporting thriving music ecosystems in the U.S. and beyond.


DRAFT PROGRAM

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2020

9:00 – 10:30 AM: REGISTRATION

10:30 – 10:45 AM: OPENING REMARKS & INTRODUCTIONS

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM: SESSION 1: WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF A MUSICAL COMPOSITION?

Music copyright is unusual in that it can consist of two separate kinds of registered works. Musical compositions are the underlying song, most easily thought of in terms of notated sheet music. Sound recordings are particular performances captured in a recording. This panel focuses on current hot topics in the composition rights. Panelists will consider: how to determine the scope of composition for composers not fluent in written notation (including social justice aspects); whether and how juries should be used in assessing substantial similarity between works; new distribution and licensing models; whether it makes sense to distinguish composition from sound recordings in today’s beats forward studio-based composition approach for pop music; and AI compositions.

12:00 – 1:15 PM: KEYNOTE LUNCH & FIRESIDE CHAT
Sponsored by Recording Industry Association of America

Please join us for a fireside chat with Rosanne Cash and Prof. Sandra Aistars.

  • Rosanne Cash, Singer/Songwriter (@rosannecash)
  • Prof. Sandra Aistars, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, Director of Copyright Research and Policy & Senior Scholar, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property

1:25 – 2:40 PM: SESSION 2: THE NEW ROLE OF RECORD LABELS & PLATFORMS

From mp3s to YouTube to Spotify, the way we listen to music in the digital age has changed considerably over the past twenty years. At a time when physical copy records and full-length albums have been replaced by the streaming single, what role does a record label play? And as traditional lines between creator, copyright owner, and distributor continue to blur, how will labels and streaming services work together to ensure that artists are appropriately compensated and incentivized? This panel will explore recent developments in copyright law as they apply to the music industry and look ahead to how music ecosystems will evolve in the coming years.

2:45 – 4:00 PM: SESSION 3: IMPLEMENTING THE MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT

The Music Modernization Act was enacted in 2018 and Mechanical Licensing Collective, Inc. was designated to administer the new composition database and blanket licensing system. This panel will consider issues in the implementation of the new licensing regime as well as in the associated Classics Protection and Access Act and Allocations for Music Producers Act.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020

8:00 – 9:00 PM: REGISTRATION

9:00 – 10:15 AM: SESSION 4: THE CHANGING NATURE OF SOUND RECORDING RIGHTS

The sound recording category of music copyrights has been more limited in some ways than the composition category. They received no federal protection before 1972 and then afterwards did not apply to terrestrial radio broadcasts. The recent Music Modernization Act extended a measure of protection to pre-’72 sound recordings, while proposed legislation would allow sound recording owners to seek compensation from terrestrial radio stations for public performances of the works similar to the system for digital webcasters and streaming. The panel will discuss the current state of sound recordings, their curious history under U.S. law, and their future in the digital streaming age.

10:15 – 10:45 AM: MORNING COFFEE BREAK

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM: SESSION 5: THE POWER OF DATA OWNERSHIP & ANALYTICS

Access to consumer data and the ability to process and respond to it is perhaps the most valuable component of our digital global ecosystems—no matter the industry. In the music business, collecting and analyzing data about listeners and their habits is already occurring on a massive scale, and it’s informing the development of new business models and platforms. But questions of ownership and data sharing loom large, as musicians increasingly realize the value of knowing more about their fans. This panel will discuss the current state of data collection and analytics in the music industry and explore the ways that big data can foster creative ecosystems that benefit all stakeholders.

12:00 – 1:20 PM: BREAK FOR LUNCH

1:30 – 2:45 PM: SESSION 6: ARTIST MANAGEMENT & THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC

At a time when industrious artists can act as their own producers, promoters, booking agents, managers, etc., is there still a need for traditional representation in the music business? What is the role of an artist manager in today’s industry? And how has it evolved as the internet and interconnectivity have grown? This panel will bring together artists, managers, lawyers, and venue owners to discuss the constant evolution of artist representation and the business of music.

2:45 – 3:15 PM: AFTERNOON COFFEE BREAK

3:15 – 4:30 PM: SESSION 7: SUPPORTING ARTISTS & COMMUNITIES

Recognizing and supporting local artists and musicians is vital to the preservation of creative and culturally diverse communities. Whether full-time professional musicians or part-time hobbyists, creative individuals’ contributions to their communities is invaluable and difficult to measure. But like many who make a living through artistic endeavors, musicians often struggle to find steady work and lack the benefits that many of us take granted. Additionally, musicians often encounter mental health and substance abuse issues at a greater rate than non-artists. The panel will discuss the many ways that a vibrant music scene benefits a community, the ways that communities can give back, and the resources available to musicians in need.

4:30 – 4:45 PM: CLOSING REMARKS

4:45 – 6:00 PM: RECEPTION