SXSW Panels for Artists Rights – Show Your Support @ SXSW Panel Picker

Please show your support to advance the conversation for Artists Rights by voting for these two panels being considered for this year’s SXSW. We hope to see you in Austin. Deadline for voting is Friday August 31st.


MUSIC: “Who’s Ripping Me Off Now”


In June, a blog post by musician David Lowery set off a firestorm. Written to an intern at NPR who admitted to not having paid for the 11,000 tracks in her collection, the post generated more than a million views in just one week and numerous media stories.

In its wake, musicians, fans and the industry were all re-evaluating long held beliefs. Who is “the man” today? Can the Internet be both innovative and ethical? Who speaks for the artists? And what obligation does the fan have to his or her favorite artists (if any).

Join David Lowery, Cake’s John McCrea and experts from music and tech policy as they try to answer these timely and controversial questions.

Questions Answered

1. Is the new boss (tech) worse than the old boss (labels)?

2. What policy changes need to be considered to make the internet fairer for music creators

3. Can artists make a living without making money from recordings?

4. Who’s profiting from Spotify?

5. What obligation does the music fan have (if any) to the music creator?


INTERACTIVE: “Innovative, Open, Ethical & Sustainable Internet”


Everyone agrees the internet needs to be Open and encourage Innovation, but does it have to be “permissionless innovation” as some are proposing? The internet and digital technology have opened up many new opportunities for artists, but it has also opened up new opportunities for those who wish to exploit those artists.

This panel asks the difficult questions about the balance of rights of all citizens, including the rights of the individual citizens who are themselves both creators and consumers participating in both sides of the debate. The reality of contemporary online content distribution is that a blind eye has been turned to enterprise level, mass scale, for profit, businesses who are not including creators participation in the monetization of the value chain. This is both unethical and in the long term unsustainable.

This panel will explore mutually beneficial solutions for all stakeholders WITHOUT the need for new or additional legislation to do so.

Questions Answered

1. Why is premissionless innovation necessary? Consent is the cornerstone of civilization. How do we find the balance in the rights of all citizens to BOTH privacy and protection of individual rights such as copyright? Perhaps through the use of a master rights registry or database would make it possible to not require case by case “permission” but still have rights granted by consent.

2. Why isn’t there a way to create online indie record stores that specialize in specific genres superserving those consumers (death metal for example)? Rights Holders need to work with developers to create an easy “One Stop” rights licensing solution to encourage competition and innovation without cumbersome requirements. Ideally there would be an online equivalent to old school “One Stops” who sold records to indie stores before they developed credit lines with the distros directly. SNOCAP?

3. Why does there seem to be so much confusion between the what is the actual freedom of expression and wanting to illegally exploit that very expression? Ice-T’s “Cop Killer” or 2Live Crew’s “Me So Horny” are actual artistic expressions protected by the Constitution. The illegal coping and distribution of those expressions without the creators permission is simply exploitation without consent or compensation to the artists themselves.

4. The mutual respect granted by intellectual property rights allows individual creators the freedom to determine what permissions they wish to grant and at what price. No one has to pay that price, but the creator is entitled to set it.

5. Why are consumers willing to pay more for Fair Trade coffee but not willing to pay for music, movies and other content? Public attitudes about creators rights are not aligned with the reality of most people struggling to sustain professional creative careers. All this begs the question, if the internet is working for musicians, why are less musicians working professionally now than prior to the internet. The promise of empowerment has failed.


One thought on “SXSW Panels for Artists Rights – Show Your Support @ SXSW Panel Picker

  1. David Lowery is one of the most informed and articulate musicians speaking out for artists’ rights today. His letter to Emily Post and recent work to attack advertisers and ad services whose ads continue to run on illegal sites is key to eliminating funding for sites that are re-selling your work without compensation to the artists.

    Your vote will help insure that we continue to get the word out. Vote today. It only takes a minute of your time to do something positive for the future of music.

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