We’re back! David Lowery hosted the third annual Artist Rights Symposium at the University of Georgia’s Terry College in Athens on November 15 as an in-person event. The Symposium is an all-day event that allows students in the Music Business program to participate and interact with panelists as part of the music business program.
Our keynote speaker was the inspiring Merck Mercuriadis, long time songwriter advocate, manager and music industry veteran who founded and runs the Hipgnosis Songs Fund. Merck is an active songwriter advocate around the world, particularly with the recent inquiry into the music streaming economy by the UK Parliament’s Digital Culture Media & Sport Committee and the UK Competition and Markets Authority. As Kristin Robinson reported on Billboard
Merck explained why he feels the industry is in the “age of the songwriter.” “There has been a massive paradigm shift,” he said. “Forty years ago, the power was in the artist brand,” but now, most songs that top the Billboard charts are written by a larger number of songwriters than ever, meaning the demand has never been higher for good hitmakers. “But songwriters have to have a place at the negotiating table now,” he said, citing that in the United States, rates for mechanicals are set by the government’s Copyright Royalty Board, barring “free market” negotiations. “Let’s face it, [the government controlling rates] is insulting to songwriters.”
This year’s symposium topic was “The Future of Authorship and the US Copyright Office” and Merck and the stellar panelists had a lot to say about the many advocacy issues facing contemporary songwriters.
Fortunately, thanks to Terry College the symposium is available on YouTube at no charge and you can watch it in its entirety.
9:00 AM -9:10 AM David Barbe, Director, Terry College Music Business Program
Georgia Legislative Overview and Agenda 9:10 AM- 9:30 AM
Panel 1: Libraries vs Authors: The Internet Archive’s “Controlled Digital Lending” and Fair Renumeration for Authors. 9:35 AM- 10:50 AM
Janice Pilch. Rutgers University
John Degen: Writer, Head of Writers Union Canada.
Stephen Carlisle: Copyright Officer Nova Southeastern University,Florida
Mary Rasenberger, CEO, Authors Guild and Authors Guild Foundation.
Panel 2 Managing a longer Table at the Copyright Royalty Board 11:10 AM to 12:25 PM
Dr. David C. Lowery Moderator
Rick Carnes, Songwriters Guild of America
David Turner, Penny Fractions, SoundCloud
Crispin Hunt, Songwriter, Ivors Academy, #BrokenRecord
Lunch and Fireside Chat with Merck Mercuriadis 12:45– 2:00 PM
Panel 3 #DoubleStat: The Future of Compulsory Rates 2:20 PM – 03:35 PM
Chris Castle Moderator, Founder Christian L. Castle, Attorneys, Austin and MusicTechPolicy blog
Richard Burgess, CEO of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM)
Helienne Lindvall, President, European Composers and Songwriters Association
Samantha Schilling, Songtradr, IAFAR
Metadata, Matching and Claiming at the MLC 3:55 – 5:10 PM
Moderator Abby North, North Music Group
Erin McAnally, Artist Rights Alliance
Helienne Lindvall President, European Composers and Songwriters Association
Melanie Santa Rosa, Word Collections, The MLC
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