Radio Berkman 180: No Such Thing as a Free Sample? (Rethinking Music VI)

April 25th, 2011

Listen: or download | …also in Ogg
Musicians often feel besieged on all sides. Promoters, labels, publishers, radio stations, and venues can make an artist feel exploited and overwhelmed. But in the digital age it might feel like fans and fellow musicians are taking a bite out of them, too.

Second to piracy the phenomenon of fan created content is the greatest irritation to professional musicians and their stakeholders. From the upload of a song to YouTube (which involves almost no creative effort) to sampling, remixing or creating a fan-made music video — many artists feel fan initiatives show disrespect for their rights. And some are using the tools of PR and the law to make their voices heard.

Jay Rosenthal is the General Counsel for the National Music Publishers’ Association with decades of experience working with music industry organizations on the legal side, and representing artists like Salt n Pepa, Thievery Corporation, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

We talked about professional musicianship, and what kind of threat sampling and remix projects (like Girl Talk’s “All Day” and DJ Danger Mouse’s “Grey Album”) pose to the music industry.

Listen up! Comment on the show! Tweet us! And check out the reference section after the jump for links to our guests and more.

Reference Section
More about the upcoming Rethink Music conference!
Follow our Rethinking Music series

Creative Commons music courtesy of MorganTJ and Scott Altham

April 25-27, the Berklee College of Music and MIDEM, in association with the Berkman Center, are hosting the Rethink Music Conference, bringing together artists, industry representatives, policymakers, educators, and innovators to discuss this very issue: the future of creative works, their distribution, and the laws that regulate them. Look out for more on this as we continue this series about music and the music industry.

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