Rethink Music

Last month, Berklee College of Music and MIDEM — in association with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Harvard Business School — put on a conference called Rethink Music.  The conference addressed issues relating to “Creativity, Commerce, and Policy in the 21st Century,” and it brought together a wide range of stakeholders to “engage in critical dialogue examining the business and rights challenges facing the music industry in the digital era” and “formulate ideas for the creation and distribution of new music and other creative works.”

The Cyberlaw Clinic played an active role in the event.  Spring 2011 Clinic student Adam Gottesfeld worked with Berkman Center Research Assistant Joey Seiler and Cyberlaw Clinic Assistant Director Christopher Bavitz to assemble the Berkman Center’s “Rethinking Music” briefing book, which conference attendees received.  Gottesfeld, Seiler, and Bavitz prepared the Center’s framing paper, which introduced the book and teed up a number of important issues addressed during the conference.  Clinic student Cristina Fernandez worked with WGBH‘s Deputy General Counsel, Jay Fialkov, on another piece included in the book, “Music Rights Clearances and Public Media.”

Working with the Berkman Center’s Program Coordinator, Amar Ashar, Bavitz helped to manage Berkman’s overall role in the event.  The Berkman team oversaw an academic call for papers that resulted in the selection of an article by Mary LaFrance of UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law.  LaFrance’s article, which concerns public performance rights in sound recordings, will be published in the Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law.  Bavitz also joined Berklee’s Allen Bargfrede in an interview with WBUR about the event and the state of the music industry.

Harvard Law School’s website published an overview of the conference, and the Berkman Center offered its own roundup of coverage.  Livestream has several videos of panel discussions and presentations at the conference.