Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ReThinkMusic brings together Harvard, Berklee, Music Industry Giants

by Sarah Cortes - ReThinkMusic brought together music industry giants with recording artists, Harvard Law faculty from the Berkman Center for Internet & Technology, the ranking House Judiciary Committee member and thousands of attendees yesterday and today at Harvard University and the Hynes Convention Center.

ReThinkMusic's website describing Artist Damian Kulash, whose perspective and experience sum up what's happenning in the music industry today:

"Most people know Damian Kulash of OK Go from the band's videos that have accumulated hundreds of millions of online views. OK Go is more than those videos, of course. Their new album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, debuted in the Billboard Top 40, got to #2 on the iTunes alternative chart, and has yielded two Top 40 alternative singles. Alternative Press wrote that it "fills you with hope for the next decade's musical offerings." At the peak of its success, the band managed to weasel out of their major label contract to start their own company, Paracadute. Damian explained, "The major label world was not a very good fit for us anymore, because they judge the world solely through record sales and have a hard time dealing with more modern types of success. We see it as our job to make cool shit, and what metric people use for success is kind of irrelevant, so long as we get to keep chasing down our ideas.' "

Bertis Downs, R.E.M. Manager, spoke of changes in the music industry. Sometimes referred to as R.E.M.'s "fifth Beatle," Downs spoke about how changes in the music industry affect artists.

Harvard Law School faculty and Berkman Center co-Directors William Fisher and Charles Nesson, Warner Recorded Music head Lyor Cohen, Rep. John Conyers, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee governing the future of copyright law, and recording artists Amanda Palmer, Ben Folds, Neil Gaiman, and Damian Kulash of Ok Go spoke to large crowds busy tweeting insights into where the music industry is going.

According to Harvard Berkman's website:

"The Rethink Music conference is bringing together all sides and viewpoints on the subjects of creativity, commerce, and policy to engage in critical dialogue examining the business and rights challenges facing the music industry in the digital era, and to formulate ideas for the creation and distribution of new music and other creative works."

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