You might have noticed that over the past week or so, Viola has been keeping the blog going. That is because I was given the opportunity to attend SXSW Interactive. It was my first time to attend, and it was a mind-blowing event. For anyone who loves anything about the digital space, social media, new media, etc., you should try to go at least once. It’s an event worth experiencing firsthand.
As much as I wanted to stick around for the music festival, I went for work and wasn’t able to hit any concerts. However, I did attend a few interactive sessions that dealt with music, so I thought I’d share information about the sessions I sat in.
Bloggers Fight Back: Legal Workshop for Music Bloggers
As a music blogger, I felt this was important to attend. The session was led by a duo from Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group that fights for the rights of innovators, creators and internet users. Mehan Jayasuriya, Director of Outreach and New Media, and Michael Weinberg, Staff Attorney, helped clarify what activities are legal for music bloggers. Some of the information I was aware of, but I did learn a few things.
People make assumptions about copyright law that are wrong. Uploading content without credit or linking to the original source, is violation. Using third-party content in the blogosphere is grey area. For example, if you use a YouTube video with music that was uploaded illegally, what does that mean? The answer is largely unknown or unclear.
What is clear is music bloggers shouldn’t post full MP3 files. Nor does publishing disclaimers stating “we aren’t intending to break the law” make a blogger’s action legal. Permission from the copyright holder is necessary, otherwise it is a violation; and make sure to keep a record.
You can actually here the whole discussion, and yours truly asked a question about 2/3 into the panel discussion.
Music & Metadata: Do Songs Remain The Same?
When I decided to attend this event, I was really wasn’t sure what to expect. And while I found the presentation interesting, I think many attendees missed the point about metadata. Metadata is a way to classify information on the web. Think of it as a vast library catalog without guidelines or structure that allows listeners to add labels to music.
Song titles, performers, composers, etc, are all considered metadata. The debate is who “owns” this stuff. It is clear that many content creators feel they should own and control metadata, which is really unrealistic. In fact, it’s impossible for anyone to own data. It’s like someone owning a simple mathematical equation like 2+2=4 or the word “the”. These are both forms of data available for anyone to use. It is what allows us to write articles, stories, etc. or come up with new mathematical equations to solve complicated or simple problems.
It’s really how people use data to provide a service. Then that changes the game and makes it legal because of how metadata is distributed. This is how I interpreted what makes using this data “owned.”
The panel was great, but attendees wanted to have an argument about metadata ownership. I thought the panel handled themselves well.
You can see the session descriptions and panel here.
Can Crowdsourcing Save Classical Music?
Although the panel was supposed to talk about crowdsourcing and how this concept could potentially help save classical music, the discussion went into a briefing about MOG’s streaming service and how the Miro Quartet is using social media. The only legitimate crowdsourcing information was given by the moderator, Graham Parker, VP from WNYCRadio/WQXR.
Respectfully, the title should’ve been, “How New Media Can Help Save Classical Music”. For what it was, it was interesting. But an audience member at the end pointed out the lack of “crowdsourcing” in the discussion. I’d have to agree. I was hoping for more about crowdsourcing versus the problems with finding good performances on YouTube.
Maybe I’m biased, but since someone from MOG was on the panel, and you know this blog is a member of the MOG Music Network, I let it slide. It was cool meeting someone from the company.
You can check out the panel and session description here.