The Future of Smart Contracts in the Music Industry

What if we could replace antiquated physical contracts execution to fit with the new digital music age and real-time commerce? Well, today we can, and the technology is known as smart contracts. Just as the blockchain has emerged to claim its place as the up and coming financial instrument of the future, smart contracts have become an equally hot topic.

Electronic contracts, or smart contracts, between labels, distributors, and artists, can reshape the industry to ensure transaction and payment efficiency as well as increased transparency. Smart contracts are primarily a computer program whereby all parties can agree to the contract electronically, and it can also be enforced electronically.

This can be achieved through the introduction of blockchain technology. In the case of an executed smart contract, the blockchain would keep track of the ownership rights ensuring that the proper parties are paid in accordance with their smart contact. The more sophisticated the code, the more automated, self-executing, and “smarter” the contract.

Read Article: DataArt

Digimarc Highlights How Watermarking Can Improve Rights, Royalty Management for the Music Industry

Digimarc today released a white paper titled, “Watermarking Technology and Blockchains in the Music Industry,” outlining how blockchain technology, when coupled with digital audio watermarks such as Digimarc Barcode, can help overcome many of the current challenges in rights management and royalty transaction processing in the digital music industry. The combination of technologies can help ensure that artists, content creators and rights holders can be compensated appropriately for their work.

Long-time expert on digital rights and content management technologies, Bill Rosenblatt, authored the paper.

No other business is feeling the pain of copyright issues and royalty accounting challenges quite like the music industry. Recent studies have estimated that between 20-50% of royalties owed by digital music services to rights holders are not paid out correctly, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars in misallocated or unpaid revenue worldwide. The most fundamental problem in countering this revenue loss has been the lack of authoritative, accessible sources of data about music copyright information, including owners of rights and license terms.

Continue reading Digimarc Highlights How Watermarking Can Improve Rights, Royalty Management for the Music Industry

Owner of Wolfgang’s Vault in Legal Battle Over Streaming Rights

A music archive regarded as one of the most important collections from the golden age of rock – thousands of tapes and videos featuring such artists as Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Fleetwood Mac – is at the centre of a legal dispute in which Keith Richards and Pete Townshend could be called to testify in a Manhattan courtroom.

The dispute focuses on Wolfgang’s Vault, a concert-streaming service and memorabilia marketplace that owns the archives of Bill Graham, a rock promoter without whom the 60s music scene in San Francisco and New York might have looked very different.

Read Article: The Guardian

Avex, NetEase Cloud Music to Deliver Copyright-protected Japanese Music to Chinese Audiences

image Japan’s biggest music entertainment firm, Avex Group, and leading Chinese digital music platform, NetEase Cloud Music, announced the signing of an agreement forming a strategic partnership that grants the Chinese platform an exclusive license to Japanese music copyrights in mainland China. Both parties have said that they are committed to the introduction and promotion of a legal framework for the protection of the copyright of Japanese music in the mainland China market.

With the signing of the agreement, Avex has granted NetEase Cloud Music the exclusive license in mainland China to the copyright of the entire inventory of songs of artists that have signed with Avex, placing NetEase Cloud Music in the position of being the platform with the largest collection of Japanese music with proper copyright protection in mainland China. At the same time, the Chinese platform will become the exclusive management agent for the copyrights of these songs in mainland China, in terms of promotion, sales and distribution of the music as well as administration of the copyright, in a move to help Avex expand in the market. Continue reading Avex, NetEase Cloud Music to Deliver Copyright-protected Japanese Music to Chinese Audiences

IBM, Sacem to Deliver New Global Online Music Copyright Management Platform

imageIBM and Sacem announced today a 10-year strategic alliance to develop URights, a world-class copyright platform on IBM Cloud designed to track and capture the value of online music for both creators and publishers. Electronic distribution of music and advances in the streaming market have led to rapid growth in the amount of creative content being consumed around the world. Last year, Sacem tracked nearly 982.5 billion download and streaming transactions – almost twice the 2015 total.

To handle the exponential volume of music transactions online, URights the innovative rights collection and distribution services platform – co-developed by Sacem and IBM – will help to more effectively identify online rights.  The platform will allow Sacem to provide additional value to rights owners with increased data analysis allowing more transparency and a more efficient identification of online works to help ensure they are compensated fairly. In 2015, Sacem distributed royalties to 293,000 creators and publishers in France and around the world, to credit two million works.

URights is open by design to allow other partners to integrate, such as other collective management organizations across the world, ensuring to save cost duplications and enhanced data-driven decision making. It will also provide customized services tailored to the specific nature of their local markets. Continue reading IBM, Sacem to Deliver New Global Online Music Copyright Management Platform

The Hint of Blockchain

One of the biggest problems the music industry faces today is knowing which labels and publishers, performers, songwriters and producers own the rights to songs and recordings, and what their split of the royalties might be. Many believe that record keeping with Blockchain technology can help. Advocates of Blockchain foresee a music industry where every time a song is sold or streamed, payments on royalty splits would be clearer and quicker.

Read Article: Music Business Journal

Popular Torrent Site What.CD Shuts Down: ‘All Data Has Been Destroyed’

Invite-only torrent site What.CD, a favorite destination for audiophiles for its vast trove of hard-to-find releases and high-quality files, has terminated operations immediately. A terse statement found on its website mentions “recent events” as the reason for the shut-down. “We are not likely to return any time soon in our current form,” the message reads. “All site and user data has been destroyed. So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

Source: Billboard