Guest Blogger:Teresa Malango, Magnatune, [email protected]
Magnatune's A&R Director, Shannon Coulter, attended the Future of Music Policy Summit http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/summit06 in Montreal last week and found David Byrne's keynote speech very relevant to what we are doing at Magnatune. She sent us this report:
“In his keynote address at the 2007 Future of Music Summit in Montreal, David Byrne of the Talking Heads talked about the problems, as he sees them, with DRM restrictions on music sold through Apple's iTunes, and conducted an extensive profit analysis of where record labels' and distributors profits go, noting that despite the fact that overhead costs have dramatically dropped in the last few years for labels and distributors--most artists are still receiving the same exact cut of the profits-- about 20 percent. (Same as it ever was?)
Byrne's address was titled Record Labels: Who Needs Them? He answered the question by saying, repeatedly, that he believes artists still do need labels for their industry expertise, promotional know-how, and in some cases even their contributions to the creative development of an artist, but that labels and distributors must start structuring deals in a manner that is better for the artist.
Byrne also compared major labels' use of DRM to the days of prohibition, observing that when enjoyable commodities are restricted, underground markets invariably develop.
Finally, he discussed his decision to distribute some of his music under a Creative Commons license versus traditional copyright, saying that CC allows for better exchange of information and ideas. "And as we've seen," he concluded, "when information is restricted, society crumbles."
album will be released on Nonesuch, a label he described as very "artist
This year Byrne and Brian Eno collaborated with Nonesuch Records & EMI to offer their seminal album My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. Originally released in 1981, and recorded 25 years ago, the new version has been completely remastered. In an innovative move, they are offering all the multi-tracks of two songs on the album for anyone to sample and remix.
In line with Creative Commons licenses http://www.creativecommons.org, participants are free to edit, remix, sample and mutilate the tracks and post their mixes or songs on the site for others to hear & rate. To hear the remixes: http://www.bushofghosts.wmg.com/home.php
It’s quite encouraging to see well-known musicians jumping in and successfully using the same open principles as Magnatune.
Posted by Teresa Malango, Magnatune, 10/10/06