Saturday, April 8, 2017

Blockchain in the music industry and how musicians could earn more contracts


Blockchain technology can't write songs or play instruments – at least not yet. But, it might be able to ensure that those who do get the proper credit and compensation, a problem that has always bedeviled this $15bn industry. Since the start of the 2017 alone, both The Three Degrees and The Carpenters have brought cases against their record companies for alleged unpaid royalties. And the modern move towards streaming services, like Spotify and Jay Z's Tidal, has brought a plethora of cases where artists said they have not been adequately compensated for the use of their music. In 2015, for example, Spotify was sued for $150m by a group of artists who claimed that the service had reproduced and distributed their music without permission. Tidal, too, has been hit with law suits over the issue. The Open Music Initiative (OMI) is a newly launched consortium that seeks to leverage blockchain technology to solve disputes like these, but it's far from the only one. There are a number of companies dedicated to building a blockchain solution for music, including dotblockchain Music (dotBC), Mycelia, MusicChain and UjoMusic, said attorney Jason Epstein, a partner in the Nashville office of Nelson Mullins, where he co-leads the technology and procurement industry group. OMI is being led by the Berklee College of Music Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) in Boston, in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab and IDEO, and with support from a number of major music labels, media companies, streaming services, publishers, collection societies and nearly 100 other founding entities. Panos Panay, co-founder of OMI and founding managing director of BerkleeICE told CoinDesk:
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