Wednesday 13th was Day 1 of SxSW 2013 for PopRights.
In addition to seeing Jake Bugg at the Austin Convention Centre and sets by Holy Esque and Paws at the Scottish Showcase, there was the more serious business of attending some of the many music industry panels at SxSW. Among these were panels on Music Subscription and Artist Revenue, When Start-Ups Grow Up and Stairway to Heaven and Cloud Music.
Perhaps, the most interesting of these was C3S: Putting the Revenue in Creative Commons. Starting in Germany, Wolfgang Senges proposed the foundation of a collecting society that solely administered Creative Commons rights: C3S: Cultural Commons Collecting Society. The establishment of such a society, according to Senges, is necessary for a number of reasons: to break the monopoly or quasi-monopoly of collecting societies such as GEMA, to ensure exact accounting and flexible licensing for members and to add a commercial dimension to Creative Commons that constructs the missing link between culture and business.
This raises a multitude of questions regarding the practicalities and legalities of establishing such a society that could not be answered in the panel discussion (Wolfgang was speaking via Skype from Germany). As Johnny Nash said, “there are more questions than answers“, nonetheless this is an intriguing idea, one PopRights will investigate further.