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In an effort to create a more ethical and universally beneficial economy for music makers, consumers and everyone in between, Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music have joined with Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, SoundCloud, and SiriusXM in an effort to streamline digital music distribution and copyright issues. The Open Music Initiative (OMI) was announced by the Berklee College of Music’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) and will lead in cooperation with the MIT Media Lab. BerkleeICE shares that major labels and streaming services are part of the 50+ media entities striving to build an open-source platform for tracking music creators and rights owners. Their ultimate goal is to improve the identification and compensation of right owners. In addition to these major labels, others willing to participate and have signed agreements are CD Baby, Tunecore, Downtown Music Publishing, Featured Artist Coalition, Music Managers Forum, Future of Music Coalition, Boston NPR affiliate WBUR, and various music licensing startups. Panos Panay, co-founder of OMI and founding managing director of BerleeICE says:
“We want to use the brainpower, neutrality and convening ability of our collective academic institutions, along with broad industry collaboration, to create a shared digital architecture for the modern music business. We believe an open-sourced platform around creative rights can yield an innovation dividend for creators and rights holders alike.”
Cellist Zoë Keating adds to the announcement:
“[The] issues we face across the music industry are complex but what we want is simple: a thriving creative economy that benefits everyone, from creators to companies to consumers. Open Music presents an opportunity to solve some intractable problems and to change the narrative between music and tech.”