On June 9-10, the World Copyright Summit will come to the Reagan Convention Center in Washington, D.C. This event is organized by CISAC, the umbrella organization of national authors’ and composers’ rights collecting societies, and produced by Informa UK. This is the second Copyright Summit; the first was held in Brussels two years ago.
Initially, this event looked like a classic “Washington dog and pony show” on behalf of copyright collecting societies, but the organizers have expanded the agenda and speaker roster to make it look quite worthwhile. In addition to the usual suspects from lobbying groups and collecting society, the speaker roster features legislators from the United States (Sentors Orrin Hatch and Patrick Leahy, and Congressman John Conyers) and elsewhere (Christine Albanel of France, Yong-Kyung Lee of South Korea), several visual and performing artists, and a broad spectrum of industry representatives from Google to EMI and Bertelsmann. The anti-copyright crowd is also represented through such people as Gigi Sohn from Public Knowledge and Columbia Law professor Michael Heller.
Sessions at the conference of particular relevance to rights technologies include:
- Tracking Online and Offline Usage: Tools and Services to Better Serve Rights-Owners — A showcase of service providers for music usage tracking, including fingerprinting-based technologies (Landmark Digital/BMI and Mediaguide/ASCAP).
- Whose Right Is It? — A debate between David Israelite of National Music Publishers Association and Gary Shapiro of Consumer Electronics Association, which should generate some serious sparks.
- Can Smarter Metadata Benefit your Business? — A panel about rights management information featuring Jeff Sedlik of the PLUS Coalition (rights metadata for still images) and Andy Weissberg of Bowker (book metadata).
- ISPs/telcos: Part of the Problem or the Solution? — A panel on ISPs’ responsibilities regarding unauthorized use of content online. Panelists include advocates of “flat tax” blanket licensing (Jim Griffin of Warner Music Group and Paul Sanders of PlayLouder MSP), collecting society representatives from France and South Africa, and Marty Lafferty from DCIA, a lobbying organization that promotes the use of copyright filtering technologies.
Several other speeches and panels will discuss law, economics, and public policy around copyright globally. It should be interesting!