Commerce Secretary In Nashville To Discuss Piracy

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was in Nashville today (8/30) for a meeting between members of government and local music business leaders to discuss music piracy. NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison moderated the discussion featuring leaders from all levels of government: Locke, Mayor Karl Dean, Governor Phil Bredesen, and Congressman Jim Cooper.

Some of Nashville’s best creative minds and most seasoned music executives turned out for the event at Belmont University. Among those Herbison called on to offer personal experiences and opinions were songwriter Fred Knobloch, artist Big Kenny and publisher Barry Coburn.

Gary Locke

Locke spent the morning touring Music Row businesses, getting a first-hand view of how almost 20,000 jobs in Music City are directly connected to the music business. Another 55,000 jobs are indirectly supported by it, according to a study by Belmont.

Locke avoided any specifics, but says the Obama administration is focusing on establishing global intellectual property norms, promoting compliance, and strengthening the international copyright system. The Administration’s new Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator has released a Joint Strategic Plan. Locke also firmly established the Administration’s support of artist payment via the Performance Rights Act.

Look for more in-depth coverage of the event in Wednesday’s @MusicRow (paid subscribers only).


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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