Sea Gayle Music Executive Vice President/General Manager and Executive Director of the Nashville Chapter of the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) Marc Driskill, along with several representatives from Belmont University, including Doug Howard (Dean of the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business) and Sarah Cates (Director of Development & Industry Relations), gathered at Nashville venue Citizen on Tuesday, March 3 to celebrate the recent success of Belmont University students involved in research as part of the Belmont Pipeline Project 4.0.
Driskill and Brad Peterson of 5/3 Bank engaged Belmont and the student members of the Belmont Pipeline Project 4.0 this past summer to take a deeper look into the current conversations surrounding copyright laws.
Belmont students Devin Dawson, Anthony Manker and Alex Marsh took the lead in the Belmont Pipeline Project 4.0, interviewing members from different facets of the music industry to get their opinions on the issues and solutions driving the current state of copyrights. “The first week I sat down with them, I told them there wouldn’t be a structure,” said Driskill. “I said, ‘You are going to learn, interview, and come back with your aggregated opinions on this. They went and sat through the copyright roundtables that Belmont University helped set up. They interviewed people across the industry spectrum, including Vincent Candilora at ASCAP, Jody Williams at BMI, others from RIAA, SoundExchange. They interviewed everyone that was a part of this. Kudos to them for the work they did.”
The students shared their research of identifying common patterns between stakeholders and expressed what they thought to be the ‘three keys to licensing reform,’ including efficiency, fair compensation and understanding. The students then submitted a full proposal to the copyright office with their recommendations, in addition to presenting at an open forum to students and the music industry in September 2014. According to Driskill, the copyright office referred to the students’ proposal approximately 12 times in the recent 245-page study Copyright and the Music Marketplace: A Report of the Register of Copyrights.
“I just think that’s a big deal to have taken on a project like this and made an impact in such a short time,” Driskill said. “They worked for most of the summer on this. I and AIMP and 5/3 wanted to take the time to congratulate them on their accomplishments. This project engages the voices of the next generation. These are important voices and we saw that engaging them this way would be beneficial to us all.”
The students’ career plans are varied. Dawson has plans to continue pursuing a career as a songwriter, while Manker aims to become a music publisher, and Marsh has his sights set on law school.
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