Congressman Marsha Blackburn joined Belmont’s Pipeline Project students earlier this month in historical Columbia Studio A to hear about their summer research and suggestions regarding licensing reform. Marc Driskill, general manager of Sea Gayle Music and chair of the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP), and Brad Peterson of 5/3 Bank engaged Belmont and the nine Pipeline students this summer to take a deeper dive into the current copyright conversations that will shape these students’ futures. The students shared their research of identifying common patterns between stakeholders and expressed what they thought to be the ‘three keys to licensing reform’: efficiency, fair compensation and understanding. The students will be submitting a full proposal to the copyright office regarding their recommendations in addition to presenting at an open forum to students and the music industry in late September.
Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business Dean Wesley Bulla said, “The opportunity that Marc Driskill, AIMP, Brad Peterson and 5/3 Bank provided for the Pipeline students is once in a lifetime. Their generosity with time and expertise gave these students a new understanding of a complex landscape. The students have shared that they are committed to continuing the conversation to help shape the future they’ll live in.”
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to see these brilliant young minds engage in this discussion,” said Driskill. “The current system is based on a music distribution model that has been dead for decades. New, relevant systems are on the horizon, and I believe the Nashville music community will be a significant influence to the way we will do business in the future, the future in which these students will no doubt be leaders.”
Additional attendees to the early August conversation included Troy Tomlinson, Sony ATV; Darcy Anderson, District Director for Rep. Blackburn; Vincent Candilora, ASCAP; Tim Fink, SESAC; Denise Nichols, The Primacy Firm; Kari Barnhart, 5/3 Bank; Trina Smith, AIMP; Beth Laird, Creative Nation; Kella Stephenson Farris, The Kella Stephenson Company; Jennifer Turnbow, NSAI; Michael Martin, ASCAP; Ree Guyer Buchanan, Wrensong Publishing; John Barker, Clearbox Rights; Wesley Bulla, Belmont University; and Jody Williams, BMI.
The Pipeline Project is a summer think tank dedicated to illuminating the problems currently facing the music industry and charged with exploring possible solutions through research, collaboration, and innovation.