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November 14, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

Release The Music: Off to a flying start!

Well, I think that the Release The Music event last night went superbly, getting our campaign off to a flying start. Jonathan Zittrain's keynote was great, giving a clear and concise overview of what copyright is and how we got to where we are with the current copyright term of 50 years on sound recordings. It was good to see Jonathan neatly illustrate the difference between property rights and copyright. The debate was just as impassioned as I had hoped it would be, with some eloquent questions from the floor and a lively response from the speakers.

I'm very much looking forward to getting the audio/video up online so that those who could not attend will be able to find out what happened. In the meantime, there's a blog post from Fernando Barrio with his take on the evening, and an article from PC Pro from our journalist briefing yesterday.

I'd like to thank:

  • All our speakers - Professor Jonathan Zittrain, John Howkins, Dave Rowntree, Caroline Wilson, Richard Mollet and Martin Talbot - for taking time out to participate in our event.
  • John Buckman of Magnatune for providing a venue for our journalists' briefing yesterday.
  • Derek Wyatt MP and his office for helping us organise the MPs briefing on Thursday.
  • The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust for funding the Release The Music campaign with a grant of £5,000.
  • And Michael Holloway, Becky Hogge, Lubna Azhaar, Mike Little, Lemon and all the ORG volunteers for helping with both the event and the site.
What next? Last night's event was the culmination of over a month's work, but it's really just the beginning of our campaign. On the Release The Music site we have a number of things that you can do to support our efforts, including sign our petition (according to Martin Talbot, Music Week got 2000 names and AIM got 4000 names in favour of extension which they presented to the Gowers Review, so we have a way to go to match those), blog about our campaign and the issues involved, or write to your MP.

Whatever you do, don't do nothing. The music industry has a lot of resources, but we have you, and your voice is important.

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