AES Section Meeting Reports

Pacific Northwest - February 25, 2009

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The PNW Section's Feb 25, 2009 meeting was held at the Art Institute of Seattle. Kevin Jablonski, an attorney with Graybeal Jackson of Seattle and AES PNW Section Committee member conducted a discussion of legal issues, and a panel on future trends such as social networking websites for the music industry. 15 AES members and 15 non-members attended.

Kevin started with a legislative update for 2009 for the Music Industry, beginning with the PRO-IP Act of 2008, supported by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), SIIA (Software and Information Industry Association), the US Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO passed in 2008. It includes easing requirements for copyright registration; creation of a Cabinet level "IP Czar"; doubling damages for trademark counterfeiting; expansion of government powers to seize equipment used to infringe, such as your computer. It was opposed by the US Department of Justice and government watchdog groups.

The pending Orphan Works Act was also discussed. An orphan work is one where the rights holder cannot be found. It essentially notes that since 1978, a work has the benefit of copyright without formal registration, making finding the owner of the rights difficult. This Act grants reduced civil damages if the rights holder cannot be found; if the holder is then found, traditional laws apply. The Copyright Office must create an electronic database of visual works. Supporters include many libraries and library associations, the Library of Congress, and Google. Opponents include the American Society of Illustrators Partnership, Advertising Photographers of America, National Writers Union and many artists.

-The DJ Girl Talk case, involves an artist named Gregg Gillis. He makes "mashup" recordings of sounds from other artist's recordings. He argues Fair Use, while others do not feel this applies. There was a discussion of Fair Use in Copyright.

A break was held and some door prizes awarded.

Next, Kevin moderated a panel discussion on trends (not necessarily legal) in the audio business, such as the use of social networking websites, the value of recorded music, where the money has gone, and the changing face of music promotion.

The panelists were:
Steve Turnidge — ARS Divina, mastering
Jeff Leisawitz — producer, engineer, musician (Electron Love Theory)
Michael Matesky II — Intellectual property attorney at Klarquist Sparkman (Portland/Seattle)
Charles Hopper — Producer/engineer, Raw Finger Productions
Wayne Ledbetter - Ledbetter Entertainment — artist management

More About Pacific Northwest Section

AES - Audio Engineering Society