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Berklee College of Music and MIDEM Announce Partnership to Launch Rethink Music Conference

United States
$50K prize for best new music business model

BOSTON and PARIS, Oct. 13, 2010 — Berklee College of Music and MIDEM today announce a long-term partnership that will debut with the first Rethink Music conference, April 25-27, 2011, in Boston, MA.

Rethink Music will examine the business and rights challenges facing the music industry in the digital era and will formulate solutions to promote the creation and distribution of new music and other creative works. The conference, presented in association with Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Harvard Business School, will bring music industry stakeholders together with legal, business and academic experts to discuss business models for the future. Rethink Music will also examine potential changes to existing government policy and legislation in order to help the creation and distribution of musical works.

“Berklee is focused on inspiring the creation of new musical and business ideas,” says Roger Brown, Berklee College of Music President. “Part of that equation needs to be innovative models of commerce and policy that work in the 21st century era of immediately available digital information. How we accomplish these goals will have much to do with the quality of innovation we inspire. Like Berklee, Rethink Music is designed to incubate ideas that lead to breakthroughs for supporting a music industry even more vibrant, astonishing and creative than last century’s.”

“MIDEM brings the international music community together to do business and to anticipate the industry’s fast-changing landscape. Our MidemNet conference focuses on the challenges and opportunities that the music business faces in the digital world,” notes Reed MIDEM Chief Executive, Paul Zilk. “Today, we bring that experience, the music community and the MIDEM brand to Rethink Music and to the USA.”

“We are particularly excited to help organize the conversation around legal and policy changes to promote the interests of music creators, fans, and other stakeholders,” comments Terry Fisher, Faculty Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. “Technological disruption often creates room for new business models, new ways to capture value,” says Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Professor at Harvard Business School. “The conference is an important opportunity to think about ways to harness the new creativity and build novel business models that put it on a sound financial footing.”

As part of Rethink Music, the conference will solicit white papers from educators, students and the public, dealing with the economic systems and business models for music copyright and copyright policy. Berklee College of Music will award $50,000 to the best business model, with the runner-up receiving a $5,000 prize. Simultaneously, the Berkman Center will manage a call for papers seeking policy proposals that recommend changes to existing U.S. law to help those who create and distribute music cope with the challenges facing the industry.

About Berklee College of Music – The Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music was through the study and practice of contemporary music. For over 65 years, the college has evolved constantly to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. With over a dozen performance and nonperformance majors, a diverse and talented student body representing over 70 countries, and a music industry “who’s who” of alumni, Berklee is the world’s premier learning lab for the music of today — and tomorrow.

About Reed MIDEM – Founded in 1963, Reed MIDEM is a leading organiser of professional, international tradeshows. Reed MIDEM events have established themselves as key dates in professional diaries. The company hosts MIPTV, MIPDOC, MIPCOM, and MIPJUNIOR for the television and digital content industries, MIDEM for music professionals, MIPIM, MIPIM Asia, MIPIM HORIZONS and MAPIC for the property and retail real estate sectors.

About the Berkman Center for Internet & Society – The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center is home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology, and society.

About Harvard Business School – Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 200 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 75 open enrollment Executive Education programs and more than 60 custom programs. For more than a century, HBS faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching to educate leaders who have shaped the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.
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