Edgar Bronfman, Jr. Delivers Keynote Address at Progress and Freedom Foundation's 2005 Aspen Summit
ASPEN, August 22, 2005--Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) today addressed a gathering of technology experts, government officials and business leaders about the future of the music industry in the post-Grokster world and what he described as “the intertwined destiny of music and technology.”
Bronfman delivered the keynote address at the Progress and Freedom Foundation's (PFF) annual summit in Aspen, Colorado. PFF is a market-oriented think tank that studies the impact of the digital revolution and its implications for public policy.
Bronfman, the only executive from a content company to address the conference, told audience members that while new technologies have historically shaped music, it is also true that music and music-based content drives the worldwide adoption of new technologies.
Excerpts of the speech follow:
“While the Grokster litigation has thrown a spotlight on the Internet, the intertwined destiny of music and technology is hardly anything new.”
“The history of singles and albums—whether on vinyl, 8-track, cassettes or CDs—reflects the fact that artists compose songs with an innate understanding of technological parameters, and music companies develop different economic models based on those parameters.”
“Technology shapes music. Music drives technology adoption. If you need any further proof, just look at the iPod.”
“…the tumultuous advent, a few years ago, of peer-to-peer technology upset this symbiotic relationship…”
“The [Supreme] Court's opinion turned not on Grokster's technology, but on its business practices...” and “to the relief of artists and copyright holders everywhere, the Supreme Court rendered a unanimous decision that does not inhibit technology, yet does, critically and importantly, give recourse against those who try to build their businesses on copyright infringement.”
“We usually associate innovation with technology companies, but they aren't the only ones who must innovate. To survive and prosper, content companies must do so, as well. And even our very concept of copyright must innovate.”
“The decision in the Grokster case creates an economic incentive to invest in the digital music space and will further encourage not only the growth of a vibrant creative community, but will inspire further technological innovation that will accelerate the growth of legitimate digital music services.”
“We believe even more today that new economic models which can take advantage of the distribution power of the Internet and wireless platforms will lead to a true renaissance of the music business.”
“At Warner Music Group…our most important job is to work with artists and help them hone their craft and then to help them expose their work to the consuming public.”
“We are excited by the power of digital distribution now available to every potential artist. We see our mission as not to control the means by which artists' voices are heard, but to amplify those voices.”
“As a music company, we also understand that our ultimate success lies not in preventing people from getting what they want but in providing it to them in new and exciting ways.”
To read the entire text of the speech, CLICK HERE.
About Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group (WMG) became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Atlantic, Bad Boy, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire operates through numerous international affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide. For more information about Warner Music Group, visit our corporate website at www.wmg.com.