ISMIR 2006 Keynote Speech 

Music Distribution in a Global Context: Policy Research Challenges


The history of past music technologies tells us that the specific
technical and legal frameworks for music distribution can have a major
impact on patterns of production and use. If we wish to ensure that
future music distribution maximizes public benefit, it is essential to
ensure that commercial interests and public interests are aligned
rather than juxtaposed. In assembling the music distribution systems of
the future, law-makers need to be able to draw on pertinent policy
research that identifies and explores the critical issues.
Unfortunately, little music policy research is being carried out.
Government, industry, academia, non-profit organizations and
international bodies have not yet risen to the policy challenges --
even as web-based music distribution systems appear. As a result, we
are in danger of creating ad hoc systems that fall short in serving the
public good, especially in a global context. In this presentation, I
identify some of the pertinent policy issues and discuss a values-based
approach to design.


David Huron is Professor of Music and Cognitive Science at the Ohio
State University, where he heads the Cognitive and Systematic
Musicology Laboratory. Formerly, Dr. Huron was Associate Professor of
Music, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Adjunct Professor of
Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, where he also
headed the Center for Society, Technology and Values.  Prof. Huron's
latest book is Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of
Expectation published by MIT Press.