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Future of Music Series: Setting the Stage on Music Policy

Washington DC is synonymous with policy-making and music policy is no different.  In fact, Washington DC is the home of the Future of Music Coalition’s 10th Annual Music Policy Summit. It’s going to be the who’s who and what’s what in the future of music policy, distribution and marketing for artists. TopSpin Media. YouTube Music. Rights Flow. Google. Educause. Pandora. Facebook. Songkick. Tommy Boy Records. Public Knowledge. Merge Records. Limelight. And dozens more will be represented. If you are not familiar with these names, then you might not have the complete picture of the music industry and the rising opportunities in it.

This year more than one hundred talented visionaries and forecasters, musicians, and music executives will serve as panelists to lead the discussion on the future of the music business. Then there’s me: “the intern”. But most importantly the intern, Berklee College of Music student and lawyer, who will have a front seat to the action and give you the scoop on important policy highlights in the digital age.

Over the next four blogs, I am sure to have a mouthful to report on models for artist compensation, copyright reversion, the use of fan data from social media sites, and workable models for students on campus. In other words, will students ever pay for music again?

We are in the final stages of preparation. Panelists are confirmed. Travel arrangements are being made.  And artwork is being submitted for the programs. There are a million and one tasks to complete to host a conference of this magnitude. As an intern for the Future of Music Coalition, I have the opportunity to expand upon my knowledge of law and policy as it relates directly to music. FMC is a research and policy organization. It not only hosts important events like the Summit, it keeps abreast of changes in policy related to copyright, privacy, and piracy, and submits briefs in support of court cases, among other essential roles.  Interning at FMC broadens my view of the industry along with my options in it. Please check the blog next Thursday for an update.


Shai Littlejohn

Shai Littlejohn is an attorney in the music industry, singer-songwriter and Professional Music major at Berklee. She is currently interning with the Future of Music Coaliton, an artist’s rights lobby and advocacy group in Washington DC. Though late November, Shai will work as an integral member of the coalition team in developing, organizing and promoting both the Future of Music Policy Summit as well as the Dear New Orleans Benefit Rock Show.

Follow Shai on Twitter for continuing tips and updates on music law and policy at


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1 Comment

  1. Judge Bill C. Littlejohn, retired

    good information. amazing how the industry changes.
    I had an entertainment law practice in the 1970s representing, eg. Ohio Players, Sun, Fazo, Mark of Slave, Aircity Records and others. It will be a great informative conference.
    bill c littlejohn

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