Every city, state, country and human
being should be very concerned about the hollowing out
of creators, and Professor Jonathan
Taplin articulates a succinct thesis for
recognizing the problem and addressing
Guest Post by Chris Castle on
Music Technology Policy
If you do nothing else for yourself this week, take a
half hour someplace quiet and watch Professor Jonathan Taplin’s
remarkably insightful presentation at the USC
Annenberg Innovation Lab, “Sleeping Through A
Revolution.” Taplin gives a clear eyed history
of the Silicon Valley unifying ideology that rationalizes
events like 350 million take down notices as a product feature
of Google search and
selling advertising against ISIS videos in YouTubeistan.
Taplin also suggests the core parameters on a level
that is equal parts moral examination, industrial strategy and
human protectionism to try to save the creative class,
especially the middle class artist who is so important in our
increasingly hit driven business. A trend only compounded
by the failed “democratization” of the Internet.
He also gives the lie to the core disconnect with the collision
of Silicon Valley with musicians, film makers, visual artists
and all the creative categories: The role of a record
company or film studio is not to promote someone who is already
popular, but to introduce someone deserving to a larger
And help them stay alive long enough to find their audience.
That has nothing to do with YouTube views–and Taplin observes, Bob Dylan’s first album sold
4,000 copies. If John Hammond (Dylan’s legendary A&R
man at Columbia Records) hadn’t fought to do a
second one, the world would have lost a great talent.
Would the current system produce a John Hammond who went
on to sign Stevie Ray Vaughn? If it
doesn’t produce a John Hammond will the accountants let it
produce a Bob Dylan?
When talent is gone, they’re gone forever.
Every city, state, country and human being should be very
concerned about the hollowing out of creators, and Taplin
articulates a succinct thesis for recognizing the problem and