by Ted Piechocinski
I’m extremely excited to be coming back to an RPMDA convention. During my time in publishing (now about 16 years ago), when I headed the print publishing operations of Cherry Lane Music, I had the pleasure of attending several conventions, including Albuquerque, St. Louis, and Vancouver, BC, among others, and always cherished those very special times and great friends who I look forward to seeing again in Atlanta in April.
As a music lawyer and publisher, I presented at several of the RPMDA conventions on the topic of music copyright. Since my Cherry Lane days, I’ve had some interesting experiences, both personally and professionally and, for the past fourteen years, have headed the Music Business Program at Indiana State University where I teach, advise, and guide terrific students who aspire to find their places in the music and entertainment industry. Our students build great careers in artist management, arts administration, the record business, instrument manufacturing, sales, and marketing, music publishing, and, of course, quite a few in music retail. Some of you who will be attending the convention employ our graduates and that is particularly heartening in that it is the best illustration that there continues to be a great connection between hungry and bright students, forward-thinking academic institutions, and the many great companies who are willing to, first, consider students for internships, and, secondly, to offer great career opportunities. It’s a full-circle kind of situation and, having been involved in many parts of the music industry (including, too, time spent, many years ago, as a high school band director), it’s just great to be coming back to my RPMDA home.
As a lawyer, educator, and business person (as I still do a considerable amount of consulting work), I still have a great and abiding interest in the area of copyright. Even with my previous RPMDA copyright presentations being quite a few years ago, now, I find it extremely intriguing that many of the same questions that were pressing then are still very relevant now. It’s not that the issues have just been floundering around in the same mess they’ve been for years; rather, the similar issues have been further enhanced, illuminated, and further challenged by today’s technological capabilities. tedOur firmly-attached-as- appendages smart phones are nothing short of amazing, for sure, but they’ve certainly added some new wrinkles to finding the most correct answers when our customers and friends (including the many music teachers you all interact with on a daily basis) find themselves in potentially problematic situations. Not just phones, but other Internet-capable formats bring interesting problems as well as new solutions to copyright issues. During our sessions at RPMDA, we’ll have a lively discussion about today’s biggest copyright issues and possible answers as they impact you and the world of people you help. We’ll also have a separate session to discuss how you and I can develop a program or scripted discussions in which you can better help educators in your areas understand the practical considerations of copyright issues.
Due to some other commitments, I’m only going to be in Atlanta on Thursday of your convention, but I plan on being with you as much as possible that day and giving you everything I’ve got. I sincerely look forward to this opportunity to be with you, to see old friends, and make new friends. I am very appreciative of your leadership in extending the invitation for me to attend and participate. I’ll see you in April!