Get Ready for the 2018 RightsTech Summit

This year’s RightsTech Summit will be held October 5 in New York City, featuring panel discussions, special presentations and keynote conversations with industry leaders. Today, the RightsTech Project released the preliminary lineup of panel topics.

For inquiries on speaking opportunities, or to propose additional topics, please contact Summit co-chair Paul Sweeting ([email protected]). For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Andi Elliott ([email protected]).  For all other inquiries, please contact Tinzar Sherman ([email protected]).


RightsTech Summit 2018

Preliminary Program


View From the Top: The Future of Machine-to-Machine Rights Management
Industry leaders from across the media spectrum discuss the current state of rights management from both the rights-owner and rights-user perspective. How well are rights markets functioning? Are the investments being made adequate to the challenge? Are they focused on the right problems?

Hands-Free Licensing: Rights Hubs and Online Exchanges
For consumers today, access to media content is often just a tap or click away. But securing the rights to distribute or use that content can be time-consuming, complicated and costly. This panel will examine efforts to bring the one-click shopping experience to the buying, clearing, and licensing of usage rights by establishing searchable rights hubs and online marketplaces.

The Enumerated Manuscript: Unique IDs and Registries
Machine-to-machine rights management requires machine-readable rights data. A look at how different media industries are tacking the challenge of assigning standardized, machine-readable identifiers and metadata to creative works, how those data are registered and made available, and the relationship between private registries and public records.

Provenance, Priority and Authentication
From photographs and paintings, to sculpture and collectibles, the value of many types of creative works lies in their authenticity and provenance. But the lack of reliable records of ownership and authorship makes buying and selling them digitally risky and difficult. This panel will examine how entrepreneurs are leveraging blockchain and other technologies to create verified records of a work’s history and their impact on the digital market for one-of-a-kind works.

View From the Top: Copyright Reform in the U.S. and Europe
Copyright legislation in the U.S. and Europe is poised to bring the most sweeping changes in decades to how media content is distributed, licensed, and used. Industry leaders, policymakers and legal experts will discuss how the changes will the changes affect artists, rights owners, content users, and consumers, and where the debate goes from here.

How Smart Are Smart Contracts?
Smart contracts enable secure, blockchain-based peer-to-peer commerce, but what are they and how do they work? Are they really contracts, or simply automated transactions? Are the rights and obligations they confer enforceable in court? Developers and legal experts weigh in.

Investing in Right and Royalties
Leaders from the worlds of finance, startups, and venture capital provide an overview of the M&A and investment climate for rights management companies, and discuss the valuation of rights and royalties and their potential as an asset class in their own right.

A.I.: What to Make of Machine-Made Art?
Courts say monkeys can’t own copyrights, but what about machines? As artificial intelligence systems increasingly are used to create music, photographs, news articles, and artworks, who or what owns the copyrights? If not that machine then whose creative input controls and how should it be credited? Can an A.I. system join a CMO?

One of a Kind: Engineering Digital Scarcity with Blockchain
Digital technology did away with scarcity, upending many media industry business models. But the economics of scarcity may be poised for a comeback thanks to blockchain. This panel will explore how artists, entrepreneurs and developers are leveraging blockchain technology to create new businesses around digital collectibles, limited editions and unique digital assets.

Show Me the Money: Bringing Transparency to Residuals and Royalty Payments
The music business has its notorious “black box” money problem, but creators and licensors in many rights-based industries lack effective tools to track the money their works generate as it makes its way back upstream. This panel will examine how entrepreneurs, developers, artists and agents are trying to bring greater transparency to the system of accounting and payments.

DIY Tools and Financing for Artists
Artists and entrepreneurs discuss how technology is enabling creators to manage and finance their own careers and retain control of their work.

Mixes, Mashups and UGC
Many uses of copyrighted works in mixes, mashups and user-generated content go uncounted and uncompensated. Others never happen because they can’t be licensed. This panel will explore how entrepreneurs and developers are tackling some of the most confounding and complex challenges in rights management.

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