U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith shared his “three-prong approach” to combating the theft of intellectual property with a full room of Belmont University students this past Monday, Feb. 11. The event, sponsored by the Center for Business Ethics, was an academic lecture convocation titled “Internet Piracy: Copyright Infringement and Compensating Creativity.” Representing Texas’ 21st congressional district since 1987, Smith recently proposed legislation with the purpose of hindering the negative impact of foreign websites that consistently engage in illegal acts of digital piracy. Smith described SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and how the legislation primarily focuses on the prosecution of foreign-based websites.
Smith’s three-prong solution includes public education to the negative effects of copyright infringement, technological advances that allow artists to be paid fairly for their work and legislation that allows federal enforcement. Smith explained, “Theft of intellectual property can affect anyone in this room in one way or another.”
Several students from Belmont’s College of Law asked questions relating to copyrights and recent cases from their class studies. Second-year law student Franklin Graves commented, “It’s important for Belmont to host this type of event. They bring focus to the artist, the creator, the people the legislation truly affects. From a law student’s perspective, it’s great to hear a pro-copyright voice.”
The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville announces a partnership with Belmont University beginning January 2013. The partnership will advance the educational and charitable purposes of both organizations by leveraging and uniting their unique resources along with the arts and business communities to create a thriving, sustainable creative culture in Nashville.
“The partnership with Belmont University will be a springboard for organizational growth and innovation in our work to make Nashville a place where the creative culture thrives,” said Casey Summar, executive director of the Arts & Business Council. “We are thrilled to find alignment with Belmont’s priorities and become a nonprofit in residence on campus.”
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Partnering with the Arts & Business Council makes perfect sense in light of Belmont’s vision for increased engagement with and service to the Nashville community. In addition, this partnership allows our students more opportunities for experiential education in a number of areas that represent popular fields of study, including music business, the performing arts, business and law.”
Pallante spoke about the unique blend of business, music and legal resources in the city that allow Nashvillians to contribute in a powerful way to ongoing copyright efforts. She acknowledged that the current tools provided to help combat copyright infringement are insufficient.
“We need a 21st century solution to a 21st century problem,” she said about issue of rampant online piracy. The laws and technology used to combat copyright infringement have not been significantly updated for decades, nor have the punishments. However, copyright infringement has been evolving.
“Years ago, there wasn’t a need to heavily penalize streaming, because it wasn’t a threat. Who was going to watch the game or a movie online, over a slow connection?” she said. “Now, that’s a viable option, and we need to find a way to combat that.” (more…)
“I pray, ‘Lord, lead me today to those I need and to the ones who need me. And let something I do have eternal significance,’” she said while brushing her teeth. She then reached for four bills and stuffed them into her pocket.
A few hours later before an audience of more than 1,100 Belmont students, staff, faculty and administrators, she shared $200 with two students, one whose birthday is Aug. 29 and another whose mother shares the birthdate.
At the University’s first chapel convocation of the new academic year, the lesson Grant sought to share was one of selflessness.
“Sinful behavior keeps us from talking to God. The root of who we are is self-serving, and you learn in the course of life that life is more exciting if you beat that thing down to a nub in the corner,” Grant said.
During her 30 minutes on stage in the Massey Performing Arts Center, Grant recited original poetry, told stories from her childhood, admitted how Dr. Phil made her feel “pompous and arrogant” for not being punctual and crooned acoustic renditions of Psalm 46:10 and John 6. She told students she puts Scripture to music to memorize Bible verses.
“When I think about all of the talents and lives represented in the room and how we are all different, if we all believe in Jesus, that will be enough to let our lives shine,” she said, giving words of encouragement for Belmont’s aspiring artists. “I hope my music selections [today] have helped someone here in music understand that someone who makes average music can make a decent living.”
Preceeding convocation, Grant signed autographs and took pictures with Belmont students, including members of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta.
Grant has sold more than 30 million albums, won six Grammy Awards and 25 Dove Awards and had 17 Top-40 songs as well as a string of Contemporary Christian hits. She has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and received Belmont’s Applause Award. Grant and her husband Vince Gill are long-time friends of Belmont University. The University recognized Gill with an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 2011.
Student think tank seeks creative solutions for entertainment industry woes
Speakers at the recent Billboard Country Music Summit, which was held in Nashville June 4-5 and attended by top-level advisors from across the music industry, were surprised to see college students in the audience. These Belmont University students were gathering research as new members of an entertainment industry solutions think-tank: The Pipeline Project. Launched last year by Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, the Pipeline Project has nine new members working for 10 weeks (June thru mid-August), and the team has already set high goals for innovation this summer.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Belmont has a longstanding reputation for successful graduates both on the business and creative sides of the music industry. Pipeline exists to help identify those students early on and give them the access and environment to push their ideas forward. Let’s face it, the younger generations are shaping our industry—let’s intentionally put them in the driver’s seat.”
Pipeline member Erik Coveney, a sophomore, added, “We intend to do more than simply build on the work of last year’s Pipeline Project. In fact, we plan to come up with some truly groundbreaking ideas by the end of this summer. We believe the Pipeline Project team can use our creative capital and perspective as young adults who intimately understand new trends to innovate in revolutionary ways.”
According to its website, “The Pipeline Project is a think tank dedicated to illuminating the problems currently facing the music industry and charged with exploring possible solutions through research, collaboration, and innovation.” Ideas from last year’s team range from a specialized marketing strategy using blogs to hosting an event designed to decrease expenses to artists by combining a studio recording, video production and live show into one event. To follow what the think-tank does this year, visit www.pipelineproject.org.