Billboard Apparently Unable To Hire Its Own Writers For Copycat Conference; So Just Copies Text From Others

from the so-derivative! dept

The SFMusicTech events have become something of an institution in San Francisco over the past five years or so, bringing together all sorts of people at the intersection of technology and music for a day. I’ve been to a bunch of them, and have always found them to be interesting and insightful, while also great networking/meeting opportunities. I was interested to find out that Billboard Magazine is apparently putting on something of a copycat conference, a month after the next SFMusicTech, called FutureSound — also in San Francisco. The events definitely look similar… and perhaps that’s because whoever put together the website for the Billboard event seems to have decided to just start with the SFMusicTech text, and then make some slight changes. From the SFMusicTech description of who attends:

The best and brightest developers, entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, journalists, musicians and organizations who work with them at the convergence of culture and commerce.

And, from Billboard’s description:

The best and brightest developers, entrepreneurs, investors, music labels, service providers, journalists, artists and organizations who work with them at the convergence of music and commerce.

Kudos to the fine folks at Billboard for finally recognizing that “remixing” is cool. Though, seriously, I do think it’s great that there will be more events hitting that intersection between tech and music. But, I do find it amusing when Billboard seems to have this habit of copying others, while attacking me when I suggest copying can be good for you. Apparently, copying is only good when you do it yourself. When others do it, well, that’s a different story…

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Comments on “Billboard Apparently Unable To Hire Its Own Writers For Copycat Conference; So Just Copies Text From Others”

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Brian Zisk (profile) says:

Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery. ;-)

We’ve been using minor variations on that tagline (written by me) to describe attendees of the SF MusicTech Summit since we started the event several years ago. It appears that Billboard (which call’s itself “the premier trade publication for the music business”) first started using this amusingly similar text just a few days ago.

Though there is no affiliation between our upcoming events, we were glad to welcome Billboard’s Editorial Director and their Conference Lead to our previous SF MusicTech Summit. It is quite ironic to see this “close imitation” of “language” come from Billboard, one of the leading advocates of the “unauthorized copying is wrong and should be severely penalized” position.

Thank you TechDirt for noticing, and pointing this out…

Bill Werde (profile) says:

I’m Billboard’s editorial director, and I was, indeed, graciously welcomed by Brian Zisk at his Spring SF MusicTech event. I was really impressed by the energy in the room and the quality of the event. I told Brian as much at the cocktail reception afterward.
Our use of this language was a mistake. I called Brian last night the second I learned of this situation and apologized.
Billboard has a long history of integrity. We’re a 117-year-old brand. I’ve worked here six years and as best as I can recall, we’ve never had a situation like this. It’s just not how we operate.
I said as much to Brian, and I hope he won?t mind me sharing: I think the intersection of investment, technology and music is a really exciting one, after being fairly dry for a number of years, held back as it was by tight credit markets and lingering rights issues. Today, as we look around, there?s an explosion of innovation hitting the market and consumers, and I think there?s plenty of room for multiple events. In the coming days and weeks as we announce programming and speakers and more about the overall production of Billboard?s FutureSound, I think you?ll see that our intention is not to directly compete but to compliment Brian?s event, and many of the others that have joined Billboard in this conversation over the years. I invited Brian to be my guest at our launch event. I hope he?ll be there, and I hope you will too. Only you have to pay.

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