Blockchain rights company, JAAK, announces new advisors


Spotify’s former artist-in-residence, D.A. Wallach (pictured above), and David King, inventor of YouTube’s Content ID, have joined blockchain rights company JAAK as advisors.

Following the success of its industry-wide music pilot in May, the tech start-up has made several senior appointments. Wallach and King are joined by former head of UK copyright at UMPG, Dom Lovett, Alina Colceag, Hari Ashurst-Venn, Philippe Rixhon and Samir Rashed.

Wallach – a solo artist who has toured with artists including N*E*R*D and Lady Gaga – was Spotify’s artist-in-residence for four years. He wrote Bitcoin for Rockstars: How Cryptocurrency Can Revolutionize The Music Industry in 2014, becoming one of the first artists to advocate the technology.

Commenting on his new position, he said: ‘When I, years ago, conceived of a global metadata and payments platform built on blockchain technology, I was hoping that this might once and for all cut through the intense global disorganisation in the music business that bedevils artists who merely want to get paid fairly for their work.

‘I am still hopeful that a combination of streaming platforms, decentralised databases, and payment networks can deliver on this promise.

‘The industry we should all want is one in which artists are paid transparently and instantaneously when listeners enjoy their music. Facilitating this eminently achievable vision will become a competitive necessity for rights holders seeking to attract the best talent.

‘I’m excited to advise JAAK because they are taking a comprehensive and practical view to building core infrastructure for the future of the industry. Their seriousness and focus set them apart.’

King, who invented and built YouTube’s Content ID system, which identifies, manages, and monetises copyrights in user-generated content on the platform, said: ‘Now that most music fans have switched to digital, it’s time for the industry to come together around more flexible and scalable licensing solutions, making sure that consumers have a wide variety of platforms to choose from.

‘JAAK have remarkable leadership and a mastery of all the latest technologies that are best suited to meeting these market challenges. I’m excited to join their team and to participate in developing the next generation of the music business.’

BMG, Global Music Rights, Warner/Chappell and Sentric are among the music companies involved in JAAK, which is developing an open blockchain rights network – KORD – to manage intellectual property rights.

Following the success of its industry-wide music pilot in May, JAAK’s first music business commercial product will launch in 2019. It sets out to, ‘lower the barriers to music innovation by simplifying the licensing and back-office processes for music rights holders and developers. The aim is to encourage new and varied music services to launch.’

Commenting on the new hires, JAAK chief executive Vaughn McKenzie-Landell said: ‘Tackling such a complex problem with new technology requires not just incredibly talented people but also voices, ideas, and experiences from businesses across the entire supply chain – including creators.

‘We share the belief that rights can and will be unified across shared, decentralised infrastructure and we’re assembling a team capable of delivering that vision.’

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