Open Music @ MIT

Open Music is a joint project between MIT and Berklee to explore new technologies and infrastuctures for the digital music supply-chain.

Today’s music is mostly digital, but musicians have no clear way to own their digital creations and track their usage.  As a consequence, they have no way to make a decent living, and music industry as a whole is failing.  To address this failure to protect the rights of musicians MIT has established an active collaboration with the Berklee College of Music, which is the leading modern music school in the world with degrees in music technology and production as well as performance.  We are designing and building an open-source system that will allow musicians to have clear, auditable ownership of their digital works.   

The MIT side of the effort is an outgrowth of research by MIT faculty and staff who have decades of experience in MIT open source efforts such as the MIT Kerberos Consortium and in creation of digital rights law and policy (specifically GDPR and Sustainable Development Goals).  The work is supported by a number technology companies.

Overall, the goal of the Open Music project are as follows:

  • Explore and research next-gen contracts supply-chain infrastrures for music-metadata, music ownership, royalties/splits tracking, royalties distribution and licensing.
  • Explore the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) as a means to introduce automation in the these new global supply-chains.
  • Research new economics and incentives models for music as a new form of asset, placing artists and musicians -- as the generator engine of the music industry -- center within the new global music ecosystem.