The Web 2 Summit Playlist

Tons of folks have asked me for the “official” playlist this year. Each year I choose music to sample while folks are coming on or off stage, or as the audience comes in or out of the main room. This year I was hit with a wave of nostalgia – for reasons that I’ll explain later – and I made a list that spanned nearly all eight years I’ve been programming the event.

I have to say, I’m really, really proud of how the event came off, of all the folks who made it happen (including our speakers, staff, advisory board, and my partners at TechWeb and O’Reilly).

The playlist is 109 songs, and I’m way too lazy (or tired) to figure out how to put them into an actual live app. So here’s a picture of them. If any of you have suggestions for how I might create a playlist, I’m all ears. I’ve been looking for a good app for that for some time, and I keep not finding the right one….


Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

19 thoughts on “The Web 2 Summit Playlist”

  1. Um, John, you really don’t want to post this. Legally this is public performance and unless you legally licensed every one of these before playing them this could get ugly.

      1. Let me stand up for Sean, yes he is sucking the joy out of the room however, John you have opened yourself up for some major fines. Your use does not fall under fair use. I would remove this post before the RIAA discovers it.

      2. I hate to run and hide. I posted this because my audience wanted to buy the music – I got a ton of requests for exactly that reason. What I would like to understand is how much this might cost Web 2. I think just deleting the post and hoping for the best is not honest behavior.

      3. You might be able to settle on something after the fact if you go to them asap, however you could be fined. These guys have been known to be really pissy. I would run it by your attorney. I am sure they don’t really want to mess with someone with your kind of connections so I would assume they would be reasonable.

      4. As to how much, well back when I did licensing I paid about 5K per needle drop for TV commercials. That’s one song about 10 years ago.

      5. Thanks for the backup Jeanne. And yes, I’ve worked with them first hand before and they have an entirely different attitude when it’s after the fact. Inflexible and massive fines come to mind. John, honestly the best thing you can do is delete this, go get your lawyers to beg forgiveness and hope the licensing fee/fines come un under six figures, then repost it.

        They don’t care that people want to buy it, see all the arguments about internet radio, sharing, etc over the years. They have a very clear policy and you violated it by playing these songs in public without paying them, and now you’re bragging about it online to a huge audience. Intentions don’t matter, I actually am not as optimistic as Jeanne and think they’d go after you full force to make an example of you. The law is very much on their side here unfortunately.

    1. Sean, I have considered that. But we never play the full song – we play about five seconds of them, I always figured it’s fair use – I pick the songs as commentary on the speakers and themes, etc. People want me to post them so they can buy the entire song. I guess if the music industry wants to make a stink, it will. Anyone out there know how one goes about doing this “legally”?

      1. John, as I’m sure you know (and you know I do as well) what any of us considers fair use and what folks like the RIAA will argue about are two very different things. ASCAP is the industry body that handles licensing and they are very clear about what public performance is and isn’t, and the fines for unlicensed public performance are very stiff. Unless you can convince them that Web 2.0 Summit is either a religious worship service (which it could be) or a non-profit (which, arguably, some of the companies involved might be, involuntarily) then you need a license. You can read all about it here:

        http://www.ascap.com/licensing/licensingfaq.aspx

        They offer general licenses that cover tons of songs rather than licensing each one, but that will be up to you to decide which is best.

    1. Spotify is definitely the best way to share. Plus if you already have the iTunes playlist it will already be there, just share it and you’ll get a URL.

      1. And they won’t be there for some time, alas. Too bad, because I think folks want to buy that good old stuff! I know I do!

  2. Sean I wonder, if I just shared a Spotify playlist rather than this image, would that somehow be better? Fact is, the team probably played less than a third of these songs, and only about three to five seconds of most of those.

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