SXSW Roundtable: Policy, Legislation & the Next Music Business

Ballroom Dancing: SXSW panels

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (l) and IRS Records' Jay Boberg
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (l) and IRS Records' Jay Boberg (Photo By Gary Miller)

SXSW Roundtable: Policy, Legislation & the Next Music Business

Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 18 Mark Cuban is not your typical SXSW panelist. As the Dallas Mavericks' owner and No. 1 superfan, the controversial and outspoken Cuban is one of pro basketball's most recognizable courtside figures. Thankfully, he spared attendees the sight of his typical tight-fitting Mavs T-shirt, donning a black shirt that left a little more room for circulation. He also radiated the brash attitude and iconoclastic viewpoints that made him one of the Internet age's most successful entrepreneurs when he sold the company he founded, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo! for billions of dollars. Showing up about halfway through the panel, Cuban brought a spark to a roundtable – featuring IRS Records' Jay Boberg, among others – that was a generic discourse on the digital revolution and its economic impact on the record industry. Grassroots artists and indie labels were lauded; radio and big labels were lambasted. The rarely successful artist-development models employed by the majors were discussed and critiqued. "The No. 1 job of a label head is to keep his job," said Cuban, stating that labels had made digital piracy into a scapegoat rather than answering to their own failings. As he revealed that he had at one point considered purchasing Napster, the Mavs owner and founder of fast-rising high-definition television network HDNet grabbed some ears. His pointed critique of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the RIAA drew a hearty round of cheers. No real brainstorms were had, and there was no concrete discussion of the Next Music Business, but thanks to Mr. Cuban, the discourse was lively and pointed.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Saturday Showcases
Saturday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

Texas Platters
The Well
Death and Consolation (Record Review)

Michael Toland, May 3, 2019

More by Michael Chamy
Texas Platters
Palaxy Tracks
Twelve Rooms (Record Review)

Sept. 16, 2005

Texas Platters
Comet
Feathers From the Wing EP (Record Review)

Aug. 12, 2005

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle