Thursday, July 27, 2017


Let’s jump right in, hiring and interviewing takes on many forms with various philosophies in play, Tim Graettinger has developed a philosophy based on the needs of an outdated headhunter, reviewing an outdated HR manual.  Perhaps, if today’s headhunters would consider today's date, this is the digital age where a mobile philosophy focused on, who can use the tools of data mining, just might establish a positive interviewing process which gets better results. The past hiring structure is interfering with today’s high tech business needs.

On the other hand, to effectively communicate expectations and build confidence, there must be a mutual dependence between HR and the candidate. It would be more productive to open an interview with a real-life business requirements question, which challenges the candidate to create a data model, provided that there is a laptop loaded with RStudio, RapidMiner, KNIME, Microsoft BI and Excel on hand. To generate synergy, the excited candidate is given a time limit to produce the result by clustering data loaded from a csv file. There is no need for a stiff, shake down, criminal investigation, masquerading as an interview to find the right person for the job. Therefore, if the candidate can produce a result within the immediate laptop, data mining environment, then, that is all the proof which is needed for HR to make a hiring decision. Today’s industries are performance based, so the data mining interview must rely on hands-on performance criteria to meet the needs of employers.

From the article, it has been found that it is inconceivable to believe that a Graduate student, fresh out of college today, without any real world, data mining, project experience, will be chosen to interview by a Fortune 500 company for a data mining position. This power packed article reinforces the urgent need for all data mining prospects to develop hands on skills, using algorithms quickly as possible, if planning to compete in the data mining arena. Enterprises need people who can use open source data mining tools to cluster data, now! The information presented in the article, has turned a future problem into an opportunity.

Greater challenges are on the horizon, now is the time to master RStudio, RapidMiner, KNIME, Microsoft BI, Excel, and gain access to the online repositories for job security. Opportunity is waiting for the person who can see the light, digging through the dark tech tunnel, while running with a backpack full of the latest data mining tools towards success. Generally speaking, the personality of the data miner is of course, a major factor. The positive attitude, backed by confidence, will prevail! 


Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Industry of Liabilities with Solutions

The purpose of this blog is to expose three legal liabilities which have a major impact on my business activities. I will be discussing the use of unlicensed works, sampling and the public performance license. This blog will help the developing entertainment business professional to understand that it is a good idea to practice legal research when dealing with intellectual property.
Let’s look at this idea, before a recording can be sold in retail the necessary license and authorizations must be acquired. (Butler) In a recent article by Adam Klasfeld it was reported that in 2012 musician Norman Blagman sued Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others for accepting and selling unlicensed works through aggregators. Blagman claimed the retailers violated copyright on the tune “Jazz is His Old Lady and My Old Man”. The U.S Magistrate Judge James Francis ruled that he would help to secure a letter of Rogatory from the foreign court for judicial assistance in this case. This case is a bold reminder to all persons involved in the creation of intellectual property; the United States Copyright Law and Copyright registration are in place to protect the rights of the creator of said works. Mr. Blagman exercised his rights to sue in court.

This brings us to the Frank Ocean Law suit which was described by Eriq Gardner in a Billboard article in February. “The arguments over a few seconds of samples on a hit record can add up to a few years in the court room” as Gardner says it. “It is difficult to apply the copy right law to sampling according to” Tuff America. Oceans label is being sued for infringement. Sampling law suits are growing during the same week of the Ocean law suit a Congressional Hearing was taking place to determine if a compulsory license would help to solve the sampling issues.  To conclude, it is important to understand the law and secure a license before using a sample. The length of the sample is not important the fact is the sample is protected by the U.S. Copyright Law of 1976.

It has been proven that popularity controls the price paid to copyright holders by streaming services. This brings us to the third and final legality. Record labels produce and publish music products to earn a profit over time. The license to perform music provided by labels is granted to streaming services by just asking and a fee is charged. In an article posted by ASCAP March 24th 2014 examines why the Pandora Rate Court Decision is unfairly low. Pandora was granted a five year term 2011-2015 at a rate of 1.25% of revenues. The decision was issued by Judge Denise Cole. The decision has a negative effect on the industry as a whole because the objective criteria was presented and showed that the peer streaming services are paying 2.5% of revenues. Performance licenses are granted equally across the industry the fees should be equal for each streaming service.

 I would like to thank you for this moment. I can only hope that by exposing the possible legal liabilities that are lingering, it is possible to learn from mistakes, and survive in the digital age.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Why the Band Agreement is Necessary for the Future Income of Artist

The purpose of this blog is to report a matter of great importance The Band Agreement. To bring this idea to the attention of Artist Managers and Bands I will address a recent law suit filed in The LA Superior Court by David Palmer former singer with Steely Dan.

Eric Gardner has posted an article on which details the news behind why Mr. Palmer sued Steely Dan over Digital Royalties. It appears that Sound Exchange, a digital performance rights organization has a policy which excludes paying band entities. However, the featured artist are directly paid.

According to Palmer the written agreement that established Steely Dan 1972 provides a one-sixth percentage share of all royalties earned on songs in which he performed. David Palmer is an original band member who left the group in 1973. Under the agreement Sound Exchange and Steely Dan Inc. will have to settle the royalty payments with Mr. Palmer.

The law suit filed in this case is an example of why bands must understand the need for an enforceable contract. The initial band agreement goes beyond friendship. Maggie Lange is an expert in the field who shares great advice concerning band agreements. Artist managers must be able to explain the business behind the band agreement as part of the artist management cycle.

The idea here is to keep the band functioning for the financial success of all of the members. In order for this to be consistent with law the band must have an internal agreement which insures payment of future royalties in the proper percentage for members who signed the agreement.

This law suit in my opinion is a landmark example of a band agreement that worked out. With changes in technology digital rights have come to the front of the stage. The digital foot print leads the way to income for all artist who have a clear written band agreement.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Negotiation Techniques and Deal Making

   The purpose of this blog is to reflect on the negotiation techniques effective to getting to yes. Three presenters were chosen as professional examples of best practice. Professor Deepak Malhotra of the Harvard Business School, Paul Zwier
of Emory Law School and Ronald M. Shapiro of Shapiro Negotiations Institute.

  This blog is intended to share a little light on the importance of understanding why negotiations must be prepared before the process is undertaken. This review also shows the best practices from three perspectives. This information can be applied to all areas of negotiation however it is intended to service the Entertainment Community.

  The main areas of negotiation involve separating the emotions from the issues, the benefits of the deal, the interest of the person, the use of objective criteria such as stats and third party unbiased sources and the need to be flexible. Each of these key ideas are used in varying ways by each of the chosen professionals, who express their negotiating technique.

  Professor Deepak Malhotra is also a best-selling author of “Negotiation Genius”.
His style reflects on the need for being liked and deserving what one is asking for in a negotiation. Mr. Malhotra focuses on justifying needs and being flexible. His style re enforces the fact that the negotiator must know what is important and how the benefits justify the deal. He also shows that it is very important to do research to use objective criteria effectively.

  Emory School of Law presented Paul Zwier who discussed advanced negotiation techniques. Mr. Zwier impressed the idea that research is necessary to remain unbiased. He expressed that needs must resolved first in order to keep interest in control of the negotiations. He looks at shared needs to determine where the conflicts between needs arise. He stresses problem solving and keeping tricks at bay. He arrives at the win-win solution by developing relationships during the process of negotiation.

  Ronald M. Shapiro of Shapiro Negotiations is a leading Sports Agent. He presented a very explosive lecture at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Mr. Shapiro stresses listening and understanding alternatives. He believes that keeping the ego out of the way is necessary to building relationships. He also applies problem solving by using creativity.

  Each negotiator has a different approach to getting to yes. They each share the basic negotiating values such as; interest, objective criteria, separating emotions from the problem, mutual gain through alternatives and they weave their styles around these ides to reach a satisfying win-win solution for all parties.

  The role of the negotiator is to provide the best solution that will satisfy the clients with their best interest to close the deal. Applied to entertainment the deal must be made and the show must go on.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Entertainment Business Matters

            An Article posted in Billboard by Glenn Peoples  on December 24 2013, with the purpose to inform the Entertainment Investment Community of the possibility of the music streaming service provider Pandora to open 2014, ahead of the competition. It has been reported that Pandora's shares have risen to close 2013 up 215%. Glenn pointed out that Needham believes that Pandora will continue to grow in 2014.

            The report by Glenn Peoples is describing Pandora as a growth company whose value will continue to move upward in the coming months and is worth watching in 2014. 60% of Pandora’s revenue came from the mobile devices market in 2013. It is believed that Pandora’s competitors are not in position to affect Pandora’s growth in its current market position.

It is a fact that Pandora has suffered from law suits and criticism against unprofitability however, the company has managed to maintain its customer user base in the streaming market. With Apple’s launch of iTunes Radio and expansion into the European countries Pandora’s active user base took a short hit, later returning to keep Pandora moving forward.

It appears that advertiser are looking closely at Pandora to see how many advertisements its listeners will potentially see and hear in the coming year. It just might be that Pandora has just opened another box of surprises for bullish investors. No one wants to be left behind when it comes to making money fast and long.

Pandora maybe a critic’s choice for negative press but the market position where Pandora sits is a potential investment option. The possibility that Pandora is on an upswing cannot be over looked. With close analysis the skeptic will bet on Pandora in a Bear Market. Pandora is raising up from the fire of criticism and clearing a path for the serious investor.