MidemNet delegates can expect a hard-hitting keynote from Tero Ojanpera, Nokia's executive VP of entertainment and communities, on Saturday, Jan. 17.

MidemNet, which runs Jan. 17-18 in Cannes, is the international forum that focuses on the music business in the digital age. It is followed by the MIDEM international music market and conference, which runs Jan. 18 to 21 and will begin with a day of programming dedicated to the Russian music industry, organized in conjunction with Billboard Russia.

Following last year's much reported keynote by U2 manager Paul McGuinness, who condemned Internet service providers for failing to block illegal file-sharing, Ojanpera says his message at Cannes will point the finger at music distributors who shirk their responsibilities towards rights owners.

"I shall be addressing some of the issues Paul McGuinness raised last year, such as how to make sure rights holders get paid, as well as how to buy and share music legally with friends," he tells Billboard.biz.

Ojanpera will be interviewed by Billboard editorial director Bill Werde for the keynote, which takes place at 12 noon on Saturday. Billboard is a media partner for MIDEM and MidemNet.

Ojanpera says the Finnish mobile company's latest venture, the all-you-can-eat DRM-protected download service Comes With Music, which has so far launched in the U.K., proves the industry can be innovative and still ensure creators are compensated.

"We've already paid [for the content], so customers can share the music freely," he says. "That approach will help monetize music, encourage the creation of new services, and have an impact on the way consumers can enjoy music."

Nokia's growing involvement in the business, however, does not mean media and telecommunications companies like his will replace what record labels have achieved. Ojanpera adds that Nokia remains in a position to complement what labels and publishers do to help artists reach their fans.

"Artists have started interacting with their audiences in new ways using digital media, and we would want to facilitate that kind of innovation," he says. "'Connecting people' is Nokia's slogan and we're doing so in a new and better way with Comes with Music."

He continues: "Nokia is in music for the long term; we believe it can be a growth business. We happen to be pioneering new technologies within the business because the Internet is blurring the lines that separate media, like radio and TV, allowing content to move from one platform to another freely."

Billboard.biz will have full coverage of MidemNet and MIDEM in the days ahead.