User-generated content was brought into focus today during the closing session of the CISAC Copyright Summit in Brussels.

The final panel, "Can Creators and Technology/Service Providers Find a Common Ground," showcased an interesting confrontation between three artists and two representatives from UGC services.

While acknowledging the power of the Internet in their relationship with their fans, the three participating creators regretted that the Internet was taking away part of the mystery of music by revealing too much.

Hooverphonic's Alex Callier went as far as to describe UGC as "uninteresting content".

The artists also dismissed a solution brought by German company Trivid, which allows end-users to create clips with their mobile, blending their own photos with commercial music that they will acquire for €1 ($1.33) or through an ad-supported model.

Harry Strasser, executive partner innovation of Trivid, said blending UGC with professional content would be a major trend for the future and a new revenue stream for creators.

However, Norwegian composer Bendik Hofseth criticized the artistic value of such an experience. "We have to make [digital] work as a different arena of expression", he said.

From the audience, Peter Jenner, chairman of the International Manager Music Forum, conceded that the Internet was full of poor-quality works, but he added that good artists were plentiful. Thirty years ago, kids made punk with two chords, he reminisced. Now they will create their mash-ups.

Benjamin Bejbaum, co-founder of French video sharing service Dailymotion, explained that UGC was generally intended only for the creator's relatives and cannot compare with work from the professionals. "Out of the four million videos we have on our site, 3.9 million will never even be on our homepage" he said. "The tools we provide are much less important than the work you do", he told the artists.

Earlier in the day, participants on the "How Can Technology Improve Rights Management" panel praised the efficiency of music metadata standardization and acknowledged great improvements in the field.

Technology though disruptive, moderator "music futurist" Gerd Leonhard said, would eventually lead to a bigger market, which he evaluated at $100 billion.

BMI president and CEO Del Bryant, meanwhile, said his society is to implement the Shazam file-identification technology by this fall. BMI bought Shazam in August 2005.

The inaugural two-day summit drew 582 delegates, according to figures issued by CISAC today.

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