BerkleeICE’s Open Music Initiative Cut Deal with Intel for Blockchain Technology

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The Open Music Initiative (OMI), an initiative of the Berklee College of Musics Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE), today announced that it has selected Intel’s open source blockchain technology, Sawtooth Lake, as its reference platform open source ledger for tracking, managing and protecting use of creators and rights holders’ intellectual property. Blockchain is the tamper-proof ledger that is increasingly being used to secure and verify a variety of digital transactions, including the distribution of music files.

Among the approaches being considered, OMI will employ Sawtooth Lake as a foundational technology for the reference implementation to share OMI’s application programming interfaces (APIs) and protocols. OMI’s open source ledger will facilitate transparency and seamless payment flows within the industry.

“The underlying vision of OMI is to create a uniform way of identifying musical rights ownership, and we have assembled a broad community of creators, entrepreneurs, industry professionals technologists and academic researchers to address this,” said Panos Panay, co-founder of OMI and founding managing director at BerkleeICE. “Working with Intel, a global titan of business, technology and innovation, and deploying its technology to advance the prototyping and development of our open source ledger will accelerate OMI’s mission to create a shared digital architecture for the modern music business.”

“Blockchain technology offers the potential to address the rights management challenges that many industries, including music, face today,” said Jerry Bautista, Jerry Bautista, vice president New Technology Group/general manager of Intel’s New Business Group.. “By using Sawtooth Lake as their foundational reference platform blockchain technology, OMI will be able to accelerate plans to deliver a music rights open source platform.”

“Adding Intel’s technical depth and blockchain experience will make a significant impact for OMI,” said OMI Co-founder and Technology Lead Dan Harple, CEO of Context Labs and an internet pioneer in web streaming and VoIP. “Capitalizing on blockchain technology via Sawtooth Lake will help us address the music industry’s most vexing challenge – protecting creative rights, intellectual property and the livelihood of the artists, entertainers and music owners who enrich our lives.”

Additionally, Intel will join the 130+ member consortium. OMI’s mission is the development of a decentralized technology platform that dramatically simplifies the way music creators and rights owners are identified and compensated.

OMI was announced on June 13 and is spearheaded by a group of leading academic institutions including BerkleeICE, the MIT Media Lab and University College London. The consortium has garnered broad and unprecedented support from across the entire music industry spectrum. Founding members include: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, BMG, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, SoundCloud, Netflix, SiriusXM, Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et éditeurs de Musique (SACEM), collector and distributor of mechanical license fees Harry Fox Agency and a wide variety of startups in the rights management space.

The next phase of the OMI advancements kicked off during OMI’s Technology Meeting on September 13, in New York.

To learn more about the initiative, Intel’s involvement or to join, visit the OMI website:

Open Music Initiative (OMI) is a non-profit collective of musicians, entrepreneurs, industry professionals, academics, technologists and policy experts who love and value music. Its mission is to promote and advance the development of open source standards and innovation related to music rights and all their associated uses. Utilizing today’s technologies and open source mindset, OMI believes the way music rights owners are identified and compensated can be radically improved for digital era sustainability. Additional information on OMI is available at

Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (ICE), an initiative within Berklee College of Music, is designed to inspire, educate and launch the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. BerkleeICE helps prepare graduates for careers as entrepreneurs; fosters the creation of new products, services and businesses in the creative industry; and inspires disruptive ideas through musical creativity and cross-discipline collaboration.  Learn more about BerkleeICE at and its Open Music Initiative at

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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