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Keen to Advise Arts + Labs Coalition

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, January 11 2010

Here's an eye-catching joining of forces. Arts + Labs -- an entertainment industry coalition whose members include Viacom, NBC Universal, Cisco, and Microsoft, co-chaired by Republican political vet Mark McKinnon -- is announcing today that it is bringing on as an advisor Andrew Keen, perhaps best known in these parts as the author of "Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is Killing Our Culture." The full announcement is after the jump.

Internet Entrepreneur, Andrew Keen, Brings Over A Decade of Industry Expertise to Coalition

New York, NY – January 11, 2010 - Arts+Labs, a unique alliance of the technology, content and creative communities, today announced that Andrew Keen, a renowned Internet pioneer and entrepreneur, has joined its coalition – effective immediately.  Keen is best known for his 2007 book, entitled CULT OF THE AMATEUR: How the Internet is killing our culture, an account which has been translated into 16 languages, and explores the interest around user-generated content, peer production, and other Web 2.0-related subject matter.

“Andrew’s involvement in Arts+Labs is a significant event for our organization,” said Mark McKinnon, co-chair of Arts+Labs.  “Andrew is a true thought leader in the industry, a published author and noted speaker and brings a tremendous amount of credibility to the content and network management arena.  This is a big step forward for Arts+Labs towards advancing our vision of a vibrant digital society, and a great way to kick off 2010.”  

Launched in September 2008, Arts+Labs was formed to create consumer awareness around the availability and vast array of legal, safe, affordable and innovative entertainment content on the Internet,  encourage cross-industry collaborations that support enhanced and intelligent Internet infrastructure, and promote respect and recognition of copyright. Most recently, Arts+Labs has been vocal in upholding their mission by filing comments on the Federal Communication Committee’s (FCC) proposed network neutrality rules, hosting a network management event that embraced both sides of the current debate, and testified at a New York City Council hearing against net neutrality and in support of antipiracy.

“What attracted me to Arts+Labs was a shared vision of how content companies, network organizations and the creative communities could come together to forge a new dynamic in today’s marketplace.  I am looking forward to joining the team and tackling some of the thorniest issues that are on the minds of the regulators, the industry and the public,” said Andrew Keen.

Aside from Keen’s involvement in Arts+Labs, he is working on a second book entitled DIGITAL VERTIGO: Anxiety, Loneliness and Inequality in the Social Media Age. He writes regularly for many publications in America and Europe including The Daily BeastForbes, The London IndependentThe London Daily TelegraphLos Angeles TimesAmsterdam Volkskrant and the Directors Guild of America Quarterly, where he has recently published critical essays on Network Neutrality and Intellectual Piracy.  In addition, Keen regularly delivers keynote speeches at conferences worldwide, lectures at universities including UC Berkeley, Vanderbilt, Oxford, York, Warsaw and Amsterdam, and is interviewed frequently on leading television and radio networks such as the BBC, CNN, NPR, NBC, CBS, ABC, Sky and Al-Jazeera.

About Andrew Keen

As a pioneering Internet entrepreneur, Andrew founded in 1995 and built it into a popular first generation Internet music company. He was the executive producer of the new media show “MB5 2000” and, between 2001 and 2007, worked as a executive at several Silicon Valley based technology start-ups including Pulse, Santa Cruz Networks, Pure Depth and afterTV. Andrew was educated at London University where he was awarded a First Class Honours Degree in Modern History, as a British Council Fellow at the University of Sarajevo and at the University of California at Berkeleyhere he earned a Masters Degree in Political Science.

About Arts+Labs

Arts+Labs, founded in September 2008, is a coalition of the world’s leading technology and creative organizations founded upon the core belief that quality content drives the Internet; that distribution of easily accessible, affordable content in the Internet age requires new business models; and that creators deserve to benefit from their creativity.  Arts+Labs aims to ensure that artists and innovators can easily and effectively share their creativity through new distribution channels online, secure in the confidence that their rights will be respected and their ingenuity rewarded. Our commitment to consumers is that we will work to keep them informed about how and where they can find and safely enjoy the vast array of legal, affordable, and innovative entertainment content on the Internet. Current members include AT&T, Viacom, NBC Universal, Cisco, Microsoft, BMI, JibJab, Auditude, ASCAP, Blue Pixel, Verizon and the Songwriters Guild of America.  For more information, go to