On Wednesday, at Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference, Reddit cofounder and Y Combinator ambassador Alexis Ohanian squared off against professor Jonathan Taplin, director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and former tour manager of The Band. The debate—which covered everything from antipiracy to SOPA to the current state of the movie and music industries—was vigorous, to say the least, with both Ohanian and Taplin passionately arguing their positions.
Lots has developed since the debate. First, Ohanian published an open letter to Taplin, in which he pushes modern solutions to problems between artists and the business models they rely on—in particular, he suggested The Band get back together for one more release. Then on Thurdsay, The Band's drummer Levon Helm, who became a symbol during the Innovation Uncensored debate for the harsh realities of the music industry in the digital era, died.
We'll publish Taplin's response to Ohanian's suggestion (which was, again, written before Helm's passing) on Monday. And if the two want to keep the discussion going, we'll keep providing the forum. In the meantime, catch up on how this all got started with videos from Wednesday's debate below. The debate really heats up after opening statements, about 11 minutes in.
[Videos edited by Adam Barenblat]