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SongLink NewsLink | Music Industry News for May/June 2007

MAY/JUNE 2007

© Copyright 2007 by SLI - SongLink International
Editor & Publisher: David Stark
23 Belsize Crescent - London NW3 5QY, UK
Tel: +44 (0)207 794 2540 - Fax: +44 (0)207 794 7393

Universal Music Publishing has won EC approval for its 1.6bn Euros (1.1bn) purchase of BMG Music Publishing. New posts announced by UMPG chairman David Renzer include: Michael Sammis (Executive VP of Operations/ Chief Financial Officer, Worldwide); Andrew Jenkins (Executive VP of International); Paul Connolly (President of Europe/UK); Gary Gross (President of Universal Production Music Worldwide); Dale Mathews (President of Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing); and Eddie Fernandez (Senior VP of Latin America).

Professor Lord Robert Winston has promised to take the industry's copyright term campaign to the House of Lords, in a keynote speech at the PPL AGM on June 5th at the British Museum. PPL chairman and CEO Fran Nevrkla said there is much cross-party support for extending copyright term because "there are a lot of parliamentarians who value what we do. Let us hope the new Prime Minister will listen too. Gordon Brown has acknowledged the value of the creative industries.. we are here to help you turn your words into action." The AGM concluded with Lonnie Donegan's son Pete, who performed his late father's 1957 hit, "Cumberland Gap" which has inspired PPL's Copyright Gap campaign.

Meanwhile Fran Nevrkla has become the first European board member of the new US-based Copyright Alliance. He joins a board including representatives of ASCAP, BMI, the Motion Picture Association of America and NBC Universal at the non-profit-making educational organisation, which is tasked with promoting the value of copyright.

Warner Music Group has issued a statement saying that it "continues actively to consider an offer for EMI Group," despite EMI's board having recommended its shareholders accept a 265p per share offer from private equity company Terra Firma. Warner says that such an offer would be "pre-conditional on appropriate anti-trust clearances being obtained" and adds that a further announcement can be expected "in due course."

Kylie Minogue is the first woman to be honoured in the 16-year history of the Music Industry Trusts' Award. The Australian artist will follow in the footsteps of Elton John, Sir George Martin and John Barry on Monday, October 29, in a ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, held in aid of the Brit Trust and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.

The Music Business Forum (MBF) is undergoing a radical overhaul and will be split into four strands in Copyright, Education, Not-for-profit, including orchestras and community music, and the Live Sector. Over the next six months, each will decide on a name, elect a leader, organise how they will be funded and set an agenda to pursue.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has re-signed Take That's Gary Barlow with "an exclusive, long-term, global extension" of the singer's existing contract. MD Rakesh Sanghvi said, "Gary is a giant in the world of songwriting and it is with great pleasure that we have re-signed him to our company." Barlow, who is shortly due on a 30-date European tour, said that Sony/ATV has stuck with him through thick and thin.

Paul McCartney's new album, Memory Almost Full is available in DRM-free MP3 format from digital retailer eMusic. The album is the first by McCartney record to be sold on eMusic, and is first to be released on the Starbucks label Hear Music - a joint venture with US independent Concorde Music - which eMusic has a long standing relationship with.

Strictly Confidential Music Publishing is expanding into the UK, with. Jo Hillier appointed general manager, located in Ladbroke Grove.

The Musicians' Union has produced a comprehensive report and outline of Union policy on the Licensing Act 2003 in advance of the publication of the Live Music Forum's Report (LMF) into the legislation. The Union's statement makes it clear that despite the acknowledged improvements, particularly for large and medium music venues when the current regulatory system is compared to the old PEL system, it remains hard to imagine many circumstances when the principal objectives of the Act would be breached or compromised by the performance of live music.

Digital distributor The Orchard has appointed of music supervisor and production executive Christopher Covert to manage its new Los Angeles office, while in the UK publishing veteran Brian Justice of Cuesheet will act as a consultant. He has worked with artists such as Lisa Stansfield, REM, Sting and Black Sabbath, and consulted for companies ranging from MGM, Miramax, Zoetrope, Fox, Dreamworks, Disney, Buena Vista, and Endemol. Meanwhile Orchard Australia partner AmpHead Entertainment is the most recent global partner to integrate The Orchard's broader licensing and synch offerings into its operation.

Cutting Edge has appointed Liz Gallacher, the UK's leading music supervisor, as Director of Music Supervision. Cutting Edge MD Phil Hope said: "Her fantastic creative skills and unrivalled position in the business will be a great asset to Cutting Edge as it moves towards becoming the pre-eminent provider of music to the UK film business."

AIM's eighth AGM will take place at 4.00pm on Thursday, 28th June at London Calling, Earls Court. Following this, there will be a Q&A session, a keynote speech, the announcement and meeting of new AIM Board Members and a talk from Charles Caldas CEO of Merlin.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing is acquiring Famous Music from Viacom. "The Famous Music catalogue is a world-class asset filled with evergreen songs that people know and love," said Marty Bandier, Chairman and CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing. "The depth and breadth of the catalogue is what truly makes it great, and I strongly believe that the addition of the Famous catalogue and its songwriters to Sony/ATV is another stepin our long-range growth plans." The acquisition follows swiftly on the heels of Sony/ATV's purchase of the Leiber/Stoller catalogue

Meanwhile Sony/ATV Music (UK) has promoted Simon Aldridge to Head of A&R from his previous position as Senior Repertoire Manager. He has been at Sony/ATV Music for 4 years and was previously at Windswept Music, Columbia Records and ZTT Records/Perfect Songs.

Reed MIDEM has announced the launch of AMAZIA, the first pan-Asian, B2B exhibition and conference devoted to the creation and distribution of international entertainment content across all delivery platforms, taking place in Hong Kong in November, 2008.

Hanna Pantle has been named Assistant VP, Corporate and Media Relations for BMI, reporting to VP Robbin Ahrold. She remains in LA overseeing the company's global media strategy as well as direct BMI's Media Relations teams in Los Angeles, Nashville and New York.

Cherry Lane Music, whose catalogues include works by Elvis Presley, Quincy Jones, Black Eyed Peas and John Legend, has joined the class action suit against YouTube and parent company Google, alleging copyright infringement. The lawsuit is seeking a court order to stop YouTube's uncompensated use of its creative works, and to prevent unauthorised content from being exploited, and for damages for past infringements.

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