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SongLink NewsLink | Music Industry News for Spring 2008

SPRING 2008

© Copyright 2008 by SLI - SongLink International
Editor & Publisher: David Stark
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Tel: +44 (0)207 794 2540 - Fax: +44 (0)207 794 7393

The Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals take place on May 20th and 22nd, with the final held on May 24th at the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. The UK's entry is Even If by former X-Factor contestant Andy Abraham, who co-wrote the song with Andy Watkins and Paul Wilson, while the Irish entry Irlande, Douze Pointe is by celebrity puppet Dustin the Turkey. Germany are sending their most successful girl group No Angels, while the Netherlands entry is by Dutch/Morroccan singer Hind (a regular in SongLink leads) who wrote Your Heart Belongs To Me with Tjeerd van Zanen and Bas van den Heuvel.

The UK music industry's Music Business Group has delivered its collective response to the proposed changes to copyright exceptions as recommended by Andrew Gowers. The most contentious of these remains the transfer of music from CD to MP3 players, which remains technically illegal in the UK.

The Court of Appeal has reversed the 2006 High Court decision under which ex-Procol Harum organist Matthew Fisher was awarded 40% of the copyright in Whiter Shade Of Pale. Following the appeal, full copyright remains with original writers Gary Brooker and Keith Reid and their publishers, on the basis that Fisher had delayed making his claim for an "inexcusable" 38 years.

Chrysalis Group has halted talks with potential buyers, believed to include EMI owner Terra Firma, blaming "global economic and credit market conditions", and will continue to focus on its core publishing business.

PPL is aiming to tackle piracy and improve the fortunes of overseas artists by helping establish music business infrastructures in countries with underdeveloped industries. Director Keith Harris says the move was inspired by Damon Albarn's 'Africa Express' project and French initiatives in Senegal and Mali.

The British Council has launched the UK Young Music Entrepreneur Award 2008 with a deadline of May 6th. Winners will be announced on June 20 June. A shortlist of 51-10 people will be drawn up, with winner and two runners-up to be taken on a tour of India's music industry. The competition is open to music industry specialists aged 25-35 years age, with at least three years experience. Visit www.creativeconomy.org.uk/ukyme08

The Edge Group has announced that it is launching a new Enterprise Investment Scheme which aims to raise up to £10m for investment in the live music industry. Founder David Glick says that the outlook for the live music industry remains very positive despite the well-publicised difficulties of the recorded music business.

The MPA and the MMF's joint Professional Development Programme in Music Publishing course started again this month, with the objective to provide practical information in the context of today's music industry. The programme is delivered in two two-hour sessions on consecutive evenings. Full details and booking form at www.mpaonline.org.uk.

Darren Haynes has joined the MCPS-PRS Alliance as Marketing Manager, with the specific remit of looking after the MCPS side of the business. He was previously with the Official UK Charts Company.

The Orchard has signed a worldwide licensing deal with Gut Records, covering all repertoire including selling catalogue by such acts as Tears for Fears, Polyphonic Spree, Sparks, Right Said Fred, David Guetta, Aswad and others. The deal also includes Gut's forthcoming releases by Fightstar, Jessie J, and Medallist, as well as dance imprint Gusto.

EMI Music Publishing UK has promoted Felix Howard to VP of A&R, from A&R Manager. He is a successful songwriter in his own right, having written for Sugababes, Amy Winehouse, Sia, Beverley Knight, Kylie and others. He joined EMI two years ago and has signed Calvin Harris, Sam Sparro, Primary1, Natty, James McMorrow, Diane Birch, James Yuill and Wesley Felix.

Ben Walter becomes business development executive at Ricall, the online music licensor. He was prevously at Sony ATV subsidiary Extreme Music.

PPL has appointed of Sarah Barnes as Events & Marketing Manager, reporting to Jonathan Morrish, Director PR & Corporate Communications.

Lawyer Robert Horsfall exits Lee & Thompson to set up two companies - Connected, a business management company with partners such as Paul McDonald (James Morrison); and Sound Advice, a combined legal, accounting and royalty auditing business to service Connected and other clients. Colleagues Sonia Diwan and Rita Pilling are also joining him.

Universal Music Group has sold Rondor UK, Zomba UK, 19 Songs and BBC Catalogue to pension fund ABP Investments and Dutch independent music publishers CP Masters BV, headed by André de Raaff. Under an EC ruling, UMG had to sell the catalogues in order to acquire BMG Music Publishing.

Classical music publisher Boosey & Hawkes has been sold for about £126 million ($248.3 million) to Imagem Music, the music publishing fund of CP Masters and Dutch pension fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP.

Fredrik Ekander is the new CEO at Bonnier Amigo Music Group in Sweden, replacing Ludvig Werner. He was at AIR Chrysalis, MCA and Universal Music, Sony/ATV Scandinavia and VP at Sony Music Europe in London. For the past three years he was building up Swedish indie Cosmos.

Vince Power is launching a 'back to basics' festival, headlined by Neil Young. A Day at the Hop Farm will take place at the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood, Kent on July 6th and will be free of registration and with no VIP areas.

Timbaland was named Songwriter of the Year at the 25th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards held at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. Publisher of the Year was EMI Music Publishing, while Song of the Year was a tie between Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry and Gwen Stefani's The Sweet Escape. EMI Music writer/producer Tor Erik Hermansen (Stargate) picked up five awards, while Lionel Richie and Steve Miller both received ASCAP's Golden Note Award for their respective career achievements.

Rob Kaplan has been appointed Senior VP, Global Marketing at Sony/ATV Music, based out of New York and reporting to CEO Marty Bandier.

Kobalt Music Group has appointed Bob Bortnick to senior VP of creative, and Merril Wasserman to senior VP, business development.

Brian Malouf has joined Walt Disney Records as VP A&R... Mark Williams has left Interscope... Arthur Buenahora is new VP A&R at Universal South.

Joey Mercado has been promoted to director of Latin writer/publisher relations and media licensing at BMI. He was previously manager for Latin markets and media licensing.

Universal Music Publishing has renewed its deal with Mariah Carey, and will continue to publish her catalogue and future works for the world, including her new No. 1 album E=MC2. The first single from the album Touch My Body has also topped the US chart, putting Carey ahead of Elvis Presley and only behind The Beatles in terms of No. 1 singles.

Bob Dylan has been awarded the 'Special Citation in Music' by the Pulitzer Prize board for his "profound impact on popular music and American culture". Previous recipients include jazz icon John Coltrane, composer George Gershwin and science-fiction author Ray Bradbury.

Kellie Pickler's I Wonder was the big winner at the CMT Music Awards held in Nashville on April 14th. Other winners included Trace Adkins, Rodney Carrington, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Sugarland.

The Nashville SongWriters Festival will run from June 20-22 and includes workshops, an open house and performances. All levels of experience are welcome with no registration fee to attend. www.SongWritersFestival.com.

RIP: Neil Aspinall (66), former CEO of Apple Corps, friend and confident of the Beatles since childhood, from lung cancer in New York. Canadian blues guitarist and songwriter Jeff Healey (41), from cancer in Toronto; former Band of Gypsies drummer, singer and writer Buddy Miles (60) in Austin, Texas; Sean Levert (39), member of LeVert and son of Eddie Levert; Larry Brown (63), member of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, in Philadelphia; Bill Ludwig (92), patriarch of Ludwig Drums; reggae artist Mikey Dread (53), from a brain tumour; Take 20 jazz choir member Elissia Noble (52), from cancer.

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