Overnight news from around the world: Monday, September 19

Overnight news from around the world: Monday, September 19

Eric Mackay named VP digital, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific at Warner/Chappell

Warner/Chappell Music, the global music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, has promoted Eric Mackay to VP digital, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific with immediate effect. Mackay joined Warner/Chappell in April 2015 as head of digital, Europe. He will continue to be based in London and report to Warner/Chappell chairman and CEO Jon Platt. In his new post, Mackay is responsible for developing Warner/Chappell’s digital business across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He will oversee the publisher’s negotiations and relationships with both established and emerging digital partners in those regions, serving as the main point of contact for digital services on all commercial and contractual issues. Platt said: “Our primary mission at Warner/Chappell is to offer our songwriters the most sophisticated and wide-ranging services in the music industry. Since joining Warner/Chappell just last year, Eric has done a tremendous job in spearheading our digital initiatives across Europe, as we continue to expand and deepen our relationships with a diverse array of global players and explore new business models. I’m delighted that Eric will expand his role with the company, and bring his expertise and passion to a much wider sphere of our global operations.” 

Judge delivers blow to US DOJ on 100% licensing

The US music publishing community has welcomed a decision from a federal judge rejecting the Department of Justice anti-trust division’s recent ruling on 100% licensing. On September 16, court rate Judge Louis L. Stanton of the US District Court in the Southern District of New York said the DoJ was misguided in imposing this measure as part of its review of the consent decrees that govern performance rights organisation BMI. In his declaratory judgement, Judge Stanton concluded: "Nothing in the consent decrees neither bars fractional licensing, nor requires full-work licensing.” On August 4, the DoJ ruled that neither BMI's nor ASCAP's consent decrees should be changed, and in addition they had to introduce 100% licensing, which allows one party to licensed a whole song even without owning 100% of the rights. BMI decided to pursue the litigation route to reverse the DoJ's decision. BMI was seeking a declaratory judgement that the consent decree did not require 100% licensing or what is called "full-work" licensing. The September 16 hearing was eagerly anticipated by PROs, publishers and songwriters who considered that the 100% licensing proposal would create chaos in the music licensing world. After a two-hour hearing, Judge Stanton issued a ruling that BMI described in a statement as “the controlling interpretation of the BMI consent decree.” While the DoJ argued in its August 4 resolution that "the consent decrees must be read as requiring full-work licensing" and that "nothing in this interpretation contradicts copyright law," Judge Stanton countered “nothing in the consent decree gives support to the [DoJ anti-trust] division’s views.” 

MUSEXPO Europe kicks off today

The MUSEXPO Europe conference begins at 9am today at London’s Millennium Hotel. Kicking things off is the global keynote The State Of The European Sonic Union. This session will focus on the future of the world’s evolving ecosystem with a panel comprising Dipple, Moot and Bob Shennan, controller, BBC Radio 2, 6 Music, Asian Network and Director, BBC Music. A host of informative panels, discussions and networking opportunities will follow throughout the event, which concludes on Tuesday, September 20 with a gala dinner, where Island Records president Darcus Beese will become the inaugural recipient of the European Executive of the Year Award.

NEC Group files first financials under private sector ownership

The NEC Group, the Birmingham and Solihull-based operator of five of the UK’s leading live events venues, has filed its first set of financial results under private-sector ownership. The group, which also owns caterer Amadeus and national ticketing agency The Ticket Factory, was acquired from Birmingham City Council by LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, on 1 May 2015. The results to March 31 2016 include one-off transactions relating to the restructuring required to complete the acquisition from Birmingham City Council. After adjusting for such transactions, revenues for the year to March 31 2016 increased by £6.4m (5.0%) to £133.8m and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) increased by £4.2m (15%) to £31.8m. For the first time, results include rentals from Resorts World Birmingham, developed and operated by Genting UK, which opened in the final quarter of 2015. Also included for the first time are results from NEC Group’s new conference centre, the Vox, which it operates within Resorts World Birmingham.

New Music Week out now

The September 19 issue of Music Week sees Alison Wenham take on The Big Interview as she prepares to say goodbye to AIM and hello to WIN, while we find out what the music biz had to say about the revamped Mercury Prize. Elsewhere, there’s a full conference guide for this week’s MUSEXPO Europe event, while we catch up with the BRIT School as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. Subscribe now.

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