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Power Players

No. 95
David Israelite

National Music Publishers' Assn.
Leading Voice of Publishers...

Once upon a time, music publishers were often treated as second-class citizens by the more glamorous record labels. But since the turn of the millennium, the sector has certainly made its presence known in a big way. At first, publishers began wrangling with labels over their fair share of royalty payments in the emerging digital marketplace. And in 2005, they stepped up their game when they hired David Israelite as president/CEO of the National Music Publishers' Assn. Israelite was deputy chief of staff in the U.S. Attorney General's office and chairman of the Department of Justice's Task Force on Intellectual Property, and he brought to the NMPA a deep understanding of copyright law and the inner workings of Capitol Hill. Since joining the trade group, the witty, charismatic Israelite has negotiated a 24 cent royalty rate for ringtones, successfully opposing efforts by labels to change mechanical royalties to a percentage rate from the established 9.1 cent per track download and per song on an album; reached an agreement with labels on pending and unmatched royalties; and struck a groundbreaking settlement with YouTube under which publishers will be paid a royalty for user-generated videos that use their songs. Israelite's effectiveness as an advocate for music publishers has a significant impact on the sector's ability to protect and expand vital revenue streams and to generate new ones.

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