Organizers of the Midem music trade fair in France have unveiled a new initiative targeting "individuals and organizations who have been conducting business outside the tradeshow venue."

Organizers of the Midem music trade fair in France have unveiled a new initiative targeting "individuals and organizations who have been conducting business outside the tradeshow venue."

The action against what Paris-based Reed Midem describes as "parasites" will include screening the access to three of the most sought-after hotels in Cannes, where the trade show takes place January 23-27.

Under the move, only registered participants will be able to access the Carlton Hotel, the Majestic Hotel and the Gray D'Albion Hotel. The initiative is intended to provide Midem clients "exclusive access during the show hours, to the bars, lobbies and meeting rooms of the hotels."

Midem director Dominique Leguern tells Billboard.biz that the move was taken at the request of many registered Midem clients who complained about the "parasite" activity outside the Palais des festivals where the confab is held.

"Our role is to provide a business platform for our clients and obviously something wrong was going on. We had to react," she says.

Leguern says the initiative has been welcomed by many clients. She hopes this will also help convert non-paying visitors into legitimate clients. Leguern estimates that the number of non-registered visitors can be counted in the thousands.

"It is quite ironic that an industry that has been suffering so much from piracy is itself being pirated by some individuals," she adds.

Leguern discards the notion that the number of non-registered Midem participants is due to the access rates applied by the organization. "When compared to other trade shows, we are one of the less expensive," she explains. "Where else can you access a market for five days, with participants from all around the world, with a full schedule of conferences and gigs for just €500 ($655)? If people say they can't afford it, how come they can afford to go to Cannes?"

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