Mike Batt, founder and managing director of Dramatico Entertainment, used his Popkomm keynote speech this afternoon to call for a truce between independent and major music companies.

"A lot of us who run indie labels tend to think of the majors as the enemy. They're not," said Batt, who in March was appointed deputy chairman of U.K. labels body the BPI. "The landscape has changed and now we need each other."

Rather than bicker among one another, Batt said majors and indies ought to fight for the common cause on broader issues, such as the topical term of copyright extension in the United Kingdom. "Instead of fighting against majors, and slagging them off, you can work with them," he told delegates, during his panel conversation with Billboard's group editorial director Tamara Conniff. "Companies buy each other. It's just trade," he explained. "Universal is buying Sanctuary at the moment partly for the live business and partly for the catalog. There's nothing wrong with that."

Batt also gave executives an insight into life at the cutting edge of running a successful independent label. "I'm an expert in failure," he admitted. "I know a little about success and a lot about failure," commented the music all-rounder, whose protégé Katie Melua's "Piece by Piece" was the best-selling British female artist in the world last year, shifting more than 3.5 million units in Europe.

"To run a record company, you have to have a mixture of being sensible and being foolish. You have to be a bit reckless, swinging through the jungle without knowing there's another piece of jungle after you take the first swing. It's exciting, but you know you're going to fall sometimes." Batt -- a self-confessed "40% sensible" executive -- admitted to one such fall, which left him £700,000 ($1.4 million) out of pocket when he backed a TV-advertised nostalgia reissue campaign for his 1970s novelty act the Wombles.

"You could say I'm a glutton for punishment, but you do learn from those things," Batt reflected. "I was so sure that Katie was the real thing that if I was advising anyone else, the most important thing of all, the best marketing of all, it's the A&R. If you get that right, the right artist, the right song, at the right time, then the marketing is so much easier. You're selling what people want."

What people don't want, panellists said in a later session titled "New Major (music) Players," is digital rights management on music files. "Today it's not about protection. Its about un-protection," said Sonific CEO Gerd Leonhard. "That's how you make money. Nobody cares about protected music. That's a fact."

The discussion drilled into the possibilities for extracting revenues from service providers and telcos. None, perhaps, more controversial than the theory proposed by Scott Cohen, founder and VP of international of the Orchard. "There's 1.1 billion Internet accounts worldwide. And there's 2.6 billion mobile phone accounts," he said. "I would go further than a blanket license. Something more radical. A tax on every access point. If there was $1 added to each of those accounts, think of the possibilities."

Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe was the star of the show at a lively "Artists as Architects" panel, which wrapped day two of Popkomm.

Chaired by Billboard global editor Mark Sutherland, the panel -- which also included Jon Tufnell of U.K. electro-rockers Plastic Toys, Robin Sato and Lene Toje from Berlin-based "organic electro" act Sanagi and Belgian singer-songwriter Sioen -- discussed issues of artistic control, Bon Jovi and rows with record companies.

Monroe revealed the time he once fell out with his label over their marketing campaign for his "Not Fakin' It" solo album, in which he was billed as "the brains behind Hanoi Rocks."

"Hanoi Rocks had no brains, that was the whole point," he quipped. "They ended up pulling the whole campaign and it killed the record. But I couldn't be portrayed as a phoney and I've never regretted the decision."