European Managers Alliance Established to Protect Artists' Rights Across Digital Services

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Licensing and fair remuneration from digital services to be a key area of focus.

A pan-European alliance of over 800 music managers has been set up to better protect artists' interests in licensing negotiations and public policy.

Formally launched in London on Wednesday Apr 12, the European Music Manager Alliance -- or EMMA for short - brings together music manager bodies from the U.K., France, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, Norway and Finland to collectively represent over 800 managers across Europe.

The body will also work in close collaboration with Music Manager Forum Canada, the Association of Artist Managers Australia (AAM) and MMF New Zealand, who collectively stand for another 600 managers.

Chaired by Keith Harris, a long-time member of Stevie Wonder's management team, the organization will focus on ensuring fair remuneration for artists and that licensing deals with digital services are transparent and open.

It will also act as a voice for artists and their representatives in areas of European public policy, including current debates on taxation, collection society reform, Brexit and the European Union's soon-to-be-announced updating of copyright and IP legislation.  

A third area of focus will be on education and research, sharing resources and information across a "networked global community of music managers." 

"As the business representatives of artists, songwriters and producers, the role of the music manager has assumed ever greater importance in the digital era," said Harris in a statement announcing the launch. 

"For the future health of our business, and particularly with Brexit on the horizon, it is therefore vital that managers can maintain close contact and participate fully and openly in all commercial and policy discussions that impact on our clients. The creation of EMMA will make this possible," he went on to say. 

"In a world increasingly characterised by ever-tighter borders and scepticism, we need organisations that build bridges," agreed Magdalena Jensen from MMF Poland.

"We also need to comprehensively and cohesively address new issues that our industry is urgently facing such as licensing, compensation and the value gap," she added, noting, "this can only be done with a common stance so that the voice of artists and their representatives are not drowned out in a sea of large corporate monopolies controlling catalogues and distribution channels."

Similar sentiments were expressed by representatives of other European manager organizations with Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of MMF UK, saying, "We are stronger and more influential working together to affect change for the better."

Leanne de Souza, AAM executive director, also welcomed the launch of EMMA in helping negate "the geographical isolation that Australian managers encounter" and helping grow "the global reach of our 250 Australian artist managers."

All founder members of EMMA will nominate representatives to the board with the association due to unveil a more detailed agenda and code of practive at this year's Midem, held in Cannes, June 5-8.


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