The music business needs to rebrand and reposition itself to counter its image as a corporate leviathan, Robin Gibb, the newly-elected president of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), tells

The singer, from hitmakers the Bee Gees, said many consumers illegally downloaded music without qualms as they saw an industry flush with money.

"The music business needs to be re-educated because it is rooted in the past," he said during an interview in the margins of CISAC's Copyright Summit. "A lot of people say that the music business is super rich, but most artists are struggling to make money. The illusion is that if you write a number one record, you will be a millionaire for life."

Gibb was particularly concerned that writers were properly recompensed through the complicated system of collecting societies. "There are new technologies now that mean the writer gets left out," he said. "I want writers to get a better deal, a bigger slice of the pie. Not just the big names, but also the ones with a small catalog. I want to ensure that societies can do whatever is necessary to improve the system. Many writers depend on that life-saving check. The vast bulk of writers do it for love, not money."

Gibb has a long experience with music publishers. For a brief time in the 1970s, Robin and his brother Maurice were represented by different publishers to eldest brother Barry, while they all wrote songs for the Bee Gees. But he is a firm supporter of CISAC, and last year appealed to European regulators not to break up the network of collecting societies that gather royalties for recording artists.

He said he remained passionate about defending CISAC in the face of an ongoing European Commission investigation into whether collecting societies breach EU antitrust rules in the way they gather royalties from Internet sites and through satellite and cable broadcasting. He was also keen to continue campaigning for an extension of EU copyright protection for sound recordings, or "term of protection," which currently expires after only 50 years.

Gibb, who is still recording and touring, was due to perform in the Isle of Man -- where he was born -- on Saturday for the TT Festival, alongside The Who.

For some of the younger generation, he is better known as the shy younger brother in the popular Saturday Night Live sketch "The Barry Gibb Talk Show." But Robin laughed off the lampoon -- while appreciating the fact that he was played by Justin Timberlake in the sketch. "You know what they say -- imitation is the greatest way of being flattened."