– MMF-US 20th Anniversary 1993-2013 –

 MMF News

America's Songwriters Deserve Better Than This: Op-Ed

Posted by MMF on Jul 08, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has dealt a massive blow to America's songwriters. After a two year review of the consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI, career lawyers who were never elected nor confirmed to their positions, led by a lawyer who previously represented Google, determined that songwriters should have even fewer rights, less control over their intellectual property and be treated more unfairly than they already are. The Department ignored the voices of copyright experts, members of Congress and thousands of songwriters and delivered a huge gift to tech companies who already benefit from egregiously low rates.

When the DoJ began its review of the consent decrees, songwriters and publishers hoped for modifications and relief in the face of dramatic market changes to performance rights licensing which made it clear that fair royalty rates were not being paid. At best, we had hoped that the WWII-era decrees would be done away with to permit songwriters the same freedom to license works as other property owners enjoy. At worst, the decrees would be updated to reflect the current digital marketplace and give songwriters and publishers more flexibility to negotiate market-driven rates with global digital services. After all, the consent decrees were put in place before the transistor radio was invented. They were never meant to, nor could they envision, existing in a world of iPhones, streaming and instant access to practically all music.

Unfortunately, the DoJ went the opposite direction and chose the outcome most harmful to songwriters and the creative community.

The Department has determined that no changes will be made to the current decrees. And they have also now interpreted those decrees to demand that all works must be licensed on a 100 percent basis, meaning that the traditional and logical practice of fractional licensing -- or licensing only the share of a song a PRO represents -- by ASCAP and BMI will be done away with.

Regardless of how one feels about the profession of songwriting and the innate right a creator has to control their creation, any legal body should be deferential to the office created to examine and advise on copyright law. That body, the U.S. Copyright Office, was asked to weigh in on the DoJ's proposed changes, and said that, "an interpretation of the consent decrees that would require these PROs to engage in 100-percent licensing presents a host of legal and policy concerns. Such an approach would seemingly vitiate important principles of copyright law, interfere with creative collaborations among songwriters, negate private contracts, and impermissibly expand the reach of the consent decrees." The defiance displayed by these career antitrust lawyers in ignoring the legal opinion of the Register of Copyright is shocking.

In addition to disregarding the Copyright Office, the manner in which the decision was made and delivered was insulting to those most invested in the futures of songwriters. Members of Congress who had expressed interest in knowing the outcome of the review were apparently caught off guard and not given the chance to appeal to the Department. They were simply alerted that a determination had been made and given no recourse to reason with the DoJ.

Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia's office said that the DoJ "sent an email to Congressional staff assuring that the review was not complete and that parties and stakeholders would have a chance to provide their views before the review was completed. However, reports from the meeting and DoJ's own positioning appear to indicate that DoJ has already determined what direction they will take." Additionally, Congressman Collins stated that the "Department of Justice's position is arrogance at its worst."

This move also threatens transparency because while songwriters may have chosen to join one PRO, now their payments may be coming from another. And if each PRO can license an entire song, even if it only controls a small portion of it, then licensees may have the ability to license where rates are lowest in a royalty race-to-the-bottom.

The DoJ does not have the protection of songwriters in their interest, so we must take this to another forum. Public opinion is powerful and the antitrust attorneys at DoJ must understand that their decisions will have a ripple effect through the fields of creativity for decades. In the coming weeks and months, it will be more important than ever to express the problems associated with the Department's declaration, which was conveniently disclosed just before the holiday weekend.

As we've come to know all too well, Washington bureaucrats should not be in the business of regulating music as they are neither capable of understanding or fixing the problems they've created. We are hopeful that through our upcoming conversations, our allies in Congress who support the creative community, and ultimately the voices of those most affected, the creators themselves, we can find a path forward. Until then, there will be no justice for America's songwriters.

David Israelite is the President and CEO of the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA). Founded in 1917, NMPA is the trade association representing all American music publishers and their songwriting partners.


0 comments | Read the full post

President Barry Bergman quoted in The Street

Posted by MMF on Jan 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

MMF-US President Barry Bergman, was recently quoted in the following article in The Street. Click link below to view the article.

David Bowie's Financial Legacy: Bowie Bonds Pioneered An Exotic Investment Option.

0 comments | Read the full post

MMF-US Applauds Reps. Nadler and Blackburn on Introduction of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015

Posted by MMF on Apr 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

MMF-US President Barry Bergman, released the following statement in support of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015 introduced by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, and Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

0 comments | Read the full post

Personal Managers Interchange

Posted by MMF on Feb 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

MMF Members are invited to meet with personal managers from all segments of the entertainment industry nationwide for networking, education and business insight. Then join us for an exciting and memorable evening as we honor the first inductees into the Personal Managers Hall of Fame. All of this April 22-23, 2015, in Greater Palm Springs, California. MMF-US Members receive $50 discount. Click HERE for more information.

0 comments | Read the full post

The Music Managers Panel

Posted by MMF on Sep 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

Music Managers Forum-US and Women in Music presented The Managers Panel, in accordance to MMF-US’s goal to educate and provide a forum to discuss the issues and problems facing the music industry manager. The event was held to a capacity-filled audience of young and aspiring managers plus Women in Music and MMF-US members at the corporate offices of BMI on September 17, 2014. Women in Music, in partnership with the Music Mangers Forum-US presented this panel of expert music managers who addressed the role a manager plays in today's industry, strategies that work, strategies that don't work, anecdotes to inspire and teach us, the economics of being an artist manager, latest issues that are challenging music managers as well as their artists, and much more. 

0 comments | Read the full post

Music Managers Forum-US and Women in Music present: The Music Managers Panel - 9/17/14

Posted by MMF on Sep 04, 2014 | 0 Comments

Today's music managers are faced with unique challenges. They are not only managing the careers of their artists but also, often times, playing the role of the CEO of a music industry business. Women in Music, in partnership with the Music Mangers Forum US, is proud to present this panel of expert music managers who will address the role a manager plays in today's industry, strategies that work, strategies that don't work, anecdotes to inspire and teach us, the economics of being an artist manager, latest issues that are challenging music managers as well as their artists, and much more. Whether you are interested in a career as a music manager, are a music manager looking to learn from your peers, or are in any other part of the industry and want to gain a better knowledge of the landscape we work within, join us for what will most definitely be a very rewarding and interesting evening!

Jessica Weitz (MCT Management -- Citizen Cope, Dar Williams, Nina Persson (The Cardigans), Marshall Crenshaw, etc.)
Dawn Barger - Founder, Post Hoc Management - The National, The Antlers, The Long Count, Sounds of the South
Alan Wolmark - Owner / President CEC Management - MMF-US Board Member
Barry Bergman - Owner Barry Bergman Management & Ellymax Music Co. / WoodMonkey Music - Founder & President MMF-US

Moderator: Yaya Rey - Owner / President YA IndieGround House Management - MMF-US Board Member

September 17th, 2014, 6:30pm to 8:45pm
Panel- 6:30pm to 8:15pm, with short networking reception to follow.
BMI Offices, 30th Floor Conference Space
7 World Trade Center, NYC
FREE for WIM and MMF Members. $15 for non-members.

*All attending MUST RSVP by Septemer 16th at 2pm (EST). Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

0 comments | Read the full post

MMF Crowdfunding Comparison

Posted by MMF on May 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

One of our goals at Music Managers Forum-US is to educate and disseminate information regarding areas of interest to managers. Below is an MMF-US exclusive: a short Q&A with representatives from leading music crowd funding services/platforms. These answers furnished to MMF-US for the Q&A are posted exactly as provided from each of the responders. Because music managers may advise their clients to utilize alternatives for funding creative projects outside of the major/indie label system, MMF-US hopes to help popularize some of the options through the dissemination of this first-hand information.  

0 comments | Read the full post

Managers’ Associations Jointly Reject SAGAFTRA Code

Posted by MMF on Mar 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Managers’ Associations Jointly Reject SAGAFTRA Code

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 24, 2014 ‐‐ As the only United States trade associations representing the
interests of personal managers and their artist clients, the Music Managers Forum – US (MMF‐US),
the National Conference of Personal Managers (NCOPM) and the Talent Managers Association
(TMA) are pleased to issue the following joint statement:

The SAG‐AFTRA Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct, announced by the labor union on
March 4, 2014, is neither acceptable to nor endorsed by our associations.
The associations exist to promote the highest standards of professionalism and ethics, to protect
the interests of the artists we support, and to contribute to the prosperity and the greater good of
our industry.

Our associations disapprove of the manner in which the labor union developed, adopted and
disseminated the SAG‐AFTRA Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct, which we believe
lacked credibility, sincerity and truthfulness.

Although the labor union stated: “SAG‐AFTRA looks forward to establishing a closer, mutually
beneficial relationship with this community to advance the needs of all concerned,” our associations
believe that the SAG‐AFTRA Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct adversely affects the
needs of personal managers, their artist clients and the entertainment industry. Not only is their
Code too disruptive to a manager’s ability to work with and communicate with artists, it includes
SAG/AFTRA’s own legal interpretation of laws relating to managers and agents that would
discourage managers from taking on developmental clients, especially those without agency
representation. Further, SAG/AFTRA has no vetting process, allowing anyone to receive approval
despite a poor reputation, history of poor service or worse.

For these reasons and more, our respective associations do not endorse the newly established SAGAFTRA
Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct.


0 comments | Read the full post

Music Manager Forum-US presents the SXSW Managers Peer Group Meeting

Posted by MMF on Jan 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

To All Registered Managers Attending South By Southwest:


You are cordially invited to a special, closed-door Managers Peer Group Meeting at South By Southwest 2014, to be held Friday, March 14th from 2:00PM-3:00PM at the Austin Convention Center. MMF-US was able to switch the day away from Saturday in order to accommodate the availability of more managers. Steve Scharf and Steve Garvan will co-host again. For questions or further information, please contact Steve Garvan (MMF-US & IMMF) at steve@garvanmanagement.com  

Like last year, this meeting is an opportunity for like-minded professionals to meet and exchange ideas and suggestions on a variety of issues.  We hope you will take advantage of this unique opportunity.  Please be advised you must be registered at SXSW to gain admission to the Convention Center. MMF-US is also looking into scheduling a casual meet-up off-site for all managers in action for SXSW in Austin.  http://www.sxsw.com. We look forward to seeing you in Austin.

0 comments | Read the full post

MMF Mentoring / Roundtable Session at International Folk Alliance Conference

Posted by MMF on Jan 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

MMF US & MMF Canada will be presenting a management mentoring /roundtable session at International Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City on Friday, February 21, 2014. The two (2) hour session will be for a blend of high-level & developing managers, as well as self-managed artists. The session will be followed by a reception open to all interested attendees of the Folk Alliance Conference. http://www.folkalliance.org/conference

For further information, please contact Steve Garvan steve@garvanmanagement.com

0 comments | Read the full post

1 2 3 4 57