– MMF-US 20th Anniversary 1993-2013 –

 MMF News

MMF-US & IMMF Extend Prayers to Everyone in Las Vegas

Posted by MMF on Oct 02, 2017 | 0 Comments

The MMF-US, along with The International Music Managers Forum, the global representatives of managers and artists extends its prayers and heartfelt grief to those concertgoers, families, musicians and everyone in Las Vegas.

This home grown tragedy leaves us lost for words in many ways. It’s unthinkable that the joy artists bring to their audience in music, especially the close knit community values of country music can be so cruely destroyed creating ultimate suffering.

You are in our thoughts and want to let you all know we feel your pain, share your load and support your strength at this time.

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Posted by MMF on Dec 14, 2016 | 0 Comments

The MMF-US along with many other leading music industry associations joined forces to pen an open letter to Donald Trump.

Dear Mr. President-Elect:

Congratulations on your election to serve as the 45th President of the United States. We look forward to working with you and your Administration on behalf of American music – one of our nation’s most valuable forms of art and intellectual property, and a powerful driver of high-quality U.S. jobs and exports.

We represent the music community of America. From songwriters, musicians and recording artists, to artist managers, music publishers and record companies. From producers and engineers, to performing rights organizations and genre organizations that promote everything from Americana and blues to classical, Christian, Gospel and country to hip-hop, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, and everything in between.

So much of what you wrote in your platform this summer about intellectual property and private property rights resonated with many of us, including:

“Intellectual property is a driving force in today’s global economy of constant innovation. It is the wellspring of American economic growth and job creation. With the rise of the digital economy, it has become even more critical that we protect intellectual property rights and preserve freedom of contract rather than create regulatory barriers to creativity, growth, and innovation.”

And calling for strong action to enforce intellectual property laws against infringers.

As you meet tomorrow with some of the world’s major corporate technology executives, we wanted to highlight some points that are assuring the continued dynamism of music as one of America’s national treasures.

Music powers economic growth. Among other research, just this week a new study reported that music and other copyright industries in the U.S. contribute more than $1.2 trillion to our national economy and create jobs for more than 5.5 million Americans. Music is one of our nation’s great exports.

Music drives innovation. Consumers today enjoy more music in more formats than ever, as the music industry has aggressively embraced technology. The industry has worked with more than 360 digital services providing instant access to tens of millions of songs from any location in our country at the touch of a button.

Indeed, many of today’s popular technology platforms owe much of their growth and success to music. Music is responsible for the most-followed accounts on Facebook and Twitter, the most-watched videos on YouTube, and is one of the most popular draws for phones and other personal devices. These platforms thrive and grow by delivering the creative genius of songwriters and artists.

As partners, many in the technology and corporate community should be commended for doing their part to help value creators and their content. Some have developed systems to promote a healthy market for music and deter theft. However, much more needs to be done. Search engines, user upload content platforms, hosting companies, and domain name registrars and registries should follow others’ example to effectively stop theft and assure fair payment.

Further, there is a massive “value grab” as some of these corporations weaken intellectual property rights for America’s creators by exploiting legal loopholes never intended for them – perversely abusing U.S. law to underpay music creators, thus harming one of America’s economic and job engines.

Surely the world’s most sophisticated technology corporations can do better – by helping to prevent illegal access and paying fair market value for music with prices set by or based on the free market.

Strong protection for intellectual property rights will assure growth in both creativity and technology, benefiting the American economy as a whole.

We hope you will lead the effort to assure American creativity is encouraged, invested in, protected and fairly compensated in a manner that carries out the exclusive rights guaranteed in the Constitution to those who, with the genius of their mind, form the cultural identity of our great nation.


American Association of Independent Music (A2IM)

American Federation of Musicians

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Americana Music Association

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)

Church Music Publishers’ Association (CMPA) Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA) Gospel Music Association

The Living Legends Foundation, Inc.

Music Managers Forum - U.S.

Nashville Songwriters’ Association International (NSAI)

National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA)

The Recording Academy

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Rhythm & Blues Foundation

Screen Actors’ Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) SESAC

The Songwriters Guild of America


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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.  

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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.


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