Cannes, France - The first IMMF Executive Council meeting was held January 24th, during MIDEM 2000. Members attended from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Norway and Finland. The meeting was co-chaired by John Glover (UK) and Michael McMartin (Australia).
The first order of business was to elect an IMMF Secretary, whose primary responsibility will be to co-ordinate information and communication among the IMMF affiliates. Michael McMartin was unanimously elected. We then discussed when and where to meet in the future. The plan is to meet 2-3 times a year at various music conferences, with one meeting annually in the US, one in Europe, and one floater. The possible conferences for future meetings are MIDEM, SXSW, Popkomm, In The City and EATM. The next IMMF Executive Council meeting will be held at the Pacific Circle Music Conference, which runs from October 19th-22nd in Sydney, Australia.
The next item on the agenda was to set guidelines for accepting IMMF affiliates in the future. It was decided that new affiliates must have at least 8 members, so that undue influence cannot be exerted by a few people in some of the smaller territories. Countries with less than 8 potential members should join the nearest geographical affiliate, until such time as they have 8 members, and can then be considered for affiliation with the IMMF. We also voted to adopt a Code of Ethics, with membership implicit upon following the IMMF Code of Ethics. The MMF-UK will be codifying the IMMF Code of Ethics.
The next discussion centered on the "value added" aspects that can be achieved within an international organization. Each IMMF affiliate agreed to set aside space in newsletters or publications for international sponsors. For example, future MMF-US newsletters will have space dedicated to sponsors of other IMMF affiliates, and MMF-US sponsors will be listed in newsletters published by other IMMF affiliates. This should make it easier to sell advertising, since potential advertisers will receive exposure in several IMMF publications around the world. It will also illustrate the international scope of the IMMF.
Another important discussion was regarding development of an IMMF website, with links to each affiliate. There may also be areas for MMF members with specific music industry-related information, such as sample contracts or other information of use to managers. You may not know there is already an MMF-US website at imf-us.org, which is linked with the MMF-UK website. MMF-Australia is taking the lead in developing the IMMF website. Please see future newsletters for updates.
One of the largest areas of concern to IMMF members was regarding performer copyright royalties and the collection of cross-territorial performance royalties, especially non-allocated income. Over 30 countries collect performance royalties from broadcasters for distribution to record companies and artists. The only major country that does not is the US. However, US artists that reside in, or even record part of a song in any of the other countries (including Canada and the UK) are eligible to receive these payments. The MMF-UK has set up an organization called AURA that collects and distributes these royalties to artists, and is in the process of coordinating with societies in other territories for collection of cross-territorial performance royalties on behalf of artists. Several US artists have joined AURA, and will be eligible to collect payments if they are residents of, or recorded in, any of these territories. The MMF-US may set up an organization to work with AURA in obtaining payments due our members.
Overall, it was a great start in setting up a worldwide organization for music managers. We look forward to working with IMMF affiliates in the future and building a strong, vital organization that will be a formidable voice in music industry for managers and artists.