U.K. group picks up German publisher for $8 mil

CANNES — On the face of it, business appears to be brisk at Midem this year.

Deals tend to be negotiated rather than sealed at the music market, but the U.K.’s Chrysalis Group disclosed it has picked up German indie publisher Global Music for $8 million, a move that strengthens Chrysalis’ hand internationally in music publishing.

The acquisition brings 15,000 local and international copyrights into the Chrysalis fold. Global also sub-publishes 75,000 more titles from 140 catalogs.

The inside word is that U.S. product in particular is finding a lot of takers at Midem, boosted by the current strength of the U.S. music market, which is outperforming a generally weak global market.

Even so, Reed Midem’s music division director, Christophe Blum, said there are slightly more British companies in attendance than American, 624 to 619, whereas last year the U.S. was No. 1. In total, more than 4,000 companies have made the trek to Cannes, up 10% from 1998. Techno music companies are up 60%.

Eastern Europe battles piracy

On the conference front Tuesday, delegates took a breather from the incessant Internet piracy debate to focus on Eastern Europe, where cassettes remain the most popular format and CD piracy, by one panel’s consensus, is “out of control.”

Madonna’s previous album, “Ray of Light,” was used to illustrate the problem. Within a week of its release in March 1998, pirate CDs were found readily available in Russia and every other former East Bloc nation.

Concerts on offer Tuesday included “Electronic Night” at the Palm Beach and “World Pop,” featuring Brilliant Trees and the Committed, at the Martinez.

In the end, however, Cher — who performed on Sunday night — chose not to duet with Michael Bolton at a dinner for Midem’s Person of the Year, BMI head Frances Preston, leaving the crooner to warble on his own.

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