The annual MIDEM confab ended here Thursday with three companies being booted and barred from attending for the next two years for illegally distributing recordings.
American classical/jazz company Everest Record Group and British distributors Tring Intl. and Sound Solutions were all given the heave-ho for distributing product without proper licensing.
Most shocking was the expulsion of Sound Solutions, which was sponsoring the official MIDEM badges, bags and badge tape.
German mechanical rights society GEMA led the charge against Sound Solutions along with French society SDRM and Dutch society STEMRA.
Sound Solutions had applied for but not received a license from GEMA for a sampler CD it was giving away at the confab.
Sound Solutions exec Wilhelm Mittrich (CEO of sound solutions’ parent company the Phonomatic Group) said his firm had regarded the license as merely a formality.
In other news, SDRM prez Jean-Loup Tournier, honored Wednesday as MIDEM’s “Man of the Year,” said the European rights societies would stand firm against the European Music Rights Organization, a new society formed by the National Music Publishers’ Assn. (U.S.) and the U.K.’s Music Publishers’ Assn. to more efficiently collect Anglo-American royalties.
EMRO figures challenged
Tournier suggested that EMRO’s figures alleging that Anglo-American copyright owners are losing more than $ 29 million annually under the current system were inaccurate, and said the EMRO principals should allow the societies already in place, including international rights org BIEM, more time to continue improvements.
NMPA prez/CEO Edward Murphy had earlier said “we’ve waited long enough” for Euro societies to get in line.”