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Who Are the Powerhouse Music Execs on the Mechanical Licensing Collective?

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), created by U.S. music publishers and songwriters and designated last week by the U.S. Copyright Office to handle licensing and administering rights under the Music Modernization Act (MMA), boasts an impressive industry lineup.

The MLC’s tasks, which are expected to begin imminently, will include the negotiation of a budget with the digital streaming services (who, by law, must fund the collective), partnering with a vendor to provide administration and matching services, and development of a user portal through which publishers and songwriters will be able to manage rights and royalties. The MLC plans to move quickly on all fronts in order to fully launch in January of 2021.

The board of the Collective, which is authorized and backed by the National Music Publisher’s Association (NMPA), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Songwriters of North America (SONA), is as follows:

Chairman

Alisa Coleman (ABKCO): Coleman is COO of the late Allen Klein’s music holdings, which includes the Rolling Stones’ early catalog, along with Sam Cooke and Herman’s Hermits, among others. She launched the company’s soundtrack division, releasing David O. Russel’s “Joy” and Wes Anderson’s Grammy and Oscar-s winning “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Directors

Jeff Brabec (BMG) A veteran publishing exec and co-author with brother Todd of the authoritative music-publishing book “Music, Money and Success,” Brabec is SVP of Legal and Business Affairs at BMG, where he specializes in evaluating, projecting income and negotiating music publishing catalog acquisitions. His duties also include songwriter, co-publishing, participation, administration, sub publishing, direct license and joint venture agreements as well as termination rights issues.

Peter Brodsky (Sony/ATV) Brodsky, EVP of Business & Legal Affairs at Sony/ATV Music Publishing, is a Brooklyn Law School grad who previously headed the same departments at BMG before joining Sony/ATV in August 2007.

Bob Bruderman (Kobalt) Industry veteran Bruderman recently presided over a publishing pact with Facebook and an agreement with Chinese streaming service NetEase that covers publishing, Kobalt’s AWAL label and its AMRA royalty collection service.

Tim Cohan (Peermusic) Cohan, Peermusic’s SVP for Legal & Business Affairs, heads all global negotiations for the publishing company with its digital and online partners and is Peer’s point man for all streaming services. A Columbia Law School graduate, Cohan first joined the company as a legal assistant in 1997.  is.

Scott Cutler (Pulse Music) The co-CEO of the indie Pulse Music Group cofounded the company with writer/producers Josh Abraham and fellow former Ednaswap member Anne Preven (the two co-wrote Natalie Imbruglia’s 1994 smash, “Torn”). He has a multi-faceted career as a songwriter, musician, producer and publishing exec. His song, “Listen,” from the movie “Dreamgirls” was nominated for a Best Original Song nominee at the 2007 Oscars and Golden Globes.  He was recently named to the NMPA Board of Directors.

Kara DioGuardi (Songs by KDG) The Former “American Idol” judge and hit songwriter brings the perspective of an artist, songwriter and publishing/A&R exec to the table. As EVP of Talent Development at Warner Bros. Records, she brought Jason Derulo and Iyaz to the label.

Warren “Oak” Felder
(Crow’s Tree Publishing) This Istanbul-born two-time Grammy winning writer/producer scored two consecutive Top 40 hits with Alessia Cara’s “Here” and “Scars to Your Beautiful,” collecting two Grammys for his work on Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” album and Rihanna’s “Unapologetic.” Founder of Crow’s Tree Publishing, he has also crafted hits for Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Miguel, Jessie J, Kelly Clarkson, Jason Derulo, Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean.

Kevin Kadish
(We Are Made of Music) The Baltimore-born songwriter/producer is best known for co-writing, producing and mixing Meghan Trainor’s smash, “All About That Bass.”  His songwriting credits include working with Michelle Branch, Taylor Hicks, Joe Jonas, Skillet, Steve Perry and Biff Naked. He joined with producer/songwriter Nathan Chapman to form the artist development company We Are Made of Music, with its first signing, Brynn Elliot, inked to Atlantic Records.

Paul Kahn (Warner Chappell) The EVP and CFO of Warner Chappell was hired by Jon Platt (now head of Sony/ATV) and has held similar roles at Viacom, EMI Music, Primedia and Hijmalaya Capital. He began his career as a Senior Auditor with Ernst & Young in 1991.

David Kokakis
(Universal Music Publishing) Kokakis was recently elevated to the newly created post of UMPG’s chief counsel, where he’s heading up the company’s Business and Legal Affairs team along with its digital rights management. He works closely with UMG labels to maximize digital revenues for publishing and recorded music assets, including negotiations for multi-territory publishing licenses with Facebook and YouTube.

Mike Molinar
(Big Machine Music) The GM of Scott Borchetta’s publishing company (recently acquired, along with the label, by Scooter Braun for more than $300 million) oversaw the growth of a catalog of more than 700 songs at his two previous enterprises, Effusion Entertainment and Elevation Music, with partner Martha Earls, who manages rising country star Kane Brown.

Tim Nichols (THiS Music Publishing) The Portsmouth, VA native earned a Grammy Award for Best Country Song for co-writing Tim McGraw’s chart-topper “Live Like You Were Dying” with Craig Wiseman, his partner in the short-lived duo Nichols. He also scored No. 1 country hits with Trace Adkins and Terri Clark, while Tracy Byrd, Alan Jackson, Patty Loveless and Lee Ann Womack have all recorded his songs. Tim partnered with fellow songwriter Connie Harrington to form THiS Music Publishing, whose roster includes Emily Weisband (BTS f/Halsey, “Boy With Luv” and Camila Cabello’s “Consequences”) and Ben Hayslip (Blake Shelton’s “I’ll Name the Dogs’).

Evelyn Paglinawan (Concord Music) Concord’s VP of Legal & Business Affairs handles all business affairs and legal issues for the company’s music publishing division. Prior to that, the Loyola Marymount Law School alum oversaw the music legal departments at Lionsgate Entertainment, with stints at DIC Entertainment and Famous Music. Among her music legal credits are the films “Akeelah and the Bee” and “The Devil’s Rejects” for Lionsgate.

Non-voting members:

Danielle Aguirre (National Music Publishers Association):  The current EVP/General Counsel for the music publishing trade association currently oversees all its legal, business and policy objectives. Previously, as SVP, she managed all litigation and Copyright Royalty Board proceedings, handled business affairs, including the negotiation of model industry license agreements, while overseeing the org’s Anti-Piracy Program. The University of Pennsylvania Law School grad previously was an attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP in Washington, DC.

Bart Herbison (Nashville Songwriters Association): The head of NSAI has overseen a number of landmark moves, including passage of the “Songwriters Capital Gains Tax Equity Act” in 2006 and creation of the first-ever Copyright Infringement Group Insurance Plan for songwriters and music publishers in 2009.  Herbison worked as a reporter and spent 14 years in radio before joining the staff of former Tennessee Governor Neil McWherter in 1987, then U.S. Rep Bob Clement (D-Nashville) the following year as press secretary, campaign manager and chief administrative officer. He left Capitol Hill for Music Row in 1997.

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