Merlin Appoints Interim Board

In News by Merlin Team

To Set Up World’s First Global Licensing Agency – Representing World Independent Community

Monday 16th April, 2007

Charles Caldas CEO Merlin, the world’s first global music new media licensing agency, representing the world’s independent record sector (artists including The White Stripes, Arctic Monkeys, Tom Waits, De La Soul and Cat Power), has appointed Merlin’s Interim board.

Its remit is to fast-track the incorporation and creation of a fully-functioning agency; non profit-making, democratic, transparent and owned and controlled by the independent label community worldwide.

The Interim board will oversee the establishment of a constitution, appointment of core staff and initial operations. Once these are in place, they will elect a full sitting Board – likely be larger in size, providing an opportunity for broader inclusion and representation. The Interim board will disband once the main Board commences its activities.

The Interim board members were nominated by international trade bodies the World Independent Network (WIN), American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), and European Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA). Each is highly respected within their respective region, and brings a wealth of experience during this important set-up period. The Interim board members are:

USA

  • Tom Silverman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tommy Boy Records (USA), Board member A2IM
  • Glen A. Barros, President & CEO, Concord Music Group Inc. (USA)

Europe

  • Martin Mills, Chairman, Beggars Group (UK), Chairman, IMPALA
  • Michel Lambot, Co-President, PIAS (Belgium)
  • Horst Weidenmüller, CEO, !K7 Records (Germany), Vice-President, IMPALA

Rest of World

  • Takashi Kamide, Senior Adviser, MS Entertainment (Japan)
  • Mark Kneebone, Tardus Music (New Zealand), Chairman, IMNZ (Independent Music Trade Body, New Zealand)

Non-Regional

  • Alison Wenham, President, WIN, Chairman & CEO, AIM (Association of Independent Music, UK)
  • Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin (formerly CEO Shock Entertainment Group, Australia)

Merlin will initially be based in London, with Charles Caldas relocating from Australia to commence full time from 23rd April.

The agency will act as a single point-of-contact for those wishing to license from the independent sector’s vast global output, replacing the need for countless individually brokered deals and empowering independents to compete on a level playing field with majors.

Said Charles Caldas “We have here a great group of experienced professionals from a broad range of territories, whose collective dedication will ensure Merlin is incorporated and fully operational in the shortest time possible.”

“This heralds a new chapter for independents around the world. We are on a unique journey to license collectively the individually unlicensable – and together we are bigger than the largest major.”

The creation of Merlin was first mooted at Popkomm ‘05, where representatives of leading independents from around the world elected to build a business case for a new global rights licensing organisation. At Popkomm ‘06 a steering committee was elected to ascertain the best structure and operational model for such an agency.

The consultation process revealed a genuine global desire for such an agency, and after 18 months of development work the boards of WIN and Impala ratified the plan to build Merlin.

Merlin was announced at Midem ’07, where it also concluded its first ever deal; a landmark tie-up with the digital music company SNOCAP to deliver global independent repertoire to their MyStore initiative. This enables music to be downloaded from web sites across the world, including, via their partnership with MySpace, the world’s number one social networking site.

“This heralds a new chapter for independents around the world. We are on a unique journey to license collectively the individually unlicensable – and together we are bigger than the largest major.”

Charles Caldas, Merlin CEO

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