March 18 2010
THE BLACK MUSIC CONGRESS CONVENES CONFERENCE WITH LEADING LIGHTS TO DISCUSS THE CURRENT STATE OF THE UK MUSIC INDUSTRY
A free conference, The Copyright + Music Industry + Music Industry Education: 2010, Where Are We At? Conference, takes place on Tuesday March 23 2010, 12noon-2pm at the House of Commons.
Organised by BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress (BBM/BMC) the event will be hosted by Youth Citizens & Youth Engagement Minister Dawn Butler and will be attended by the guest of honour, Minister for Intellectual Property & Higher Education the Rt Hon David Lammy MP.
The UK music industry is facing a number of issues including company downsizing, plummeting CD sales, on-going legislation covering copyright terms and exceptions, live music, and tackling of "digital economy" issues such as persistent illegal downloaders. The event aims to connect the dots by highlighting the latest positions on copyright issues and practices within the music industry.
David Lammy, Minister for Intellectual Property & Higher Education said: "I am delighted to attend this important event. While the digital age has opened up access to music and created fantastic opportunities for new generation of artists, it has also brought many challenges.
"It’s up to all of us to work together to ensure Britain’s world class musicians and creative industries continue to flourish in the 21st century."
Kwaku, Black Music Congress (BMC) founder said: "Tinie Tempah may be on top of the UK singles chart, Taoi Cruz, on top of the US singles chart, and Sade may have just fallen off the top of the US album chart, however such mainstream success of British black music is not consistent – what we need is committed engagement by the UK mainstream music industry."
BBM/BMC convened this conference because it recognises that with the music industry currently in a state of flux, people – particularly those operating within marginalised areas such as the domestic black music sector, will not be in a position to survive or reach their full potential, if they are not aware of what the recent thinking or decisions on copyright or industry practice are.
The organisers wish to re-iterate the sentiments highlighted by former Jetstar Records head of business affairs and intellectual property Hugh Francis, when he delivered the keynote speech at BMC’s ‘Should British Black Music Shut Up Shop?’ debate, which took place February 2006 at City University London.
He said: “What we have to remember is that a strong black music sector is inevitably good for Britain. Because it will create jobs, and bring money into the economy here.”
Attendees at the event, which comes 300 years after the enactment of the Statute Of Anne heralded the first copyright Act, include representatives from industry bodies, legal, musicians, songwriters, educational and student bodies, rights groups and consumer groups.
In addition to the discussions by the stakeholders, there will be video presentations on the perceptions of copyright and the music industry by young adults from London schools.
Booking for the conference can be made either through the BritishBlackMusic.com website or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A conference report will also be available who apply after the event.
Kwaku – BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress
020 8450 5987
Notes to editors:
1. BBM/BBMC will be working with Akoben Awards, a new organisation focused on bringing together creators and consumers of positive black music artists to launch the £10,000 New Music Entrepreneurs Grant. This will see ten new and young potential entrepreneurs develop a business with the grant total of a £1000 investment each. The Grant will be launched during British Black Music Month (BBMM) in June. This annual initiative highlights domestic black music and will be promoted through BBM/BMC’s sponsorship of British videos highlighted on music & black interest webmag OvergroundOnline, from April 2010.
2. The BMC in partnership with Akoben Awards and BTWSC will be launching a new accredited course aimed at improving entry access education and qualifications. From June, in addition to its OCN Level 2 Music Industry course it will also offer a specialist Level 2 accredited ‘Copyright & Contracts For Music & Cultural Industries’ course to help upskill especially young people and the unemployed.
3. The following are confirmed speakers/organisations are confirmed: 2Point9 Management (Billy Grant, artist manager); AIM (Assn Of Independent Music – Michael Fuller, Head of Legal and Business Affairs); BPI (British Phonographic Industry); Collage Arts; Consumer Focus (Saskia Walzel, Policy Advocate); FAC (Featured Artists Coalition – Jeremy Silver, Acting CEO); IFPI (International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry – John Kennedy, CEO & Chairman); Open Rights Group (Michael Holloway, Operations Manager); MMF (Music Managers Forum – Jon Webster, CEO); MPA (Music Publishers Association – Stephen Navin, Chief Executive); MU (Musicians Union – Horace Trubridge – Assistant General Secretary); PPL Phonographic Performance Ltd – Keith Harris, Director Of Performer Affairs); PRS (Performing Right Society – James Brown, Executive Director Of Membership); UK Music (Feargal Sharkey, CEO); Uni. Of Hertfordshire (Dennis Collopy – senior lecturer, and music publisher); Uni. Of Westminster (Kienda Hoji, commercial music BA programme director, and music lawyer)
4. BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress (BBM/BMC) is a not for profit organisation. It was founded in 2002 to provide a forum for discussing black music issues with a British bias; networking; and a pathway to music industry education. Its focus is on black music and music industry practice, but its constituency is not exclusively African
5. BritishBlackMusic.com is the website and actual organiser of the BBM/BMC activities
6. Black Music Congress is the forum for meeting and discussion: Between 2002-2008, there were several BMC debates delivered each year at City University London
7. BMC has worked with voluntary organisation BTWSC to deliver a wide range of community events, and both accredited an non-accredited courses (music industry courses are also in association with Akoben Awards)
8. June Is British Black Music Month (BBMM) is a BMC initiative which aims to focus attention on domestic black music through various media, such as seminars, album anatomies, club nights, edu-tainment concerts, radio programmes, etc. The annual event started in 2005.
9. BBM/BMC works with a range of partners to achieve its aims, especially during BBMM. Such as intellectual property advisory agency Own-It, record industry body BPI, songwriters’ group BASCA, educational institutions such as University Of Westminster and Collage Arts, and media outlets such as Colourful Radio.
10. BBM/BMC founder Kwaku publicly uses only name. If your house style does not allow for one monicker, you are welcome to use “founder” or “spokesman”. He founded BBM/BMC to continue similar work carried out by the Back Music Industry Association (BMIA), an organisation he served as a committee member, editor of its newsletter and organiser of its seminars and other events. The BMIA fizzled out in the late 1990s due to withdrawal of funding – BBM/BMC works with partners but decidedly does not rely on funding to operate.