Popkomm Names Keynote Speakers

Former Bee Gee Robin Gibb, artist manager Petri Lundén and German film director Wim Wenders are among the keynote speakers at this year’s Popkomm conference.

This year’s Popkomm is at the Messe Berlin exhibition centre October 8-10. The live music showcases take place in clubs in the city centre.

Gibb, one of the world’s most successful singers, composers and lyricists, who is estimated to have sold 220 million records, will make the first opening-day speech in his role as president of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC).

CISAC represents 222 authors’ societies in 118 countries, and Gibb was one of a number of high-profile campaigners – including Paul McCartney, Bryan Ferry, Mark Knopfler and even French President Nicolas Sarkozy – who spoke out against the European Union’s plan to order a new system for collecting online music rights.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also joined in the protest, claiming the new scheme could wipe out hundreds of thousands of small writer and publisher firms.

EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes went ahead and put an end to a system that has allowed a monopoly of national groups to handle the collection of performance rights.

Gibb will represent the position of authors and composers from around the world and give CISAC’s view on that EC decision.

His keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion about the role of authors’ societies within the EU, which will include contributions from writers, copyright societies and publishers.

As chairman of the International Music Managers’ Forum (IMMF), Lundén – who’s head of Swedish management company Hagenburg – will pick up a similar theme that will lead to a discussion on world copyright law in the digital age.

His personal roster at Hagenburg includes The Cardigans and Europe, while the IMMF – which he’s chaired since the organisation’s general assembly meeting at Eurosonic-Noorderslag January 10 – represents 15 music managers’ forums from all over the world.