How Many At Popkomm?

There were 843 exhibitors at the trade fair, more than 14,000 turned up to look at it and 400 artists from 30 countries played the showcase festival, but Popkomm 2008 – like every one before it – won’t reveal the number of delegates that paid to go to its annual conference.

Bee Gee Robin Gibb got things off to a fiery start Oct. 8 with a keynote speech that accused the European Commission of behaving in an “unhelpful and dogmatic fashion” in relation to its ruling on the “anti-competitive practices” of European performance rights societies.

Gibb is president of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), an umbrella group that represents 222 authors’ societies in 118 countries.

Gibb’s speech strongly condemned the European Commission’s ruling in July against 24 European collecting societies.
He said that ruling against multilateral agreements by societies was “obviously daft” and makes international trade in music licensing even more difficult.

CISAC has been told to remove all obstacles impeding a Pan-European performing rights licensing system following a long-running battle with regulators; the EC described it as an antitrust decision prohibiting societies from restricting competition.

The other speakers at Popkomm Oct. 8-10 included Petri Lundén, head Sweden’s Hagenburg management company and chairman of the International Music Managers’ Forum (IMMF), who asked why every technical innovation tends to be regarded as a threat rather than an opportunity.

“The question therefore arises: is the Internet a major threat or a great opportunity? New forms are the future of music,” he said.

Regarding his IMMF role, which he’s held since the beginning of the year, Lundén says the one of the organisation’s main roles is “to raise a new generation of managers and to guide them.”

He also warned there needs to be a better dialogue between artists, the public and the music industry, and “the imbalances between” them must be corrected.