IMPALA Lobbies EC Chief

No sooner had IMPALA celebrated its 10th anniversary than it was once again lobbying on the independent music companies’ behalf by tackling EC chief Michel Barnier over the digital market.

IMPALA executive chair Helen Smith led a delegation to meet internal market commissioner Barnier Oct. 8 to warn him not to shut the indies out of the digital market.

She was likely armed with a copy of The Gallo Report, which calls on the European Commission to propose legislation that would lay down a framework that EU member states could use to tackle intellectual property infringement. It highlighted the particular problems that SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) face in the digital marketplace.

Smith wants to make sure the EC is aware that the digital music market can only function properly if the independent sector is involved.

A recent EC consultation on e-commerce in Europe raised the question of why legal digital music services have not taken off as much as expected.

IMPALA celebrated its 10th anniversary at Berlin Music Week Sept. 10. In that decade its highest-profile moves have been helping to block the Warner-EMI merger, sealing a collective worldwide deal to license repertoire to Napster, helping independents get a fair deal within the framework of an iTunes contract, and launching the first class-action suit on behalf of thousands of independent artists and labels against the Sony-BMG merger.