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MPA chief Jane Dyball comments on Brexit at AGM

By | Published on Thursday 30 June 2016


There was lots of news from within her own industry and organisation to comment on yesterday, but the boss of the UK’s Music Publishers Association Jane Dyball also used her group’s AGM to comment on that other big news story of the moment: bloody Brexit.

“Before we finish we have to mention the referendum”, said Dyball in her speech to the general meeting. “To those who voted differently to us it’s time to be friends again. To our European colleagues who have made the UK their home, we still love you. To the EC with whom we have had a love hate relationship we say ‘you haven’t seen the last of us – everything you do affects our truly international business'”.

Acknowledging that post-Brexit key areas currently under the remit of the European Union, like copyright reform, will fall back to UK legislators, Dyball added: “To those governing us in the UK, we say ‘be gentle with us. We have adapted our businesses wholesale over the past 40 years and are true Europeans. It will be hard and expensive for us to dismantle our world’. To the marketplace we say ‘we are a business ready willing and able to adapt’. Our business continues to evolve over its 200 year history. I myself have learned something new every day for the past 30 years”.

Earlier in her speech, Dyball referenced the recent overhaul of her organisation, which now formally trades as the MPA Group Of Companies, with the licensing bodies MCPS, IMPEL and PMLL now more closely aligned to the trade association which owns them. With four businesses within the group, it means there is lots to get through at the AGM.

Referencing some of the conversations that preceded her speech at the ‘annual rightsholder meetings’ for the different parts of the group, she observed: “At the PMLL ARM, we heard about this surprising business that licences the copying of print music, and which went from £0 to a £3m-plus turnover a year right from the get-go … [and] about the significant scope for extending this business. [And] at the IMPEL ARM we heard about our digital business, about its growth both in terms of membership and turnover, and about the challenges ahead and how we are planning on facing them”.

And as for MCPS, she commented on the previously reported move to put the operations of the mechanical rights society – currently handled by performing rights organisation PRS – out to tender. “I do not propose getting into detail here but we were delighted at the response we have received to the RFP process and are reviewing responses”. It will be interesting to see quite what decisions are now made on that front, and what Dyball and MPA will be reporting to their members in a year’s time.