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Singer and Songwriter Robin Gibb, best known as a member of the Bee Gees, which he co-founded with his brothers Maurice and Barry, addressed the annual conference of the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland today.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Radio: Stayin’ Alive’. More than 100 independent radio station owners, senior management, broadcasters and their guests attended today’s conference.

Robin Gibb had intended to travel to Dublin for the conference but was unable to do so as a result of the current restrictions on air travel. Instead he addressed the conference by audio link from the UK.

A strong campaigner for the preservation of copyright and royalties, Robin Gibb is President of the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CIASC). He
addressed the conference on the contentious issue of music creators rights in the digital age.

He said; “I believe that, like creators, broadcasters contribute to a healthy society; I believe that the same could be said about ISPs. By enabling access to the almost limitless possibilities and information offered on the web, ISPs have rapidly put themselves at the heart of most modern societies. The importance of music as a driver for digital take-up is undisputed and it would appear obvious that creators, their publishers and their collecting societies should engage with ISPs as a matter of course.

However this does not seem to have happened. There is a disconnect between the parties, one that has been widened by the growth of internet piracy of writers music and by the ISPs default public position of hiding behind their mere conduit status and the necessity of net neutrality. This must change. I strongly believe that ISPs can no longer be considered as mere carriers like they used to be 20 years ago.

“In view of their growing role in the digital distribution of creative content, we – creators, CISAC and authors’ societies – invite ISPs to assume their responsibilities for the content they profited from, for years. Copyright is not a barrier to progress. It is a facilitator of progress, creativity and communication.”

“Authors’ societies, such as IMRO are not for profit organisations created and managed by creators for creators. They are the true friends of creators, striving to give our works maximum exposure and to protect our rights (and remuneration)”, he said.

“I want to state here in Dublin that Authors’ societies are not a roadblock on the way to the digital economy or the consumers’ access to culture, wherever, whenever and in whatever format they want. Authors’ societies are business facilitators for broadcasters and digital services, and supporters of cultural development. Without such societies, you would have just bad quality pirated products and mainstream culture, and this is a far greater barrier to progress.”

“Authors’ Societies offer to broadcasters the chance to get blanket licences for all of the music which they use from a “one stop shop”. The relationship that has developed between societies such as IMRO and independent broadcasters, I believe works well for those broadcasters as well as the writers who create the music to which the public wants to listen, be it on radio or television”, he concluded.

-Ends-

About the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland
The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) is the representative body for Ireland’s independent commercial radio broadcasters. The mission of the IBI is to champion the agenda of independent broadcasters in Ireland and to be a distinct and coherent national voice in the ongoing campaign for competitive equality across the sector.

The independent voice of Ireland, 64.5% of the population tune into independent radio on a daily basis. This translates into weekday figures of 2.473 million listeners. With more than 1500 people employed in the sector, independent broadcasters make a significant economic, social and cultural contribution to the Irish economy. The IBI represents 2 national radio stations, 1 multicity radio station, 4 regional radio stations and 27 local radio stations. For more information please visit: www.ibireland.ie.

Further Information – Laurie Mannix, Managing Director, MKC Communications
Tel. +353 1 703 8620 / Mobile: + 353 86 8143710

About IMRO
IMRO is a national organisation that administers the performing right in copyright music in Ireland on behalf of its members – who are songwriters, composers and music publishers – and on behalf of the songwriters, composers and music publishers of the international overseas societies that are affiliated to it. IMRO does not represent the interests of record labels. Their interests in Ireland are administered by Phonographic Performance Ireland (PPI) and their representative trade body is The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). IMRO’s function is to collect and distribute royalties arising from the public performance of copyright works. IMRO is a not-for-profit organisation.

Further Information – Keith Johnson, IMRO, 087 7589439