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Archive for March, 2019

Member Online Portal Update

Over the past several years IMRO has significantly enhanced the range of online services available to members by streamlining the royalty administration process resulting in a considerable reduction in overall administration costs.  Consequently, we are moving ever closer to paperless processes and the delivery of further associated cost and service benefits to members.  

Using state of the art cloud-based technology the IMRO Member Online Portal focuses on the delivery of a premium service to members. Recent enhancements includes the following:

  • A security update to allow members to see who they have authorised third party access their online account (band mangers, accountants, legal advisers etc).
  • The ability to add usage details to already registered works.
  • A facility to enable members to notify IMRO of broadcasts of their works taking place outside of Ireland.
  • The gig notification feature has been streamlined to mirror functionality contained in the recently launched IMRO Gigs App.

Further enhancements are currently in development phase and will be launched later in the year.

IMRO Professorship in Intellectual Property with the Law Society of Ireland

In response to the fast-changing digital landscape and the inevitable ongoing effects on copyright law and practice, IMRO has partnered with the Law Society of Ireland’s Education Department to create an IMRO adjunct Professorship of Intellectual Property (IP) Law. This position will be a key resource to the Law Society in broadening the knowledge base of students in the expanding area of IP and copyright law. The expectation is that a solid grounding in this field of law will entice a new generation of lawyers into the music and entertainment industries.

The inaugural professor is Dr Mark Hyland.  His area of specialisation is copyright law and his PhD thesis, awarded from Newcastle University in 2014, concerned the intersection between Copyright Law and Private International law. His doctoral thesis critically evaluated online copyright infringements and the application of the Tort Private International Law rules to such infringements.

The professor’s expertise will be used to create a new IP module at the Law Society’s’ Law School and the newly appointed professor will deliver an IMRO annual lecture. He will be centrally involved in course design for the Law Society’s professional and post professional qualification courses and will lecture on relevant professional training courses, seminars and conferences.

Director of Education at the Law Society T.P Kennedy says; “IP is a growing area of practice because of the tech companies that have set up their headquarters in Dublin. IMRO’s work in protecting the rights of Irish composers, authors and songwriters is being achieved in conjunction with solicitors and barristers. It is lawyers who are spearheading the implementation of these rights and therefore we need to train up the next generation of graduates.”

The Law Society’s Law School offers pre-qualification training for those wishing to train as solicitors as well as a range of accredited post qualification courses and ongoing training for solicitors.

Villagers Presented with IMRO Award

Today, 12th March, IMRO presented Conor O’Brien with an IMRO Award in recognition of Villager’s Independent No1 Album, ‘The Art Of Pretending To Swim’.

The IMRO Number 1 Award was introduced to acknowledge IMRO members who reach number 1 in the album charts here in Ireland.

Villagers’ acclaimed album ‘The Art Of Pretending To Swim’, released in September was written, produced, mixed and primarily performed by Conor O’Brien in his Dublin studio.

Following the exquisitely sparse, intimate aura of 2015’s ‘Darling Arithmetic’, Conor O’Brien’s new record reconnects with the multi-faceted approach of Villagers’ 2010 album debut ‘Becoming A Jackal’ and 2013’s {Awayland} while adding a new-found soulfulness, rhythmic nous and dazzling panoply of sonic detail, both analogue and digital, creating feverish moods while writing effortlessly accessible tunes. Balanced with subtle aspects and lyrical themes that embrace existential fears and hopes in this desperate, technologically-centred dystopian age, ‘The Art Of Pretending To Swim’ is the most brilliantly realised Villagers album to date.

O’Brien has a string of accolades under his belt including two Ivor Novello Awards (the most recent being 2016’s Album Award for ‘Darling Arithmetic’), two Mercury Music Prize nominations and is also a previous winner of Ireland’s Choice Music Prize.

Additionally, Villagers’ music recently featured in the high profile HBO drama ‘Big Little Lies’, Conor has collaborated with the composer Nico Muhly (that track featuring in the recent Paulo Sorrentino Berlusconi biopic ‘Loro 2’) and Villagers’ Spotify session of ‘Nothing Arrived’ has hit over 120 million streams.

Aoife Carton Returns From Nashville with New Material

Alt-country singer-songwriter Aoife Carton releases her new single ‘Edinburgh’ on Friday, 5th April 2019.

Although the final year BIMM Dublin student has already been compared to people like Phoebe Bridgers, Julia Jacklin and Beth Orton, she cites a much more mainstream singer as being highly influential:  “A lot of people ask me about my country influences. I’ve always loved that sound; when Taylor Swift went pop it was my worst nightmare!

In a move mirroring Swift’s, Aoife took a big step towards her music career in 2017, when she booked a solo flight to Nashville, Tennessee on her 21st birthday, determined to play at the famous Open Mic Night at the Bluebird Cafe – which she did.  

The following summer she returned to the States, this time to New York, where she played at the Rockwood Music Hall, opened for Mick Flannery at a private gig in New Jersey and gigged open mic nights every chance she got.

I deliberately booked my 10 day trip to Nashville to include two Mondays because that’s when the open mic night is on at the famous Bluebird Cafe and it’s notoriously difficult to get to play,” says Aoife. “In New York, when I was playing the Scratcher Sessions, There was a picture of Mic Christopher behind the bar. My mum actually flew over to see me play there and I played ‘That’s What Good Friends Do’ as part of my set.”

This was particularly poignant for Aoife as the late Mic Cristopher was her mother’s cousin. Although she was only five when he passed away, she was always very aware of his music.

“Skylarkin’ was always playing in the house and ‘Kid’s Song’ was my favourite track – I used to reference it a lot when I was writing essays in school and that kind of thing.” Later in her teens, this became the drive to write her own songs.

Taking influence from Irish, Folk and Country music, Aoife Carton has developed her sound since she started writing songs. A writer before a songwriter, lyrics are at the heart of her music with themes ranging from love to depression to – in true country style – heartbreak.

Aoife has played the like of Dublin’s Ruby Sessions, Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, New York’s Scratcher Sessions as well as gigs in Whelan’s, Bello Bar and The Workman’s Club. ‘Edinburgh’ is the follow-up to her 2017 debut EP, ‘Wicked Words’.

‘Edinburgh’ by Aoife Carton will be available on all platforms from Friday 5th April 2019. On Sunday 7th April, Aoife will launch the track at a special fundraiser gig at The Grand Social, Dublin. Tickets are €10 with all proceeds from the gig going to Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

Visit for more.

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Constitutional Changes Approved at IMRO EGM

Those of you who attended the 2018 Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) will recall that the Chair advised that the board of directors had initiated a governance review. Since the AGM, the board of IMRO has continued to work with Professor Niamh Brennan with particular regard to the election of directors. Arising from that work, the board of directors convened an EGM on 6th February last so that these two changes could be approved by the membership.

The first change approved is that on a ballot to elect directors, proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote (“PR”) is adopted in substitution for the current “first past the post” method. This change to the articles of association permits the board of directors to make regulations which will facilitate PR voting. The board sought the advice of Professor Brendan Murphy, Head Of Mathematics, UCD, and he advised that in a contested ballot to elect directors, PR provides a more democratic means of electing directors whilst maintaining the weighted-voting structure of the membership categories.

The second change approved at the EGM is that directors who have served twenty years will not be eligible for nomination for election or appointed by the members for a further term. Moreover, it is proposed that external directors, who are co-opted by the board, and who have served twelve years may not be co-opted for a further term.

  • Good corporate governance practice dictates that maximum tenures for directors ought to be in place to ensure that directors’ independent judgement is not compromised through time served.
  • Regular rotation of directors is considered to be healthy in all organisations and keeps the governance of the organisation invigorated and assists in preventing unhealthy alliances as between directors themselves or vis a vis a long-serving director and the executive; introducing tenure limits helps to ensure that in the case of external directors, the board at any given time, can ensure the right mix of skill sets is present;
  • It is in the interests of good corporate governance and orderly succession planning, that new people with industry experience are appointed to the Board of IMRO and will be a positive catalyst for the rejuvenation of the board of directors as it will be necessary for members to find new directors to elect;

Over time, this amendment will allow for more frequent rotation of directors and will therefore result in a greater number of members having access to board directorships.  Furthermore, the manner of the introduction of term limits will result in an orderly transition, in that there will be a gradual replacement of long-standing directors.

EU Copyright Directive Reaches Conclusion at Trilogue Negotiations

IMRO has campaigned vigorously for the past number of years to achieve fairer remuneration for the creative community in the online environment. We welcome the agreement reached in trilogue discussions between the European institutions on the Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market. The Directive sets out an important principle of fair and proportionate remuneration for authors for the online use of their works.

Victor Finn, CEO of IMRO said, “This is a hugely welcome result for the valuing of creativity across Europe. Creators including our over 12,000 IMRO members have been waiting for this outcome, a strong signal from our policy-makers that the system, in recognising opportunities with technology, at the same time values culture, values creative work, and values creators. While the text requires final review, we hope that we will now move towards its speedy adoption”

Eleanor McEvoy, Chair, IMRO said, “Creativity matters. Culture matters. Music matters. The political system agrees. This agreement sends a message across Europe that as we advance technologically, as we build our economies and societies together, creativity is at the heart. We are thankful to policy-makers who have been standing up for creativity in the negotiations so far, and we look forward to engaging further as the process is finalised.”

CISAC Director-General Gadi Oron said: “The agreement in the trilogue is an important step forward to rebalance the digital market and move towards fairer remuneration for creators of all repertoires. This is a welcome outcome from a process that has taken three years of intense work and negotiation, and we hope that EU institutions will now formally adopt the directive without further delay.”

The Final Plenary vote in the European Parliament will take place between March 27 and April 18, 2019.

Conor Walsh’s Posthumous Album ‘The Lucid’ Released

New music was today released by the self-taught minimalist and electro-acoustic composer, Conor Walsh on the third anniversary of the musician’s death. The album arrived on vinyl and digital platforms, iTunes and Spotify, on Monday, March 11th and is available to purchase on Bandcamp

The album will be launched at two events – The Sugar Club, Dublin on 15th March and The Front; The Gateway Hotel, Swinford on 16th March.

The Mayo-born musician performed at festivals including Electric Picnic, Another Love Story, Body & Soul, Other Voices in Dingle and Derry, and supported fellow Irish musician, Hozier on his Irish tour in 2013.

The posthumous album includes its namesake song, ‘The Lucid’ on a double-sided vinyl. Side A and Side B contain acoustic melodies on one side and electronic on the other. This stripped-down, elegantly produced album which features 10 tracks in total was inspired by well-known minimal electronic composers such as Hauschka, Aphex Twin and most notably Nils Frahm. Striking artwork for the album has been produced by artist Louise Gaffney.

In the promo video for the album by Patrick Dyer, we see the musician bearing his soul before a piano. The footage reveals a more intimate side of the late Conor Walsh where he reflects on his childhood memories of growing up with a 100-year old piano in the foyer of his family’s hotel in Swinford, Co Mayo, and how it kindled his innate desire to compose music.

Conor’s sister, Fiona Walsh who helped to bring the project together said: “This album is for his fans and by creating this album with his close friend and mentor- Enda Bates who was the producer of Conor’s first EP ‘The Front’, and Rob Farhat who previously worked with Conor – we wanted to remind people of all the different aspects of Conor; as a brother, friend, composer, and artist. The subtle approach to this album will leave his fans in awe of his simplistic beauty.”

Keith Cullen to Perform at SXSW

With a vocal range that is rarely found amongst male performers, Keith Cullen has continuously wowed audiences across the globe. The Dublin-born singer/songwriter has enjoyed a career that has taken him everywhere from New York and Los Angeles to Paris, Dubai, and London. Now, Cullen is set to perform at this year’s famed South by Southwest festival in Austin Texas. Cullen will hit the outdoor stage at Palm Door on Sixth on Thursday, March 14th at 7:30 p.m. Palm Door on Sixth is located at 508 E. 6th Street in Austin. Before heading down to Austin, he will be hosting an exclusive showcase at No Name in Los Angeles on March 12th.

Raised on every genre of music – from big band to acoustic rock – Cullen has immersed himself in his craft his entire life. His bold, dynamic songs and extraordinary vocal range Dublin Concerts called a “freshness that’s rare in this often over populated singer songwriter space.” At end of 2017, Cullen was on a promotional tour in Australia when he was diagnosed with stage three bladder cancer. Subsequently, he was forced to take time off and delay the release of new music. During his treatment, however, Cullen was awarded “Best Music Act” at the Ireland Awards Show, “The Gossies.” His track, ‘Say Something’, has also done extremely well, hitting the Billboard Dance Charts and catching the ears of Sony Pictures to be featured in Michael Damien’s High Strung.

Now healthy, Cullen has returned to LA to resume his music career. Since his return, he has performed at Hotel Cafe, Hotel Roosevelt and the Saban Theater. Cullen is exclusively signed to Phil Quartararo, one of the most successful executives in the music industry. After helping Island Records break U2 in the United States, Quartararo was recruited by Sir Richard Branson to help launch Virgin Records America and later became its CEO. As President of Warner Bros. Records, Quartararo personally signed artists such as Linkin Park and Josh Groban, and guided many more careers including those of Madonna, Cher, Eric Clapton, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day and The Spice Girls. Undoutedly, Quartararo is one of Cullen’s biggest supporters and is excited for him to resume his noteworthy career.


Butler Announces Debut Single Release

Exciting Dublin based dance/pop act Butler is set to release his debut single ‘Forever Young’ on the 29 March 2019. The brand new track ‘Forever Young’ delivers a perfect slice of radio ready Dance Pop – written by Butler and co-produced by hyped Irish dance producer Lo Cutz.

Butler is the brainchild of award winning singer/performer Luke Thomas, and the electrifying new project has allowed him to explore his more commercially creative side. Mixing catchy pop melodies and vocals with authentic dance and electronic production is the theme going forward for Butler, who is already begun working with some incredibly influential dance producers on upcoming material due for release later this year.

‘Forever Young’ Butler’s debut single is out 29 March 2019 across all platforms.
Butler (@ButlerMusic1) on Twitter

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