Sunday, January 18, 2009

MIDEM 2009: Clash of the giants

Another meeting between Gerd Leonhard and Feargal Sharkey, reports Music Ally:

The most heated section saw consultant Gerd Leonhard accuse the music industry of desiring rules that are “just not reasonable”, provoking a stern rebuke from UK Music boss Feargal Sharkey.

“I don’t think that imposing one vision on all of humanity is the way to go,” he told Leonhard. “It’s slightly arrogant to come and tell two very successful industries that they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Sharkey is in charge of UK Music, who are pretty much dedicated to imposing a single vision on all of humanity wanting to use music in a digital environment; what angers him so much is that he must know, in his heart, that Leonhard is right in his diagnosis, even if you don't totally accept his solutions.

And "two very successful industries"? Well, it didn't take long for someone to point out the baselessness of that claim:
Pete Jenner, who was on the panel: “Two very successful industries? We’re talking about the record industry, which is in the fucking dumper!”

Indeed. Perhaps if you're actually at MIDEM, Sharkey isn't coming across like one of those stock thugs they have on Casualty every couple of weeks who hurls abuse at the paramedics trying to help him, but certainly from this distance he's making himself look like a petulant closed-mind. UK music needs better, even if UK Music, the organisation, probably deserves no better.