Merlin Announces Board Election Results For 2015-17

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 – New board members from Secretly Group, Because Music, Secret City Records, and Africori join representatives from the worlds leading independents including Epitaph Records, [PIAS], Tommy Boy, Phonofile, !K7 and Inertia Music 

 – Beggars Group founder Martin Mills reappointed as Merlin chairman

 – Election for Merlin’s 15-member board attracts record numbers of candidates and votes

17th November 2015: – Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector, has today announced results of its biennial board election and the 15 executives who will oversee the organisation’s strategy until 2017.

This year saw the highest ever number of candidates standing for election, as well the highest ever percentage of votes cast by the Merlin membership.

Alongside reappointed executives from key independent labels – including representatives from Epitaph Records, Evolution Music, Inertia, [PIAS], Phonofile, Tommy Boy and !K7 – new incoming board members include Darius van Arman (Secretly Group), Emmanuel de Buretel (Because Music), Justin West (Secret City Records), Scott Muir ( and Yoel Kenan (Africori).

Beggars Group founder Martin Mills was reappointed as Merlin chairman.

As an agency which operates on a not-for-profit basis, the Merlin board comprises of 15 voting representatives of Merlin member companies.

To ensure the widest possible representation of interests, seats are divided into three territorial blocs – with 5 members each for North America, Europe, and ROW.[1]  Additionally, up to two non-voting observer members per territorial bloc can also be appointed by the board.

Commenting on the election results, Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin said:

“Merlins global construct remains one of our greatest strengths, and this is truly reflected by the make-up of our board. I am honoured to lead an organisation that can draw on such an unparalleled wealth of commercial expertise – from the US, UK and Europe through to Africa, Asia, South America and Australasia.

“I am also delighted that so many of our members took the opportunity to vote in this election, and that Merlin remains of such importance to their digital business. The two years ahead will be critical for the independent label sector, but Merlin is in better shape than ever to help our members realise the opportunities ahead.”

In alphabetical order, the successful candidates are:

North America:

Darius van Arman – Secretly Group (USA)

Dave Hansen – Epitaph Records (USA)

Erik Gilbert – Essential USA inc. t/as CV America (USA)

Justin West – Secret City Records (Canada)

Tom Silverman – Tommy Boy (USA)


Emmanuel de Buretel – Because Music (France)

Erik Brataas – Phonofile (Norway)

Horst Weidenmueller – !K7 Records (Germany)

Martin Mills – Beggars Group (UK)

Michel Lambot – [PIAS] Group (Belgium)

R.O.W. :

Ashley Whitfield – Evolution Music (Hong Kong)

Colin Daniels – Inertia (Australia)

Luciana Pegorer – Delira Musica (Brazil)

Scott Muir – (New Zealand)

Yoel Kenan – Africori (South Africa)

The newly-elected board have appointed four non-voting observers from among the unsuccessful candidates.

These observers are:

John Dyer – Domino Recording Co (UK)

Glenn Dicker – Yep Roc Records/Redeye (USA)

Paul Hitchman – Kobalt Label Services (UK)

Oke Goettlich – Finetunes (Germany)

The board will sit for two years.

[1] The territorial blocs are split as follows: USA (4 x USA, 1 x Rest of North America seat); Europe (no more than 1 representative per country) and ROW (at least one member for Asia, Africa, South America and Australia/NZ, but no more than 1 representative per country).

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About Merlin

Merlin is the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector.

The organisation’s members command in excess of 10% of the global digital recorded music market and embody more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors worldwide, representing some of the world’s most important artists, including:

–   Beggars Group – Bon Iver, Jack White, The National, Queens of the Stone Age

–   Cooking Vinyl – Billy Bragg, Marilyn Manson, The Prodigy

–   Domino – Animal Collective, Anna Calvi, Arctic Monkeys

–   Epitaph – Bad Religion, Tom Waits, Wilco

–   !K7 – Tricky, Fat Freddy’s Drop

–   Kobalt Label Services – Lenny Kravitz, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

–   Merge – Arcade Fire, Caribou

–   [PIAS] – Editors, Enter Shikari, Soulwax

–   Warp – Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Grizzly Bear

Merlin acts to ensure these companies have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are appropriately valued and protected.

Since commencing operations in May 2008, Merlin has licensed key digital services including SoundCloud, YouTube Music Key, Spotify, Pandora, Beats Music, Google Play, Rdio and Deezer.

Merlin has reached a number of high value copyright infringement settlements on behalf of its members with, amongst others, Limewire, XM Satellite Radio and Grooveshark.

Merlin has offices in London and New York, with a head office in Amsterdam.

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