Music Industry News Network [12-09-2012]

Leong May-Seey To Retire From IFPI At The End Of 2012

IFPI, the organisation that represents the recording industry worldwide, announced that Leong May-Seey, its Asian regional director, will be retiring at the end of 2012. May-Seey has worked at IFPI for 21 years and headed its Asian operations since 2006.

May-Seey overhauled IFPI's operations in Asia to better meet the challenges the recording industry faced in the digital age. She spearheaded the industry's advocacy efforts to garner better copyright protection for sound recordings and tackle digital piracy across Asia.

Under her leadership, IFPI campaigned for China to grant performance rights to record producers. The industry is now hopeful that the Chinese authorities will grant these rights in its forthcoming revised copyright law. May-Seey was also instrumental in developing the industry's strategy to combat online piracy and in 2011, Baidu, the largest internet company in China, agreed to replace its unauthorised mp3 search tool with a licensed digital music service.

In South Korea, May-Seey led the industry's campaign to secure improved copyright protection. In 2007, the government granted broadcasting rights to international producers; in 2009 it granted them public performance rights. South Korea has also implemented one of the most advanced online copyright protection programmes in the world, laying the foundation for more investment in recorded music. The South Korean recording industry has rebounded in the last five years, with the K-Pop phenomenon travelling worldwide.

Prior to her appointment as regional director in 2006, May-Seey was the IFPI regional counsel and deputy regional director, assisting Asian governments in the efforts to reform intellectual property laws to reach international standards and combating physical format music piracy. She also assisted the industry in establishing music licensing companies across Asia, that have helped generate substantial increases in performance rights revenues in recent years.

Lachie Rutherford, chairman of the IFPI Asia Pacific Regional Board and president of Warner Music Asia Pacific says: "I have worked closely with May-Seey for over 20 years and in my capacity as chairman of the IFPI Asia Pacific Board. I have nothing but total respect for her passionate and insightful advocacy for the enhancement of sound recording rights throughout Asia. I am sorry to see her leave IFPI, but I would like to wish her all the best for the future."

Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, says: "May-Seey has worked tirelessly for the recording industry across Asia for more than 20 years. IFPI will miss the dedication, expertise and perseverance she brought to her role. She has achieved much progress for our industry in countries such as China and South Korea, laying the foundations for the future growth of the recorded music business across Asia. She will be sorely missed by all her colleagues and IFPI's member record companies."

Leong May-Seey concludes: "I have had a wonderful career at IFPI and am glad to have been able to contribute to bringing about a better legal environment for the recorded music industry in Asia. It has been challenging at times and I thank both the Regional Executive Board and Frances Moore for their unfailing support and confidence in me."


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