Four international record firms quit trade group in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2008, 12:00am

Four international record companies have quit the trade group representing the industry in Hong Kong, giving local companies a bigger voice but complicating the fight for copyright protection and anti-piracy measures.

Last week, EMI Group Hong Kong, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Hong Kong), Warner Music Hong Kong and Universal Music announced they had withdrawn from the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (Hong Kong Group) and set up a new organisation.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, IFPI (Hong Kong Group) chairman Ng Yu said their withdrawal would not affect its operations.

Chan Fai-hung, a member of IFPI (Hong Kong Group)'s committee and formerly of EMI, said 65 per cent of the investment in the local music market between 2002 and last year had come from local companies.

Mr Ng, chief executive of Emperor Entertainment Group, said: 'During these seven or eight years, local companies have expanded a lot.'

Mr Chan said international labels were playing a less significant role in regional markets. 'In [South] Korea, international labels have a small market share. [Their] significance is also declining in Thailand.'

He also said liaising with the customs department on copyright and digital piracy may become more complicated. 'After their withdrawal, we cannot represent these majors.'

Mr Ng said the group would work more with the government on promoting the industry and recognising Canto-pop as cultural heritage.

'We will strengthen our connection with mainland China and propose to the government what benefits we could get under the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, which does not help the recording industry,' he said. 'We are also planning how to strengthen artist management and performances. These issues were not addressed by IFPI [Hong Kong Group] before.'



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