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Excalibur!

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One is ever so slightly excited about this! My original composition Excalibur (with a taste of the Wagnerian about it) has gone on global release in the new 2017 Mf Publications brochure! I love what they've done with the cover, and really hope that the piece is played all over the world at concerts, and even better, at the occasional contest.

It's promoted alongside music by Alan Fernie and Simon Kerwin, and together with my concert march Heroes of the Sky and trombone tro Midnight in Moscow. I'm really chuffed!

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Hot of the press!

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Fresh in from MF Publications - a pristine copy of all my compositions and arrangements published by them! One is suitably chuffed, and just a little humbled. I hope you all like the pieces - and I look forward to hearing them at concerts, and who knows - even the odd contest.

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Changes to EU legislation to modernise copyright rules

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The European Commission (EC) has proposed new legislation to modernise EU copyright rules, so the creative industries can continue to grow in the online market. On 14 September, the EC set out proposals to increase access to digital content across the EU, while bringing clearer rules on the use of works by online platforms, specifically user uploaded content (UUC), also referred to as user generated content (UGC), services e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud etc. 

Chief Executive Robert Ashcroft said: 

PRS has been at the very forefront of the ‘transfer of value’ debate, calling for legal clarity to address problems in the online content market and a return of consent to creators. We, therefore, very much welcome the Commission’s recognition of the problem and the opportunity the proposed Directive represents to address the current imbalance of interests between user upload platforms and rightsholders. There is still much work to do in order to build consensus in the European Parliament and member states, but we will work with our partners across the creative industries to secure this much needed reform.

What does this mean for me?

The proposed changes will provide essential legal framework to allow members to more effectively share in the true value of their works on these services. This will be achieved by making sure user upload services are required to enter into licensing agreements with rightsholders. The proposed changes would clarify that UUC services cannot claim the Safe Harbour Defence in order to avoid liability for the use of copyright protected works on their platforms. They would be obliged to be fully and appropriately licensed by rightsholders. This legal certainty would help when negotiating licence deals, meaning a fairer deal for creators. 

The proposals also contain measures to improve the control rightsholders would have over their works online. Services providing access to large amounts of copyright protected works would have to take measures to prevent unlicensed or unauthorised content appearing on their services. This could include using content recognition and management technology. There is no set timeline for these proposals; the reforms are now subject to amendment and development by the European Parliament. However, the proposals represent a significant first step towards a fairer, better functioning copyright framework.

Please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information on the EC’s draft legislation and its future implications.

The Cherubim Music Trust

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The Cherubim Music Trust (Charity #1088403) owes its existence to Clancy Steer, who founded it in response to her personal experience and keen understanding of the needs of young musicians:

“Our daughter Serafina chose to take up the harp aged seven. To begin with, she had access to a table harp (clarsach) For her first pedal harp we were able to buy an aged Pleyel for £1200. After the VIth form at Chethams Specialist Music School, where she had access to a first-rate concert harp, in 2000 she was due to go to music college and we were faced with buying her a £10,000 instrument. As we had only recently moved house a further loan was out of the question. For us, a genuine fairy godmother provided a suitable instrument, which laid the ground for Serafina’s later successes as a harpist and songwriter.”

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By way of gratitude Clancy took steps to create the Cherubim Music Trust to help others in similar situations.

The National Foundation for Youth Music confirms that after years of inadequate funding and the advent of student loans, many talented student musicians do not have the resources to acquire instruments that match their performance needs. The difference in the cost of a good student instrument and that of a professional one is measured in thousands of pounds. Whilst this is not one of the world’s most urgent issues, it is a huge problem for most young musicians starting out in music.

I am delighted to have been asked to promote this wonderful initiative through social media and hope that you will take an interest and spread the word.

John Packer Ltd

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John_Packer_logoSome sad news for you all:

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have reluctantly had to resign from my position at John Packer Ltd in Taunton.

Before rumours abound, I have not been sacked - I have had to leave for reasons of which many of you will already be aware.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for the staff at John Packer Ltd., and will continue to promote and support all that they do.

You may well still see me on trade stands at brass band contests - come and say hello!

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