The International Managers Forum US was formed on July 20th, 1993. Shortly thereafter we intervened in a retail dispute between HMV (the largest Canadian record retailer at the time) and Sony Music Canada, whereby HMV tried unsuccessfully to force Sony into giving them deeper discounts and more free goods. We believed that if this was to happen, it would impact artists and managers negatively in that it would ultimately be charged back to us. We broke the story in the press and this resulted in HMV immediately backing off.
The MMF has conducted educational seminars with very impressive panels, moderated by industry experts on topics as diverse as SoundScan, BDS, A&R, Agents and Promoters, Trade Magazines, Music Publishing as well as The State Of Retail, How To Build A Buzz and the Art Of The Deal.
In the mid-90’s, when TLC and Toni Braxton went into bankruptcy, the RIAA tried to portray artists as going bankrupt in order to get out of their recording contracts. The RIAA tried to spin this as a prevalent practice in order to get a law passed holding artists to their recording agreements in spite of bankruptcy. The MMF fought this action vigorously until it became a non-issue, as we always believed that recording artists should be held to the same exact standards as every other citizen in our country.
On June 28, 1995, representing the International Managers Forum, President, Barry Bergman, testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property in a hearing on H.R. 1506: "Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995." Through his efforts and other industry leaders, President Bill Clinton signed this bill into law on Nov. 1, 1995.
In the late 90’s, MMF-US teamed up with NARM (National Association of Record Merchandisers) to present management panels at the NARM Convention.
The IMF-US changed it's name to the Music Managers Forum (MMF-US), and was very active in Washington D.C. in an effort to roll back a provision inserted by the Recording Industry Association of America into the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 whereby Sound Recordings were made works-for-hire and artists lost their rights to reclaim ownership of their master recordings beginning in 2013. The MMF, along with several other artist rights groups, convinced Congress and the RIAA of the need to repeal the controversial change to U.S. copyright law, and claimed another victory.
On May 25, 2000, Barry Bergman submitted written testimony to Congress in connection with the Hearing On Public Law 106.13: Re "Works Made For Hire." The MMF-US worked feverishly with a coalition of other industry groups and succeeded in our efforts to rescind without prejudice the 1999 "Work-For-Hire " amendment to the Copyright Act.
In November 2001, six years of work came to fruition when President Barry Bergman signed on behalf of the MMF, a landmark agreement whereby SoundExchange, the collection and distribution agency for Artists digital sound recording performances, along with the major labels and artist groups, agreed to pay artist performance royalties directly to performers. This landmark agreement would also place SoundExchange under the joint control of recording artists and record companies.
On Nov. 7, 2001, a headline read “SoundExchange, Record Labels and Artist Groups Reached Agreement To Pay Artist Performance Royalties Directly To Performers And To Change SoundExchange Structure.” The MMF participated as a signatory to this landmark agreement and our former treasurer and a current member now holds a board seat on SoundExchange, the digital performance rights collection society.
The MMF-US is a founding member of Music United, an educational organization whose goal is to protect intellectual property for creators.
MMF President, Barry Bergman, represents the MMF-US by participating in a group of leading industry leaders, dubbed the CEO retreat. The group meets a few times a year to discuss industry issues and find common ground to work together to accomplish even bigger industry goals.