Music Industry News Network [10-06-2013]

CMRRA President And CEO David Basskin Retires


David A. Basskin is retiring from the position of President and CEO of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) after 24 years of service to the music publishers and rights owners represented by the agency, effective September 30, 2013. The announcement was made by Gary Furn iss, Chairman of the Board of CMRRA.

"It's been an exciting time to be part of Canada's music industry," said Mr. Basskin, "and an honour to serve those without whom there would be no music - the authors. It all starts with the songs. I'll look back with satisfaction on my years with CMRRA. Together with a remarkable team of managers, board members and colleagues, we fought hard for our clients and strengthened their rights and earnings."

Founded in 1975, CMRRA is Canada's largest music licensing agency. On behalf of the majority of music publishers and copyright owners doing business in Canada, CMRRA licenses the reproduction of songs in their repertoires on CD and via Internet distribution.

Mr. Basskin is a graduate of the University of Toronto (B.A., M.B.A.) and Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B., LL.M.) and joined CMRRA after stints as in-house legal counsel at CTV Television Network and Nelvana.

Mr. Basskin's years at CMRRA were marked by growth and challenge, from the CD-driven market expansion of the 1990's to the more recent arrival of services such as iTunes, as well as the challenge of responding to technological developments such as private copying and piracy.

As CMRRA's leader, he was responsible for dramatically increasing the client base of the Agency and its representation of songs and authors. He oversaw CMRRA's expansion into broadcast radio and Internet licensing and served on CMRRA's behalf as a Director of the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC).

Mr. Basskin also worked extensively on copyright reform matters, first as Executive Director, and later as Legal Counsel to the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA). He has been a frequent and impassioned speaker at panels and industry events in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Speaking on behalf of CMRRA's Board of Directors, Mr. Furniss said, "I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to David for his many contributions, leadership and his 24 years of dedicated service on behalf of the CMRRA Board of Directors, its employees, and its music publishing clients. As one of the leading experts on copyright and entertainment law in Canada, David has been an important advocate on behalf of songwriters and copyright owners while strategizing the transformation of technology in music licensing in Canada."

"David's focus on developing a team of employees dedicated to client service excellence will live on as part of the great legacy he has created during his tenure at CMRRA," said Caroline Rioux, Executive Vice-President of the organization. "We look forward to building on David's accomplishments and to upholding the core values that have come to define CMRRA, to the benefit of our clients and industry at large."

Mr. Basskin's future plans include writing, teaching and consulting on legal and policy issues in the cultural industries. In addition, he is looking forward to acting a Mediator in business disputes including, but not limited to the entertainment and cultural industries.

Mr. Basskin will continue to host "Stolen Moments", heard Fridays from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM on JAZZ.FM91, Canada's Premier Jazz Station.


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