At its recent annual general meeting, the Australasian Music Publishers' Association Limited (AMPAL) elected Heath Johns, Managing Director of BMG Australia to its board of directors. Re-elected to the board were Marianna Annas (ABC Music Publishing), Philip Burn (Hal Leonard Australia), Peter Hebbes (Hebbes Music Group) and Steve McPherson (Hillsong Music Publishing). David Albert, former CEO of J. Albert & Son Pty Ltd (Alberts) stepped down from the board at the AGM. Mr Albert had been a director of AMPAL since 2010. Matthew Capper (Warner/Chappell Music Australia) and Clive Hodson (Perfect Pitch Publishing) were returned as Chair and Deputy Chair, respectively.
Also at the AGM, Mr Capper and General Manager of AMPAL, Matthew O'Sullivan, presented the first ever AMPAL Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music Publishing to Alberts. The award was received by Mr Albert and former CEO Fifa Riccobono and recognises the immense contribution made by Alberts to the Australian and New Zealand music publishing industry, and Alberts' work on behalf of its songwriter and composer partners. Mr O'Sullivan commented at the meeting, "as a founding member of AMPAL in 1956, there is no more deserving recipient of this award than Alberts, in recognition of Alberts' extraordinary achievements as a music publisher. Alberts has launched the careers of some of Australia's most loved songwriters and composers." It was announced in July of this year that BMG and the Albert family had reached an agreement for BMG to acquire the 131 year old Australian music publishing and recording company, J Albert & Son Pty Ltd.
At the meeting, Mr O'Sullivan also spoke about current copyright issues facing music publishers, and called on the Australian Government to reject changes to the rights’ framework, particularly the proposed outdated changes to the safe harbour scheme and the introduction of a broad fair use exception, which will chip away at a music creator’s right to be remunerated fairly for their creative endeavours.