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Set up by IMPALA and other independents worldwide, Merlin is a non-profit organisation charged with representing independent music companies in enhancing the commercial exploitation of their copyrights on a global basis.
With members in over 25 countries, Merlin is the first rights body focusing purely on the interests of the global independent music sector, which collectively represents 30% of all music sales.

With a globally representative board elected by its community, Merlin ensures that independents finally have a vehicle which can protect and enhance the strength, diversity and unique interests of its members and enhance their ability to compete and access new revenue streams in the ever changing world of digital music.

Why does Merlin Exist?

Merlin exists because the independents need their own body to ensure their interests are properly represented by an organisation focused wholly on their sector. Independents work in a incredibly competitive environment, ruled by shrinking physical sales, a digital market that is not replacing the fall in revenues, and where independent’s ability to compete is being eroded by the major corporations that dominate the market, from both the supply and retail side.

Merlin is not an aggregator or distributor. Its remit is to represent its members in new media deals that can’t be easily negotiated locally or individually or are not covered adequately by existing arrangements.

Merlin also does not operate in the space occupied by Collecting Societies, rather Merlin aims to address the gap between what these societies are able to offer their members and what labels and aggregators can achieve individually.

Enhancing competition – That is ultimately what Merlin is about.

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How EU copyright reform will give the creative ecosystem a boost

Originally published in the Financial Times