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Membership of 353Music (“membership”) is open to any company owning or controlling rights in master recordings, with an annual share of the global recorded music market of less than 5%, except any company controlled by a non qualifying company or in which a non qualifying company has any legal or beneficial ownership interest (whether by share ownership or otherwise) (the “ownership criteria”)

In addition, 353Music reserves the right to deem any company not to fulfil the Membership Criteria (i) where it reasonably decides such company’s membership would be or is incompatible with the achievement of 353Music’s objectives (provided that any such decision in respect of an existing member of 353Music is subject to the approval of the 353Music Portal); (ii) where such company is not in any continuous period of 12 months (throughout which it is a member of 353Music) participating in at least one 353Music agreement for which its rights are available (provided 353Music has afforded it the opportunity to participate in at least two such agreements); or (iii) where such company has been unresponsive to all 353Music communications requiring a response for a continuous period of 12 months (provided 353Music has sent such company at least two such communications in such 12 month period), and may refuse membership to any company which has not supplied, to 353Music’s satisfaction, all information required by Merlin as part of the membership application process including comprehensive meta data as to its catalogue of recorded music and video.

The 353Music Portal may however, in its discretion, depending on circumstances (and with due regard to: (i) legal advice in particular as to competition law matters; and (ii) the achievement of 353Music’s objectives) accept an application for membership from a company which does not fulfil the ownership criteria or deem such a company to continue to fulfil the Membership Criteria

For these purposes

  • the term “company” includes any company, corporation, partnership, sole trader or other business;

  • “353Music Portal” means an advisory committee to 353Music Network (Global Independent Digital) Company Limited by Guarantee (the parent company of the Merlin organization) which is elected by 353Music’s members;

  • a “non qualifying company” is any company with a 5% or more annual share of the global recorded music market or any company which is a member of a “non qualifying group of companies”;

  • “non qualifying group of companies” is any group of companies (i.e. a company, any holding company for the time being of such company and any subsidiary for the time being of such company or of any such holding company) whose aggregate annual share of the global record music market is 5% or more;

  • “control” means: (a) in relation to a body corporate (“company A”), the power of a person (“P”) to secure: (i) by means of the holding of shares or the possession of voting power in relation to that or any other body corporate; or (ii) as a result of any powers conferred by the articles of association or other document regulating that or any other body corporate, that the affairs of company A are conducted in accordance with P’s wishes; (b) in relation to a partnership, the right to a share of more than half the assets, or of more than half the income, of the partnership; and (c) with respect to any other body or entity, the power to direct or cause the direction of the management or policies of the controlled body or entity;

  • “annual share of the global recorded music market” means the share of the global recorded music market as per the latest annual market share figures published by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (“IFPI”) or if such IFPI figures are not available, such figures as are published by a generally recognized statistical authority on the recorded music industry; and

  • a “subsidiary” or “holding company” shall be construed in accordance with Section 1159 of the Companies Act 2006, as amended.


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