With Vessicchio, we won Paradise on the rights and opened the revolutionary road

Sergio Cerruti, President of the Italian Phonographic Association, spoke to Fanpage about the Vessicchio case and the state of the Italian music industry.

Sergio Cerruti

Sergio Cerruti

What is the state of Italian music today? We asked Sergio Cerruti, President of the Italian Phonographic Association, who was also one of the instigators of Maestro Beppe Vessicchio’s victory in the lawsuit against Rai for related rights, i.e. pertaining to recordings of music composed by him and used in the Chef’s Trial program. With Cerruti we talked about the state of the industry, Rai, the weight of Italian music abroad.

You have seen major changes in music, how is the health of the Italian record industry? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

I have had the privilege of being exposed to music from all points of view, from the most artistic to the most technical and managerial, and am happy to still be here to enjoy the show with value market numbers launched through 2030 with constant growth. double digit. A redemption that, after the crisis of 2000, also opened the doors to countless new professional figures, giving direct, indirect and induced value to the territories and the economy of the country. Italian music is useful like a fish. On the other hand, its organizational structure is somewhat smaller, regulators and representatives are too fragmented, making it even more difficult for the legislator to understand what to do and how to do it.

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What is the role of AFI today?

I would say the guarantor of this history and the values ‚Äč‚Äčthat underpin the Italian music industry for the last 75 years that we celebrate in 2023, and which I would summarize as follows: for Primi always. Because of its delicacy and complexity, the Vessicchio case confirmed this role for the AFI, while others put forward other empowerment strategies that have little to do with rights and music other than proclamations and parades of numbers.

Cerruti, in the past few weeks, Vessicchio won a lawsuit with Rai, and you were also involved in this dispute, can you explain this to us?

At the end of 2019, I began an in-depth analysis on behalf of two AFI employees on cases similar to those of Maestro Vessicchio, one of which concerned La prova del fuoco specifically, but for different years. An in-depth study that resulted in a confusing scenario consisting of more or less conscious omissions and a real internal rights “management” system in Rai, which in turn created a kind of “market”. Among the documentary evidence found were also those concerning Vessicchio, and I could not help but join him in the battle, the contours of which I recognized and reconstructed, and also took steps to attract all my colleagues from other collection societies, who basically responded to the call. In some interviews, the Master has defined me as indomitable, an adjective so ambiguous that it almost embarrassed me and made me proud at the same time, especially after the long sacrifice of swimming against the current in a story like the story of Paradise, which has contours. it’s not easy at all. In recent days, there has been a clear and balanced reconstruction of the personality of Maestro Vessicchio, who over the years has demonstrated his artistic and human professionalism in managing such a controversial and delicate situation, even from a working point of view, since Rai is the very company that helped it succeed. The Master was able to lead this revolutionary mission by representing many like him who for years feared they would be treated the same if they asked for what was due to them.

Why do you think this decision is important?

Because this time – and there are few of them – everything went as it should, sanctioning that the law is neither dimensional nor compressible. Rai is wrong, no matter what, just because he is big and can afford to allocate 68 million euros in legal fees in the budget. The rules on this subject were and remain clear no matter what interpretation one wants to give them. Viale Mazzini’s strategy is to strangle anyone who tries to show even the slightest reaction, consigning the perpetrators to oblivion without trial or investigation, like Vessicchio and many others. Should be constitutionally guaranteed, even if only through a service contract, the immunity of those who attempt to bring complaints by forbidding the company from any action prior to the decisions of the courts.

What other battles do you think helped music take a step forward during these years?

Music has been in a phase of great change for several years now, both economically and socially, a bit of a statement that we too are moving from chef to chef. Always at the stove, but with a different general awareness of the potential of the industry, from which all structural critical points also flow, starting from internal divisions to get to some rules written decades ago that begin to creak under the weight of the present, but above all the future .

There has been a lot of talk about stadiums, tickets, full houses and waiting lists, what do you think about what’s going on?

As I said, music is developing rapidly, achieving very significant economic results, which, unfortunately, leave room for the speculative nature of man and subsequent distorting phenomena. Translation: I’m not surprised or dismayed, it’s news to stay away from a Coldplay concert or win the Taylor Swift lottery, but that’s tantamount to an expensive receipt and highway gas prices, now we’re in a national economic debate and not before, so I would say good!

Then, as in all other cases, I attribute the solution of individual problems to process management, perhaps with all participants involved, perhaps to general music management that does not exist, perhaps to oversight bodies that prevent and do not sanction … maybe in short .

Planet Funk, Claudio Coccoluto, you have collaborated with people who wrote important pages of Italian music. What memories do you have?

August 17 was supposed to be the birthday of Claudio, with whom I shared the beginning of my career and sadly mourned his passing after more than twenty years of working together. Lots of personalities, brilliant and wild multifaceted artists with whom I have had and have the honor to share music, passion and ideas. Together with Planet Funk, I have just finished work on a new album of unreleased songs, which will be released in January 2024 called “Family Reunion”. This is an ambitious production that combines all the qualities of international quality made in Italy.

Among other things, these are artists who have had a great influence abroad. Do you think there are opportunities to expand the Italian image in a wider market?

Definite. The superiority of “Made in Italy” abroad is not questioned and not so much due to the quality, which, fortunately, we can always boast. We must think about the ability to manage our internationalization according to the dictates of reference markets, not according to our local self-reference. In translation: we can and must grow, and with the right mindset we can, it’s up to us.

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