john-kennedy-303wWith illegal downloading one of the most contentious issues to beset the music industry in decades, rarely failing to raise tempers to boiling point whenever the matter is discussed, the Music Show welcomes John Kennedy, CEO of the IFPI, the organisation that represents record companies worldwide. Kennedy sees illegal downloading as a threat to the Music Industry and has eloquently spoken out to that effect on many occasions. He gave evidence on behalf of the IFPI in the notorious Pirate Bay trial in Sweden early this year, and saw the operators of the website ordered to pay $4.5 million in damages and sentenced to one year in jail. In a long and illustrious career in the music industry that spans three decades, Kennedy was one of the co-producers of Live Aid, and was awarded an OBE. He began his career in the legal department of Phonogram Records, before setting up an independent practice in 1984. As a lawyer, he has represented many high profile artists, managers and record companies before becoming Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK in 1999. He was appointed President and boss of Universal Music International in 2001, a position he held until 2004, when he joined the IFPI. The IFPI now has more than 1,450 members in over 75 countries and affiliated industry associations in 48 countries.