Eric Nicoli Named Entertainment Law Initiative Keynote Speaker

January 17, 2006 -- 3:50 pm PST

The 8th annual luncheon will feature a scholarship presentation for top law students

The 8th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI) Luncheon & Scholarship Presentation will be held on Feb. 6 in Los Angeles with keynote speaker EMI Group Chairman Eric L. Nicoli, it was announced today by the GRAMMY Foundation. The ELI Luncheon is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week, a celebration that culminates with the 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards, which will be held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 8 and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.

"We are very pleased that Eric Nicoli will offer his keen observations about our complex and evolving musical landscape in his keynote speech at this significant Foundation event," said Neil Portnow, President of the GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy. "His unique perspective as a corporate leader will provide valuable insights to both promising law students and seasoned entertainment professionals alike."

Since 1999, Nicoli has been chairman of EMI Group plc, the world's largest independent music company, which operates in 50 countries around the world and is comprised of the No. 1 music publisher and third largest record company. Its record labels — including EMI, Virgin, Capitol, Parlophone, Blue Note, Mute, EMI Classics and Angel — are home to artists such as the Beatles, Coldplay, Gorillaz, Norah Jones, Nigel Kennedy, Korn, Pink Floyd, Simon Rattle, the Rolling Stones, Joss Stone, Keith Urban, and Robbie Williams. EMI Music Publishing songwriters include Jermaine Dupri, Alan Jackson, Jay-Z, Alicia Keyes, Sting, Usher, and Kanye West, and its catalog includes Jobette — the Motown song catalog — and such classics as "Singing In The Rain" and "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."

Nicoli first joined the EMI Group board in 1993 and became an executive director in 1999 when he joined the company as chairman-designate. In 2005 he was appointed co-chair of Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting And Piracy (BASCAP), the cross-sectoral initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce. He is also chairman of the EMI Music Sound Foundation, an independent music education charity established in 1997 to improve music education in the UK and Ireland. Nicoli also serves as non-executive chairman of The Tussauds Group, one of the world's leading leisure and entertainment companies, and is on the UK government's Creative Industries Forum on Intellectual Property. Before joining EMI Group, Nicoli had been group chief executive of United Biscuits plc, a leading international food group.

Established in 1998 to recognize and further the connection between the legal profession and the recording community, the GRAMMY Foundation's ELI program seeks to address legal issues confronting the music industry. Past ELI keynote speakers include Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group; Clive Davis, chairman of the RCA Music Group; U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch; Andrew Lack, chairman and CEO of Sony BMG Music Entertainment; Richard Parsons, chairman of AOL Time Warner; Jack Valenti, past president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America; and Strauss Zelnick, former CEO and president of BMG Entertainment.

One of the premier annual educational activities of the initiative is the national legal writing contest and scholarship program, which is co-sponsored by the American Bar Association. Law students from across the country are invited to research, analyze and submit 3,000-word essays on important issues facing the entertainment community. Past award-winning topics have featured issues germane and timely to the music industry, including bootlegging, music sampling and litigation against peer-to-peer network users.

At the ELI Luncheon, a cash scholarship of $5,000 will be awarded to the author of the winning paper, and $1,500 will be awarded to each of four runners-up. Additionally, all ELI finalists' papers will be published in a major legal journal and each winner will receive airfare, hotel accommodations, and a ticket to the 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast as well as invitations to other GRAMMY Week activities. The event will feature live performances by special guest artists, in addition to the scholarship presentations.