Call to Action
We— Amelia Trask and Sasha Hecht—believe that the Broder Daniel catalog was acquired by Woah Dad/Telegram through fraudulent and extortive means, namely deliberate misrepresentation and imposed duress, and that our documentary film was used as leverage to achieve these ends.
We propose, as a remedy to the situation, that the Broder Daniel catalog be returned to Warner/Parlophone Label Group and re-auctioned, either again to IMPALA/Merlin members or on the open market.
To the fans of Broder Daniel and Henrik Berggren, as well as any others who take issue with the series of events outlined below, we ask that you let your feelings be known by taking the following actions against the parties responsible:
1. Pledge to refrain from engaging in any activity that puts money in the pockets of those responsible unless and until the situation is remedied. This includes streaming music by Woah Dad/Telegram artists (including Broder Daniel, Henrik Berggren, and Håkan Hellström), buying merchandise or other products from Woah Dad/Telegram, and attending concerts and events presented/promoted by Woah Dad Live.
2. Sign the petition at the bottom of this page. At 1,000 signatures, we will send it to the European Commission, as well as Warner Music Sweden.
3. Spread the word on social media with the hashtag #FREEHENRIK.
Below, you can read the full background of the business of Broder Daniel and sign the petition.
Background of Broder Daniel Rights Ownership
In 1979, Klas Lunding founds Stranded Rekords, a Stockholm-based independent record label, with Anders Tapper. In 1981, ABBA founder/manager/songwriter Stikkan Anderson buys into Klas Lunding’s label, Stranded Rekords, through his own label, Polar Music. Three years later, Anderson buys the remaining share and Polar Music becomes the sole owner of the label.
In 1987, Klas Lunding founds record label Telegram Records Stockholm as a joint venture with independent label Mistlur Records. The same year, he founds Telegram Publishing with Willard Ahdritz.
In 1989, Stikkan Anderson sells his companies, including Polar Music, to PolyGram, who is owned by Philips Included in the sale is Stranded Rekords.
In 1990, Isse Samie buys defunct label Dolores Recordings from Lasse Otterström. The same year, Willard Ahdritz receives a scholarship to study at NYU Stern School of Business and leaves Telegram Publishing.
In 1991, Mistlur Records files for bankruptcy and the following year is purchased by Peter Almberg. Included in the sale is Mistlur’s stake in Telegram Records Stockholm. That same year, Thorn EMI acquires Virgin Music from Richard Branson.
In 1993, Lunding and Almberg sell Telegram Records Stockholm to Warner Music Sweden.
In 1994, Broder Daniel signs to EMI Sweden, through which they release their first two albums, Saturday Night Engine (1995) and Broder Daniel (1996).
In 1996, MCA Music Publishing Sweden (owned by Seagrams) buys a 51% majority stake in Telegram Publishing in an acquisition led by MCA’s Scandinavia Head of A&R, Fredrik Ekander. Klas Lunding retains a 49% stake in the company. That same year, Thorn demerges its media company, which is now known as EMI Group PLC.
In 1997, Klas Lunding acquires a majority stake in Gothenburg-based independent record label Dolores Recordings from owner Isse Samie, with Samie retaining a minority stake. That same year, Dolores Recordings signs Broder Daniel and releases their third album, Broder Daniel Forever, in 1998. Also in 1998, Seagrams acquires PolyGram from Philips and merges its music business with their own record label, MCA Records. The result is the formation of Universal Music Group. Included in the PolyGram acquisition are the Polar Music companies, which own Stranded Rekords.
In 1999, Klas Lunding and Isse Samie sell Dolores Recordings to Virgin Music Sweden. That same year, Håkan Hellström signs his debut album, Känn ingen sorg för mig Göteborg, to Virgin Music Sweden and his publishing to Universal Music Publishing Sweden.
From 2000 to 2009, Dolores Recordings/Virgin Music/EMI Sweden release Hellström albums Känn ingen sorg för mig Göteborg (2000), Det är så jag säger det (2002), Ett kolikbarns bekännelser (2005), Nåt gammalt, nåt nytt, nåt lånat, nåt blått (2006), and För sent för Edelweiss (2008), as well as Broder Daniel’s fourth and final album, Cruel Town (2005).
In 2009, Klas Lunding and Isse Samie found Telegram Studios AB and Lunding, Samie, Par Näsholm, and Sanji Tandan purchase Schibsted’s Swedish booking publishing arm to form Telegram Bokförlaget, who publishes Broder Daniel photobook When We Were Winning.
In 2005, Fredrik Ekander joins the board of independent music companies association IMPALA.
In 2007, EMI is acquired by Terra Firma Capital Partners.
In 2010, Klas Lunding, Isse Samie, and Håkan Hellström leave Virgin Music Sweden and join Universal Music Sweden; Stranded Rekords is resurrected under Universal’s ownership as a result. That same year, Hellström buys Universal Music Publishing Sweden out of their stake in Telegram Publishing, and he, Lunding, and Samie form Telegram Musikförlaget [Telegram Music Publishing]. Hellström releases two albums with Universal Music Sweden: Två steg från Paradise (2010) and Det kommer aldrig va över för mig (2013).
In 2011, CitiGroup takes over ownership of EMI from Terra Firma Capital Partners and puts the company up for sale with bids due by October. That summer, Cosmos Music Group (owned by Fredrik Ekander, along with its parent company, Cosmos Enterprises) announces the creation of booking agency Cosmos Live. Lunding and Samie are named as members of both the board and the advisory board. In November, CitiGroup announces the sale of EMI’s recorded music arm to Universal Music Group, which would result in Universal owning a 52% market share in Sweden. That December, Par Näsholm registers Telegram Studios Ltd. in the UK.
The following month, January 2012, Telegram Studios Ltd. is officially incorporated in the UK and listed on the GXG Markets micro exchange in London (GXG Markets’ CEO is Peter Almberg). That same month, IMPALA begins lobbying the European Commission in an attempt to stop the EMI/Universal sale, and an investigation is opened.
In the spring, Telegram announces the merging of Telegram Bokförlaget [Telegram Book Publishing], Telegram Musilförlaget [Telegram Music Publishing], and Stranded Rekords under the umbrella company Telegram Studios, as well as its issuing of shares in Telegram Studios Ltd. to 40 “power players” in the Sweden media/entertainment/publishing industries.
Late that summer, a memo sent from EMI Music Group’s CEO to employees leaks to the media; in it, he states that EMI Sweden could be one of the companies sold off to enable the sale to go through. Cosmos Music Group immediately submits a bid, but the EMI/Universal acquisition is eventually approved by both the FTC and the European Commission in September, with the latter requiring that Universal divests one-third of its total operations. Universal separates the labels for divestment (including EMI Sweden) an independently-operated holding group called Parlophone Label Group pending their sale.
In 2013, Warner Music Group agrees to purchase a number of Parlophone Label Group labels, including EMI Sweden. After further lobbying from IMPALA and digital rights association Merlin, Warner Music Group announces an agreement whereby they would divest 30% of the label’s catalog to IMPALA and Merlin members labels, giving preference to labels who have previously worked with the catalogs and pending approval by the artists. According to the agreement, the labels have until February 2014 to inform Warner of which catalogs they are interested in and until the the end of September 2017 to close the deal.
The following year, Telegram Studios subsidiary Telegram Music registers the “Woah Dad” trademark and Klas Lunding, Isse Samie, and new additions Joel Borg and Niklas Lundell launch a label, Woah Dad Records. The label is a joint venture between Telegram Studios and Warner Music Sweden, who is the label’s exclusive distributor and allegedly takes 95% on the backend. Their first release is a Håkan Hellström live album, Håkan Boma Ye! (2014). The year after that, Hellström announces his departure from Universal Music Sweden and officially signs to Woah Dad Records.
In 2016, Woah Dad releases Håkan Hellström’s album Du gamla du fria, as well as his EP 1974. By the end of the year, Woah Dad signs Henrik Berggren’s solo album, Wolf’s Heart (2017).
In the spring of 2017, as Woah Dad/Telegram battles with Amelia Trask and Sasha Hecht, the filmmakers of American documentary I’ll Be Gone, over a license to use songs from Wolf’s Heart in their documentary, the label is, at the same time, trying to secure the necessary signatures from the members of Broder Daniel to enable their acquisition of the band’s catalog. Despite Berggren’s management’s initial stance that Woah Dad/Telegram could not acquire the catalog as it would mean Warner purchasing the catalog from itself, for some reason, the sale is allowed to proceed.
A few members of Broder Daniel are hesitant to sign the agreement given their long history of negative experiences with the individuals behind the label. However, Niklas Lundell of Woah Dad represents that, should they not agree to the sale, their catalog would remain with Warner “forever.” (This is, in fact, a lie; had the band not agreed to any sale within the period stipulated by the Warner/IMPALA/Merlin agreement, the catalog would have remained with Warner, at which point Warner would be free to do whatever they wanted with it—including sell it to any interested buyer at market price.) Believing this to be true, all members of Broder Daniel sign the agreement except for Theo Jensen, who continues to hold out.
As the stand-off between Woah Dad/Telegram and the filmmakers becomes more dire, Berggren, who had already signed the sale agreement, steps in and tells the label and his management that if Woah Dad/Telegram would be so uncooperative about the rights for his solo album, he could not allow Broder Daniel’s back catalog to suffer same fate. Knowing that Jensen’s is the last signature remaining, Berggren tells the label that he will advise Jensen to continue withholding his signature unless and until the filmmaker’s licensing agreement for Wolf’s Heart is granted. Ultimately, without the filmmakers’ knowledge, the sale of the Broder Daniel catalog is approved in exchange for the rights to use Wolf’s Heart in I’ll Be Gone.
The acquisition is announced in November, along with the announcement that Woah Dad/Telegram had also acquired Hellström’s catalog. Around the same time, Telegram Studios Ltd. files for solvency and is dissolved.
2015 Rights Ownership Structure
2012 Rights Ownership Structure
2011 Rights Ownership Structure
2010 Rights Ownership Structure
2009 Rights Ownership Structure
1999 Rights Ownership Structure
1998 Rights Ownership Structure
1996 Rights Ownership Structure
1993 Rights Ownership Structure
1989 Rights Ownership Structure
1987 Rights Ownership Structure
1984 Rights Ownership Structure
1979 Rights Ownership Structure
2017 Rights Ownership Structure
2019 Rights Ownership Structure
Sign the Petition