Licensing and royalties 1a. Name three societies that lookafter royalties and licensing and describe and explain what these societies do. PRS (Performance Right Society) is a copyright collective. It’s asociety for songwriters, composers and music publishers to license theirmusical compositions and lyrics.
PRS pay their members when their music hasbeen performed live, been used in film and tv, broadcasted, downloaded,streamed and played in public (PRS for music, 2017). MCPS (Mechanical copyright protection) isanother society for songwriters, composers and music publishers who collaboratewith PRS. MCPS are responsible for their members mechanical rights (soundrecordings) when their music is reproduced as a physical product such as CDs,DVDs, digital downloads and videos and also featured in films and TVcommercials. (PRS for music, 2017).
PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) is also alicensing company like PRS, but instead of representing songwriters, composersand music publishers, PPL collects and pay royalties to the performer and the recordcompany members. (PPL, 2017). 1b. Why are the above sociaties soimportant for the music industry? Licensing is necessary for keeping the processbetween music makers and music users simple and straightforward for both parties.If these societies wouldn’t exist businesses would have to contact each andevery songwriter, composer and music publisher themselves to ask for permissionto play their music.
This would also mean that the composers and musicpublishers themselves would have to deal with a lot of requests from all kindsof businesses. (PRS for music, 2017). Through these societies the composers andpublishers can keep track of where and when their music is performed or playedin public. To make sure that the royalties will be paid to the right people allmusic needs to be registered and available somewhere.
For example when a songis played on Spotify, Spotify must pay PRS for their use of it. PRS thendistributes the correct amount of royalties to each songwriter, publisher andcomposer. Every business will need to have a PPL license if they are going toplay recorded music. Otherwise they are infringing copyrights. (PRS for music, 2017).
2. Give an example of a copyrightinfringement case and describing, explaining and critically commenting on it GeorgeHarrisons song “My Sweet Lord” was released in 1970 and became number one onthe charts in over sixteen countries.Thissong was a great start to his solo career although it turned out that My SweetLord was proved to be very similar to “He’s So Fine” by the American girl groupThe Chiffons. Onlya couple months after its release, Harrison was sued by the publisher of “He’sso fine” for copyright infringement. In Harrisons biography I, Me, Mine hesays: “I wasn’t consciously aware of the similarity between ‘He’s so fine’ and’ My Sweet Lord’ when I wrote the song, as it was more improvised and not sofixed” (“I, Me, Mine”, 1980).
Thejudge in this case said that it was obvious that the songs were almostidentical however he said that he didn’t think that Harrison counsiously copied”He’s so fine”. Harrison claimed that since he heard the Chiffons song for thefirst time his “subconcious knew the combination of chords in the song” (“I,Me, Mine”, 1980). The law process became one of the longest in thehistory.
It wasn’t completed until twenty-seven years later. It ended up withthat Harrison had to pay compensation to Ronnie Mack’s right holder. Thesongwriter of “He’s so fine”.
(Ultimate classic rock, 2016). In my opinion there is definitely similarities between”My Sweet Lord” and “He’s so fine” in terms of the chords and melodies, but Idon’t believe that Harrison intentionally plagiarized “He’s so fine”. In fact Ithink that every songwriter often borrow parts and ideas from other songswithout really realizing it. I believe that as long as music keeps growing indifferent genres, someone is always bound to use the same chords and words assomeone else without knowing it. Although even if Harrison wasn’t fully awarethat he had copied “He’s so fine”, it is still an infringement of copyrightwhich means that I still think it is right that he had to pay compensation tothe songwriter of “He’s so fine”. 3. What would the music industry looklike without licensing and royalties? Compare the UK to other parts of theworld that have more relaxed or non-excisting copyright. Anindustry without licencing and royalties would basically mean that no one wouldget paid and In that case I do not think that the industry would be this big.
Clearlypeople would eventually stop creating music if they would not get paid orcredit for the work they have done. Songwriters,composers or publishers for example are all proffesions which means that theyhave the same right as anyone else to get paid and get credited for their work.”Musicwouldn’t exist without the work of songwriters, composers and publishers. We’rehere to represent them and ensure that they are rewarded for their creations.”(PRS for music, 2017). Withoutlicensing and royalties I also believe that music piracy would increase. If themusic is not registered anywhere it would mean that anyone could copy anddistribute of copies of a piece of work for which the composer, artist orwhoever is the copyright holder, did not give consent. Without copyright andlicensing it would be impossible to find out who would be paid when and forwhat.
Thecopyright system in Brazil looks a bit different than what it does in big partof Europe for example. In Brazil it runs by ECAD, which collects all royaltiesfrom exercise, mechanical and related rights and then distribute it to therelevant author and then these communities distribute royalties to theirmembers. ECADhas showed some flaws in the distribution of collections so Brazil decided tostart an investigation that later revealed errors far from ECADs legal rights.Tohelp them solve conflicts and problems between artists and collective societiesthey created IBDA which is suppose to act as an intermediary. Thisnew licensing concept gave the author more control over their work.Thelaw also allows a person who owns an album to create copies of it for personaluse without permission. Underclared work can also be reproduced for non-commercialpurposes without permisson. Asbroadband and mobile sevices rises, the worry about illegal file sharing alsoincreases.
Anotherchange that was proposed regarding the music market is that if you’re playingsongs through payment or other favors it will be considered a “violation of theeconomic order and the right to free culture”. PRSin the UK does have an Anti- piracy Unit to protect the copyright of PRSmembers. They can help you investigate copyright violations and, when necessary,also take legal action (The music business journal, 2010). Bibliography PRS for music, 2017.
PRS and MCPS (Online) Available at: https://prsformusic.com/what-we-do/prs-and-mcps (Accessed: November 26, 2017) PPL, 2017. PPL and PRSfor music (online) Available at: http://www.ppluk.
com/I-Play-Music/PPL-and-PRS-for-Music-/ (Accessed: November 26, 2017) UK government, 2017.Licence to play background music (PPL) (online) Available at: https://www.gov.uk/licence-to-play-background-music-ppl (Accessed: December 6, 2017) PRS for music, 2017.
Licensing music (online) Available at: https://prsformusic.com/what-we-do/licensing-music (Accessed: December 6, 2017) Harrison George, 1980.I, Me, Mine (Genesis publications) The music businessjournal, 2010. A far reaching copyright change in Brazil (online) Available at:http://www.
thembj.org/2010/10/a-far-reaching-copyright-change-in-brazil/ (Accessed: December 6, 2017) Ultimate classic rock, 2016. 40 years ago: George Harrison found guiltyof ‘My sweet Lord’ plagiarism (online) Available at: http://ultimateclassicrock.com/george-harrison-my-sweet-lord-plagiarism/ (Accessed: December 6, 2017)