Forums > Social Discussion > PRS & Music Licenses when performing

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Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:Something I've always been aware of, but have to confess I've never really acted on...

We use a couple of tunes for our performances and I'm sure technically we're meant to pay PRS (Performers Rights Society - company who collect royalties for the artists) but ummm don't.

Obviously if you use your own music this doesn't apply - but I guess it's something to consider.

For example, we use a couple of Shpongle tracks when we performed at Glasto and we're doing the Glade this weekend. Which is quite odd as Shpongle (or at least Halluncinogen) are there too, so could actually over-hear us using his music, which might piss him off a bit...

Do any of you other performers complete the PRS form or do you just use your own music?


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Spinner of poi
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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:i made a similar observation on rec.juggling last week but more to do with copyright in general.

there was debate about redistribution of video over peer-to-peer networks and some people (rightly) claimed that they hold copyright and therefore retain the distribution rights.
which immediately kills the idea of using kazaa to share video clips (the same has happened here on hop too).

my point was that although they are correct, many of these people use copyrighted music in their videos without clearing it or paying a fee - sometimes even admitting to having downloaded that music for free in the first place!

and the held distribution rights are even more tenuous when the material is being distributed for free on the internet in the first place.

kind of a tangent but a valid point still i think?

does anyone know what the process is if you want to use a music track that has copyright and distribution rights held?


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:Officially?

You write to the PRS and BPL (British Phonogrpahic Ltd - or somesuch) stating which track, by whom you wish to use and what you want to use it for. PRS collects the royalites, BPL give you permission to re-distribute it.

They'll either say "No" or set a fee - the fee I believe is set by the record label who own the track so big name artists will charge more for their tracks.

I'd be surprised if they say yes as they'd insist you have restrictions on who can watch your video - otherwise you're just giving away their music to anyone...

But then think of all the videos on the internet and the tracks on them - it'd be damn hard to chase everyone. The ones they'd target would be companies using it for promo stuff (Errrrm, a bit like Burnt Toast eek )

I guess if you credit the artist (and maybe the record label) than you are at least showing people where they can get the music from (legally)


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Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:And here's what PRS said:
~~~~~~
The organisers of any public performance be it a festival or a fixed
venue are usually liable for the payment of royalties, but they may
choose to charge this back to visiting companies. Private functions
within the domestic circle are not liable for PRS royalties.

Much depends upon the specific nature of the performances in question,
such as whether the shows are theatrical or straight concerts etc.

You would need a broadcasting licence for the online usage and I copy in
my colleagueXXXXXXXXX to respond here.

(then, after follow-up e-mail saying what we did)

This is ok in terms of the public performance in that the weddings are
private and the Glastonbury Festival and Brixton Academy are both
covered. We do not usually license performers direct as our contracts
are with venues and/or festival promoters. You may still need a
broadcast licence for the online usage.


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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:Interesting, Durbs, and thanks for the info. I imagine something similar takes place her e in the states. It would be good to find out, since I've done choreographies to other people's music....

Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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Psi
boing
Location: Body in Seattle - soul still i...
Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 529
Posted:Yes, thanks for this info, i hadn't even thought of this before, we've used many commercial tracks for our performances (including Shpongle) before and just assumed it was ok .. But i'd doubt Simon Posford would be pissed off to hear you guys use his music at the glade for your show ...

Mike

P.S. We have (hopefully, not fully confirmed yet) got hold of a sweet pair of glade tickets so will probably see you there biggrin bounce


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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:Well, if public performances need royalties to be paid to the artists, then, following that concept, we'd have to charge people that came over for a party, and anyone that wanted to go driving down the street with the doof doof music playing should also charge the bystanders and the people in cars nearby, for the same reason.

admittedly, thats taking it to an extreme, but in principle, its possible, and it could very well end up happening. unlikely, but its possible.


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:Actually, MiG, I think the difference is in a public performance, like a concert, show or whatever, the producers and performers of that show are getting paid, making money.

Notice the letter Durbs posted....

They typically charge event promoters and venues...those folks make money off of festivals and performances.

A party is a private function, so no, you wouldn't have to pay. Going down the street, well, you're not making money going down the street playing the music. In essence, you're advertising the music for free, in a sense, so I Doubt things will ever be taken to this extreme.


Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:ahh, i was thinking like the performances similar to the ones we hold in adelaide, of which the latest 'flaming rotunda of doof' was the latest, and prolly biggest i've been to. we didnt really pay, but there were donations for kero and stuff, so whether that counts, i dont know.

I spose that if people are making money, making a profit, out of showing something that someone has put time, effort and dedication into, then yes, the person(s) that created it should get a percentage of that money.

But then, if one person/group, or a couple of small groups, didnt pay the royalties, i really dont think it will make a huge impact in the artists pocket. then, i guess, if nobody did, then the impact would be large.

*shrugs* i'll just not charge for performances i hold, or keep it donation based.


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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Dut
lurker
Location: Nashville, TN
Member Since: 22nd Mar 2002
Total posts: 380
Posted:ooh.sunny i'd really be using this as an excuse to talk to Simon P. to ask him directly what he thinks about it (personally) and what his contracts say should be the procedure for handling this (professionally). In the US, copyright laws like these don't allow you to be arrested for stuff like this ever, but you could be sued by the copyright holder (maybe Simon P/Raja Ram, maybe not) for royalties if they found out and cared.

-- dut


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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:Mig....I think you can keep it donation based, but don't aim to make a profit out of it...but that's pure speculation on my part.

biggrin


Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:heck, im not likely to hold any performances anyway, but if i do, it'll more than likely be for fun, not for cash. if i wanted to make money, i'd get a job. or rob a bank. or start dealing drugs. or sell my body on the street. or sell my organs on ebay. or start busking. or make a phony research company, and get a massive grant off the government or something.

please note that none of the above money making things are ever likely to happen. except maybe to sell organs on ebay. and even thats unlikely.


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:There are several questions raised here rather than just one.

The first, is the legal position of how and when you can use an artists works without their permission (this includes people filming US spinning) and also the specific rules concerning recorded music.

The second is assessing the risk that if you break those rules you may get a massive fine (remember ignorance is no excuse).

Just because someone else has done it and got away with it, doesn't mean you won't get caught. And remember that laws can change in the future.

The third is not to take ANYONES advice on a public forum such as this on the internet! EVER!

If you are truly concerned, contact the organisations in your country who deal with such situations and get their advice. If you ring them, write down the time and day you spoke to them, what they said and the name of the person/people you spoke to.

Then file that in a safe place.

Once again, there is no problem with discussing it on the board, but DO NOT use any information given here as a basis for assessing risk or legality of use...


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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:Charles raises some very valid points. Cheers, Charles!

Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Valid points or not, it seems to have killed the thread too, which might be a good thing...I'm not sure...
eek


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