Federation of Recorded Music Societies
Advice on PPS/PRS
RIGHT SOCIETY (PRS)
Founded in 1914, PRS "collects licence fees from copyright music users and distributes the money as royalties to the music creators i.e. the composers, writers and publishers of music". PRS members are composers, lyricists and music publishers. Note that "composers" include those musicians making arrangements or transcriptions of music.
in 1934, PPL "grants licenses for the broadcasting or playing of
sound recordings in public. The licence fee is distributed to the record
companies, artistes and musicians".
The Federation of Recorded Music Societies had a long-standing licence arrangement with PRS that enables it to ensure that affiliated societies comply with the necessary copyright regulations in their public performances of recorded music. The FRMS scheme has been operational for many years and was re-negotiated in 2000. The basis of charging by PRS is by "total membership of affiliated societies".
Whilst much music is in "the public domain", it is convenient and economic for affiliates to take advantage of the FRMS licence cover. The blanket nature of our scheme means that all music is covered and therefore automatically includes modern editions, arrangements, transcriptions or reconstructions of older music as well, of course, as all music composed within the last seventy years.
The scheme is all-encompassing i.e. no particular account is taken of the number of performances in a period, of programme content, whether copyrighted or not, or of programme duration. The scheme is thus free of additional effort such as reporting details of music played. Since it is administratively economic to all parties, the PRS license costs charged via the Federation are correspondingly a lot more favourable than if separate licences were to be obtained independently by affiliates.
Societies should also note that the premises where they hold their meetings may already hold a PRS/PPL license; they should however confirm the situation with the relevant bodies before making any application to be excluded from the scheme (see the note at the end of this sheet).
The Federation of Recorded Music Societies has also had a long standing licence arrangement with PPL that enables it to ensure that affiliated societies comply with the necessary copyright regulations in their public performances of recorded music. Prior to 2001, the FRMS received an exemption from PPL license costs. The current basis of charging by PPL is by "total number of affiliated societies".
copyright in older recordings is generally in "the public domain",
it is convenient and economic for affiliates to take advantage of the
FRMS licence cover. The blanket nature of our scheme means that all recordings
are covered and therefore automatically includes modern digital editions,
reissues and compilations, as well, of course, as all new recordings released
within the last fifty years.
NOTICE TO AFFILIATES
the past these organisations have enforced their responsibilities and
have regional offices and agents throughout the UK who are "on the
lookout" for activities that infringe copyright legislation. Music
publishers are known to look at music stands during concerts and both
PRS and PPL are known to be currently active in checking on the activities
at community halls and similar venues.
Both PRS and PPL are mainly concerned with commercial usage of recordings i.e. in pubs, clubs, discos, hotels, "music on hold", shops, etc.
if any affiliate should receive worrying approaches or indeed actual demands
for payment, they should immediately contact the Federation for advice
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