Federation of Recorded Music Societies
Advice on PRS/PPL
"We're here for music"
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.
The organisation now trades under the style "PRS for Music"
PRS/FRMS LICENCE ARRANGEMENT
The Federation of Recorded Music Societies has 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 licence with PRS has a reference number 142503 and runs from 6th September to 5th September in any year.
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". The allocation of the total charge to affiliates is determined by FRMS.
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.
In working with this scheme, it should be noted that, although it is obviously available, PRS does NOT require FRMS to give it written information as to our participating affiliates. In case this gives rise to occasional difficulties, affiliates should note the advice at the end of this information sheet.
More information about the work of PRS can be found on their website www.prsformusic.co.uk
"Music Makes The World A Better Place"
PHONOGRAPHIC PERFORMANCE LIMITED (PPL)
Formed 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".
PPL/FRMS LICENCE ARRANGEMENT
The Federation of Recorded Music Societies has 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. The FRMS licence with PPL has a reference number 18728 and runs from 1st August to 31st July in any year.
Whilst the 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.
In working with this scheme, it should be noted that FRMS routinely gives written information to PPL as to our participating affiliates. In case there are occasional difficulties, affiliates should note the advice at the end of this information sheet.
information about the work of PPL can be found on their website www.ppluk.com
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO AFFILIATES
Both these organisations enforce 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.
A few years ago an unaffiliated society found itself on the wrong end of a retrospective demand from PRS for payment of an amount that was seven times the amount levied by FRMS for a similarly sized group. They subsequently affiliated!
Both PRS and PPL are mainly concerned with commercial usage of recordings i.e. in pubs, clubs, discos, hotels, "music on hold", shops, etc.
However, if any affiliate should receive worrying approaches or indeed actual demands for payment, they can respond to the enquirer by quoting the scheme details given above but should also immediately contact the Federation for advice and assistance.
Further information on other aspects of Copyright Licensing and its practical implications and effect for recorded music societies can be found in the Federation's Factsheet that can be accessed via the Home Page.
© FRMS September 2010
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