[LINK] Some Data On Performing Rights

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Thu Nov 27 09:24:47 AEDT 2008

Thanks Chris,

How complicated.  I assume you are talking about people performing  
music written by other people.  What happens when they are playing  
their own songs?  ie songs they own the copyright for.

Also I assume APRA only collects for artists and songwriters  
registered with them?  Or does it collect for everything and keep the  
money for artists not registered with them?  What about music in the  
public domain or with a CC license?

It's not clear from what you say that the money actually goes to the  
songwriters and performers?  If that's the case it's on the basis of  
the number of plays or part thereof?  APRA also takes a cut for itself?


On 2008/Nov/26, at 9:44 PM, Chris Gilbey wrote:
> I started a new thread on this since it is a bit off the topic of  
> the iiNet
> suit.
> Btw this is obviously not a definitive overview of performing  
> rights. There
> is a lot more out there to consider, but here are some of the  
> practical
> considerations.
> First live venues:
> Venues pay a licensing fee to APRA. This includes shops and  
> restaurants like
> the place you buy sandwiches that has the radio on, or Woolies that  
> plays
> canned music. It includes discos where there is music played by a DJ  
> and it
> includes pubs where there is a juke box or a live band.
> There is a formula for the calculation of what the license fee is  
> for a
> particular venue, not sure what that is, but if it is important I  
> can find
> out. (By the way in full disclosure, I served as a publisher  
> director of
> APRA for about 6 or 7 years).
> So while a performer may play at a venue and may even hypothetically  
> promote
> his or her own concert and take money at the door, it is really the  
> venue’s
> responsibility to pay APRA. There is an exception to this, which is  
> in the
> case of so-called Grand Rights. These are the rights associated with  
> musical
> literary/works as defined in the Act which include Opera and  
> Musicals (but
> strictly speaking musicals where the first performance of the song  
> was as
> part of the performance of a full libretto rather than where songs  
> have been
> coupled subsequent to their first release to form part of a  
> “musical”. In
> this case there is a gate fee that is payable by the producers of the
> musical which is a percentage of the ticket price. I am not sure what
> happens with major pop/rock concerts. I think that the venues normally
> strike a deal with promoters where the promoters assume the  
> responsibility
> of paying APRA.
> Movie theatres also pay a percentage of their gate fee, I believe. I  
> am a
> bit hazy about that one.
> Private householders do not pay because they are not in control of a  
> public
> space. So if you put your TV in the back yard and show a movie that  
> the
> neighbours can see, or have a band playing at a party, or you have an
> outdoor party with music, it is still not considered to be a “public”
> performance. So no fee is due.
> The way it works with radio and TV is that they pay a percentage of  
> their
> advertising revenues to APRA for the use of music.
> The Internet is in a kind of grey area. While on the one hand there  
> is a lot
> of music disseminated via the Internet, the point of consumption is
> generally in the home, so strictly speaking there is no public  
> performance.
> However there is a reproduction of the music that takes place along  
> the way,
> and that falls into the realms of AMCOS (representing the Copyright  
> Owners).
> There is definitely an obligation to pay here. The problem to date  
> appears
> to be the cost benefit of collecting and remitting.
> So the next issue is how the money gets apportioned.
> The big money that comes in is from radio and TV. There are logs  
> that are
> remitted by the radio stations that show the music played, including
> advertising jingles, station id’s etc. Jingles and station id’s are  
> valued
> at a lower level than records. Same applies in TV where jingles are  
> paid at
> a lower level than music in a soap etc. However, music inside films  
> and
> soaps etc are a real doozy of complexity in terms of the  
> distribution of the
> funds. Music that is in the foreground is paid at a higher level to  
> music in
> the background and music that is part of the main title theme is at a
> different level again.
> The funds that come from venues is a very small part of the pie. The  
> one
> obligation that performers have is to fill in a log of the songs  
> that they
> have performed during their performance and to submit it to APRA.  
> And by the
> way, APRA also sends monitors to pretty much every big concert to  
> ensure
> that they get correct logs of the performances.
> There are anomalies along the way, such as “Music On Hold”. Music  
> that is
> played over the phone while you are waiting is strangely enough  
> considered
> to be a public performance and so has to be paid for.
> Hopefully this helps cover some of the questions...
> Regards
> Chris Gilbey

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
Ph: +39 06 855 4294  M: +39 3494957443
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request

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