[LINK] music industry goes after public performance

Chris Gilbey chris at perceptric.com
Tue Jun 16 12:24:29 EST 2009

> If you are a songwriter and you want to get paid performance income for your
> works you join APRA.

Er - no. APRA can only help you if your works are played by radio
stations, restaurants etc. Then, you can either go to those
organisations yourself and demand payment or join APRA and have a Big
Guy do it for you.

Responding to Karl¹s comments/queries

<<The other way to get paid performance income is to do paid performances!
Or produce your own CD and sell it, rent it or whatever. APRA just isn't
in the picture.>>

An artist being paid for a performance is a fee to an artist. This does not
provide income to the songwriter whose songs are played in the performance.
That is what APRA collects.
Producing your own CD and selling it has nothing to do with APRA. However it
would involve AMCOS, in the event that you record songs that you have not
written yourself as mechanicals have to be paid to the writers/publishers of
the songs. 
<I can sell my songs to others, rent the rights tpo perform to
others, and I can perform myself. APRA again does not have to be part of
that picture>>

You can sell your songs but you are not allowed to sell the right to receive
the writer¹s share of performance income to others. APRA continues to
receive and distribute the songwriter¹s share of public performance
royalties to the writer regardless of whether he or she sells the underlying
copyright to a third party.

<<Really? Is it that absolute? Let's say I own a restaurant. I have a
talented acquaintances who have formed a band. They play all their own
material, and have cut their own CDs. I have a contract with them, and
pay them some money to use their CDs in my restaurant. I play only their
works. Are you saying that in that case I have to have a license from
APRA (or whoever)?>>

You absolutely have to have a license from APRA for your restaurant in order
to legitimately enable public performance of musical works (these are the
songs, not the master recordings).

> And an artists playing his or her own songs still has the performance of the
> songs collected by APRA. This is to stop equally rapacious club owners and
> caf? proprietors (to those rapacious record companies and publishers :))
> from diddling the songwriter/artist/performer.

This needs more explanation. You seem to be saying that a venue is not
permitted to enter a private contract with a songwriter/performer. Is
that what you *are* saying?

The venue can enter into an agreement with a performer who is also a
songwriter for that person to perform at the venue. The venue owner can not
plead that he or she has relieved themselves of their obligations to the
underlying rights owners of the songs that are performed by a private
agreement. Having said that there are exceptions, but as far as I am aware,
these are only in regard to performances by major touring artists where
there is an agreement struck that guarantees that the only songs to be
performed on the night are written by the performer, and where there is an
APRA representative present to confirm that these are the only songs
performed. As far as I know there have only been one or two instances of
this and this never happens in a small venue, because frankly the cost is
prohibitive to the venue owner/promoter.

<<If you are not getting airplay, your APRA fees are a waste of money. If
you only play live, your APRA fees are a waste of money. If you want to
build your own niche market, your APRA fees are a waste of money. Or
have I missed something?>>

What APRA fees? You don¹t pay APRA to join so there are no fees...



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