New UK collection society rules come into force next week

UK labels, publishers, songwriters and artists have been told they will benefit from ‘increased oversight and control’ of PPL and PRS For Music from next week.

The Collective Rights Management Directive will be implemented into UK law on Sunday (April 10).

According to the UK government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the Directive is ‘designed to help make sure royalty payments are timely and accurate while significantly improving the transparency and governance of European CMOs’.

The Directive also aims to create ‘a level playing field for multi-territorial licensing of online music services’.

The new Regulations will change the following elements of the market in particular:

  • Control of rights: Rights-holders will have an explicit right to authorise any CMO in the EU to manage their rights, and to withdraw this authorisation;
  • Decision-making: CMOs will need to give their members proper representation in decision-making processes, including on how royalties are distributed;
  • Payment: Right holders will be entitled to timely, accurate royalty payments for the use of their works;
  • Transparency: CMOs will need to publish more detail about their operations, letting right holders make an informed judgement on their performance.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: “This is great news for UK rights holders who deserve to be paid accurately and promptly for their work.

“I am certain that the increased oversight and transparency offered to artists will improve the standards of collective management organisations across Europe, and make the entire process run more smoothly.

“It is right that artists have more choice over who manages their work and how they do it.

Annabella Coldrick, CEO of the Music Managers Forum, said: “The Music Managers Forum supports the provisions of the CMO Directive to help drive increased transparency and accountability within the UK’s collective music management bodies – PPL and PRS.

“We hope that the implementation of these requirements in other European territories should lead to increased revenues being correctly returned to UK artists from overseas.”

The Regulations will also establish a framework to make it easier for CMOs to offer single licences across the EU for online music services, which the IPO says will “encourage the development of new products for consumers, and create new sources of revenue for creators”.Music Business Worldwide

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