PRS\PPL Music Licensing - Know Your Rights

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Azimuth, Aug 2, 2017.

?

Is this a worthwhile thing to do for small business ?

  1. Yes, it's time to fight back.

    16 vote(s)
    72.7%
  2. No, you're wasting your time.

    6 vote(s)
    27.3%
  1. Nord20

    Nord20 UKBF Regular Free Member

    490 110
    Perfect example to prove MY point. The estate agent example is ideal: the market works well, everyone sees the point of what they do and Estate Agents are very much NOT monopolies!

    Also, you don't pay the Estate agent a fee every month for the joy of living in the house they helped you purchase. You don't license your house.

    Licensing is really where the scam lies. Really, I go into a shop and buy a CD. I physical have it in my hands, but I have to pay every time I use it because I didn't buy it, "I licensed it". Absolute con and the fact that this thread is so emotive with so many people commenting rather suggests your dismissal of our complaints is both arrogant and short sighted.

    We are your customers and we resent and hate the system you force upon us. Something will give and I strongly suspect that will not be to the betterment of music creators.

    "People truly believe they shouldn't have to pay, so this impacts on their reasoning. "

    This is a straw man argument intended to take the light from the real issue. People have sound countless times in this thread alone that they are not adverse to paying for music. We are simply adverse to it being an ongoing cost when what has really happened is a one time purchase.

    Of course PRS are a monopoly! For goodness sake - have you never heard of individuals or groups using agents to carry out services they are unable or unwilling to do?

    Yes, I have. The fact that there are Agents (i.e. more than one) suggests, again, not a monopoly. To turn it around - can you name another industry that has a forced monopoly artificially layered over the top that requires the entire industry to do its bidding (both on the supply and demand side)?

    "People truly believe they shouldn't have to pay, so this impacts on their reasoning. Of course PRS are a monopoly! For goodness sake - have you never heard of individuals or groups using agents to carry out services they are unable or unwilling to do? You use an estate agent to handle a house sale because you really would struggle to market your property on your own. They get you your sales fee, and keep some of it."

    "The buyers mainly run dance schools, so are 'nice' people, yet one person spends fifteen quid, and then tries to give it free to her friends. When the download link fails, they no doubt send it to each other as mp3s!"

    This is an alarm bell that the music industry has been raising every 30 years or so since the dawn of recorded music. Every single time a new innovation comes about, it's the end of the music industry (records, cassettes, cds, now streaming).

    You must take a little responsibility for accepting the massive reduction in production costs (selling 1000 MP3 downloads costs you precisely the same as selling 100), in that it necessarily makes it far easier, and consequently far more likely, for people to abuse the system. I have it in my hand. I can make a copy with a single click of a button. The barriers to copying, a system created entirely by the music industry to save costs of its own, are too low. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it is the music industry that created, and encouraged people to copy by creating and distributing the tools with which to do so.

    And by charging them well over the odds, every single time they play a song, obviously.

    Something is clearly not right in an industry where (and I'm guessing a little, but I'm not far off) 7% of the participants command 90% of the proceeds.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: Nord20 Member since: Mar 8, 2011
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,503 1,328
    Perhaps music therefore is priced too low.

    How would you have felt over time if instead of buying music cheap you had been charged several times the price to cover in the future all sorts of licensing?

    Its a small minority currently who are going to be charged extra but rather than having them pay for the extra how about all music buyers paying higher price to cover?
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  3. Nord20

    Nord20 UKBF Regular Free Member

    490 110
    I and I suspect a lot of people on here would be more than happy to pay a higher fee for a commercial usage situation. The main issue is the ongoing, 'fee in perpetuity' that people object to.

    And please stop saying it's about stealing (not you Mr D!). It's not about stealing, it's about being ripped off when you want something at what the majority consider to be a reasonable price. What is happening with PRS is PRECISELY what the anti-monopoly rules were set up to avoid.
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: Nord20 Member since: Mar 8, 2011
  4. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,645 893
    So much IP product is marketed like this, and has been for so many years, I fail to see how you can dismiss it because you personally are a consumer rather than a producer. If you don't like it, don't buy it and we're all happy. There is no scam. One agent or multiples, it is still not a scam - agents work for you and take a fee or commission. There is power in agencies, and with PRS following established legal precedents, I approve 100% of them looking after my interests.

    Interestingly I got this from them this morning.
    They are doing a good job from what I can see, and if consumers don't like what they are doing, tough, because the membership see them as the ONLY method of generating income from these sources. Sure, we can market ourselves, try to deal direct, but PRS do it for me, so how is that bad.

    Nord20. I understand you don't like the system, so feel free to not use the music. It really is your choice. However, you are right - it is a buyers market, so as you wish to pay nothing, I wouldn't want to licence it to you - we're both happy. Consumers have no right to demand better terms, their only option is to not purchase. You surely cannot be arguing that you have a right to set your own terms that the seller must follow? This is a business forum and I assumed we all had business in mind - as in making money, not losing it.
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  5. Nord20

    Nord20 UKBF Regular Free Member

    490 110
    Ok, so, yes, not participating at all is certainly an option, but I don't think it's really what you want to see happen is it?

    What I don't understand is why you are so keen to defend this particular system when it demonstrably leads to:

    People simply playing music and not declaring it, as they feel the price is not acceptable.

    People illegally sharing their music collections.

    People playing less music than they otherwise would, as they can't afford it.

    And a huge cost overhead trying to police a system that relies too much on trust and resorts too often to 'catching people out'. And the policeman is for profit, so they take a nice fat chunk off the top.

    It's making an enemy of the industry's customers and that can't be a good thing in the long run for the music producers.

    In tax terms (because PRS is essentially the taxman), having a 90% tax rate won't bring in more revenue than having a 40% tax rate, as people will be less motivated to find ways to avoid paying the tax.

    There is a price point that will maximise the revenue for music producers and I think we are a long way from it.
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: Nord20 Member since: Mar 8, 2011
  6. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,645 893
    Every time we raise the issue, I reply, and every time beat my head against the wall. I like the system. I have no complaints. I never complain about PRS. You have a choice, oddly, I as a producer, don't!
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  7. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,093 3,147
    No. Records, downloads, whatever sell in tiny amounts - truly tiny. The last time Jenifer Lopez had a number one hit in the UK was back in about 2003 or 4 and it sold 1,600 copies.

    Now they measure downloads and YouTube hits and these generate fractions of pennies. The days of pushing your great opus on Radio Caroline and becoming a millionaire are over.

    Only the megastars earn the Big Bucks and they do this only through live performances.
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  8. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,503 1,328
    So people with say a number 30 single will sell.... a hundred copies from a fanbase of 40,000?
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  9. simon field

    simon field UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,946 1,471
    I don't dispute that - or the fact that the music industry had it good for years when they were charging £16.99 for a CD!

    So, once again - if I like the sound of the latest Fleet Foxes single, not only will I buy the album but if that's good too I'll go see them live. So that right there is advertising at its finest!
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: simon field Member since: Feb 4, 2011
  10. Dimo

    Dimo UKBF Regular Free Member

    102 17
    This system is reputed to work but in effect it is impossible to accurately distribute royalties. Why? Because the PRS apparently licenses businesses playing a radio in the workplace but they do not know whether it is Radio 1, Classic FM, Radio 4, Heart or any other station. At any time it may be any mix of stations during any one day. Is the company going to report to the PPL PRS Ltd stating which stations were listened to each day and at what time? Nonsense, of course they aren't.

    As I have said before, my beef is that this sytem is tantamount to a money-making scam because dues from airplay across the networks cannot possibly be directed accurately to the relevant musicians who created the music aired.

    I had one of my compositions played on the radio a few years ago. Jane Bloggs' Hairdressers may have listened to it; they pay the PPL PRS, but they may equally have been listening to Woman's Hour on Radio 4.

    So how exactly are royalties distributed? PPL PRS Ltd is charging small businesses for having a radio playing and they are taking their money for 'TheMusicLicence' to listen. The idea is that the music creators receive a royalty for airplay. But the PPL PRS is not an all sentient eye in the sky. Or is someone going to claim PRS PPL Ltd monitors every station across the globe and lists every piece of music played so that all the relevant royalties can be paid? -Less their 12.5% cut of course.

    Royalties paid from radio play is seriously flawed and having the likes of Joe's Back Street Garage requiring a licence to listen to the radio is a con. Besides, radio stations already pay a royalty for what they air!

    When was this 'listening licence' established exactly (I can only find details for live licensing). Why wasn't it around 30+ years ago? They wouldn't have got away with it.
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: Dimo Member since: Jul 23, 2007
  11. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,093 3,147
    About that!

    I do buy everything that Nicki Minaj produces and I actually stomp up the cash for an old fashioned stone-age CD. But then she is a real artist with depth and meaning to her work!
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  12. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,503 1,328
    Yes there are some great artists out there. Not that I will buy the music but will download it from Spotify.
    The rare stuff that is hard to find I do keep an eye out for. Stuff that never made it to cd even, or official bootleg.
     
    Posted: Sep 3, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  13. Mpg

    Mpg UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,468 275
    I've just had a quote for £1200 from PRS for an identical site that is being charged £301 per annum. I'm going to do a little more research into what weve both been quoted for.

    I think as digital medium becomes more popular in the future PRS/PPL will become easier to manage. For instance We will be playing Background music via spotify so there will be records hopefully records to be used in the future.

    The system does seem flawed. What if we were a Queen appreciation bar and ONLY played Queen they wouldn't get their fair share.

    However as a photographer I completely understand the need for a "rights" licence
     
    Posted: Nov 6, 2018 By: Mpg Member since: Aug 18, 2009
  14. atmosbob

    atmosbob UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,635 809
    Its here now. I was in a bar in France last week doing exactly that.
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2018 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
  15. Scott-Copywriter

    Scott-Copywriter UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    9,705 2,663
    I imagine they create statistical models by taking a representative sample and then extrapolating that across the group as a whole.

    For example, track a few dozen stations across an evenly weighted sample (the songs they play, how often etc) and then extrapolate the stats to give a broad industry view.

    This is how TV ratings work. I think in the UK there are about 5000 households that have signed up to have their viewing habits tracked. This sample is then used to indicate TV ratings for the 25+ million homes in the UK.

    The same model applies in psephology, which is the science of voting and opinion polling. Samples of a few thousand are used to judge the opinion of millions. And while they're rarely perfect, they're also rarely out by more than a few percentage points, so it's surprisingly accurate given the relatively small sample size.
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2018 By: Scott-Copywriter Member since: May 10, 2006
  16. A715H

    A715H UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    I own a restaurant (100 seats)
    This year my PPL PRS bill is £390 ( which has not gone up from the last year by much at all)

    BUT when compared to my Licensing Act 2003 - Annual fee of £180.00 is ridiculous, that is £180.00 for the whole year for me to sell alcohol !!!
    I am not a busy restaurant although I have 100 seats I cant fill them every day, we barley use 80 on a Saturday night, the calculations are all wrong (i don't mind paying for the right to play music, but in proportion to the amount of 'turnover' I do) its the same for business rates, I know its a big building but my local community has not the money where they can dine out 2 to 3 times a week, we don't get any passing trade.


    I received a call today from PRS to say they are sending out agents to all establishments that hold a license to come in and listen to the music you play so they can figure out where to pay the royalties.
    I was asked ..what platform do you use ..I said soptify
    Can the agent see the list of music ...Why not
    Would you like the agent to buy a drink while he is there .... OF COURSE
    Is there a dress code ....ummm fancy dress !!



    If I pay £180.00 for my alcohol license which generates me 60% of my business turnover..I don't see how PRS PPL can demand £390 from me because its not going to yield what the Alcohol license is !! VERY CLEVER LEGAL SCAM (I'm in the wrong business, lets make money from what other people have done)
     
    Posted: Jan 10, 2019 By: A715H Member since: Jan 10, 2019
  17. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,093 3,147
    How much alcohol does that £180 buy you?
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  18. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,503 1,328
    Without any music what would be the sales of your products? The difference between that and your current sales is the value of your license to you. Now is that total higher or lower than you are charged?

    Perhaps an office or workshop can claim to not receive financial benefit from the music. Not sure I'd bother with a silent restaurant.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  19. A715H

    A715H UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    That £180 is the cost of the license that grants me the license to sell alcoholic products to people that walk in my door .. The £180 [buys me no Alcohol!!]...unfortunately 'I do that' ..LOL


    That £390 [Buys me no music!!]



    That £390 is the cost of the license that grants me the license to play music to people that are in my restaurant (for the purpose of drinking and eating) to listen to music that I play from spotify..

    {I pay £120/year to spotify for that} ..

    Plus my music system that I have paid for plays the music, speakers through out the restaurant, amplifier, wires, powered by electric every day {Something goes wrong who pays for that!!] and also my TIME to hand pick the music (Make a Playlist) after understanding what my customers want, balancing the young aged clients and old aged people, different types of music who does that work for free...I'm like a composer in my own business !!
    Where are my royalties for my hard work …..



    I've just received another bill from MPS ...motion picture solutions obviously copying PRS PPL but its not music its stuff you put on the TV ...I have a Business TV license !! 1 TV in the whole place and only plays BBC 1 but yet they want some money from it ….



    Advertising, 6 miles down the road there is a City …. the biggest restaurant in that location pays £1200 for a full page advert in the local paper, I can't but if I wanted to place an advert it would also cost me £1200 (I cant afford it) who gets the bigger bang for buck …..

    obviously this is a choice, but PPL PRS is not a choice you have to pay on wrong calculations, the algorithm to work out cost is wrong, like I said I don't mind paying for it as long as its relative.
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: A715H Member since: Jan 10, 2019
  20. A715H

    A715H UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    Office workshop ...Silent OK
    Restaurant you can not have silent ...

    The cost charged by them is inflated for the yield it produces (Obviously there is no method of measure but there is a method of comparison (which I have already mentioned in my previous post) ...they should have a better method of calculation and have a unique charge for different business concerns …

    (pay cuts across the directors then employ more staff internally and not externally (the music researcher that is coming to my premises is from an external company [higher costs])
     
    Posted: Jan 11, 2019 By: A715H Member since: Jan 10, 2019