You don’t need to be Elvis to claim royalty-(ies) part two 11/6/07…

You don’t need to be Elvis to claim royalty-(ies) part two 11/6/07..:

Good morning all, I hope you’re well?

I’m writing todays blog after a remarkable weekend up in Inverness for the Go North music conference which climaxed in the attending of ‘Rock Ness’ during Saturday day. Needless to say muchos fun was had, the Wombats were grand and copious amounts of booze was consumed. Networking in the music industry is bloody hard work I can tell you…

So, I’m positive you’re all sleep deprived since last weeks blog cliff hanger? This week: What your copyright can get you.

PRS – Performing Right Society

The PRS are simply smashing folk, working tirelessly, day and night, collecting royalty after royalty for all you ‘hard working’ artists. And how do you repay them? By not collecting your money! An astonishing amount of money goes unclaimed every year at the PRS, the majority of it generated by unsigned and independent artists like your fine selves.

Anywhere where music is played in public, and I mean anywhere, PRS money is generated: pubs, clubs, bars, concerts, hairdressers, shops, coffee houses, radio, internet radio etc etc. This is because anywhere that plays music in public must pay the PRS a licence fee for the privilege. Dependent on where your music gets played determines the amount of money generated (e.g. a play on roly poly DJ Chris Moyles’ show would generate far more than a play on ‘Sleepy Johns Insomniac Hour’ on ‘Kinross FM’) which could range anywhere from a few pence to thousands of pounds.

The two main sources of PRS revenue for unsigned and independent artists from the PRS are from radio play and performing live. For every gig you play in the UK you can claim for some PRS royalties and dependent on the size of the gig, cost of the ticket, number of bands performing on the bill etc the amount you receive can be varied, but be it £2 or £200, it’s still money you are owed.

To join the PRS it costs £100 per member of your band, which obviously can be quite pricey for your average unsigned artist but there is this great little company called SENTRIC MUSIC that can collect it for you with no joining fee, a non exclusive contract, no taking away of copyright or equity and they do all the tedious admin on your behalf. Not only that, you can sign up easily at (Now regular readers of the blog know that I don’t use this thing to advertise Sentric Music itself, but with regards to the topic, it’d be silly not too now would it?)

MCPS – The Mechanical Copyright Protection Society

Everytime a tangible copy of your music is made, the copyright owner(which could be you or whoever you’ve signed your copyright over to) is entitled to a royalty. If you were to press up several hundred copies of a single/album, then the manufacturer, in theory, shouldn’t really do so unless you have a valid licence from the MCPS. The good news is that the MCPS several years ago joined forces with the PRS so now, all you have to do is join one then you automatically join the other! It’s just so easy.

VPL – Video Performance Limited

These lovely fellows collect the royalties generated by music video channels and video jukeboxes around the UK and the good news is; membership is free. Be aware though that in the majority of cases, whoever funded the making of the video is the copyright owner.

PPL – Phonographic Performance LTD

The PPL perform a very similar task to the PRS but where the PRS pays the writers and composers of the music, the PPL pays the copyright owner of the sound recording (this is where the DIY model becomes rather attractive as more income streams are opened up to you). Also, a sub division of the PPL is the UK Performer Services who collect royalties to pay the performers on the said sound recordings. This is why money grabbers like Simon Cowell used to play triangle on his artists recordings so he’d be entitled to money from the PPL. The PPL is also free to join so get on it… 


So, there you have it, if you own the copyright to your songs and videos then you could be owed money from all of these organisations. But of course, if you’ve read the blog two weeks ago about having an effective manager, all this would have been sorted out for you already no?

Maybe not, at Status Quo’s manager didn’t know about them to not so long ago and discovered they were owed around £50 grand! (and keep in mind that figure could have been much higher if they’d collected from the start of their career) 

When I write the blog next week I’ll hopefully still be on a dizzying high after witnessing Muse play at Wembley. I can’t fucking wait! 

What I’m listening to this week: Muse (obviously) and Oppenheimer (the best of the best at the Go North conference)

Stay tuned



~ by Sentric on June 11, 2007.

One Response to “You don’t need to be Elvis to claim royalty-(ies) part two 11/6/07…”

  1. […] towards performance royalties, what they are, how much they’re worth and how artists can get their hands on them is borderline […]

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