Tag Archive: UK Music

  1. An Introduction to the Music Industry – Part 1

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    The music industry can be a mysterious place. It’s important to what what each area of the industry does and how you can earn a living.

    An Introduction to the Music Industry - Part 1

    Intellectual Property

    Intellectual property is based around Copyright. Copyright is present in all forms of intellectual property, from film to music to journalism. Although the specifics can vary from country to country,  usually the creator owns all the rights. Unless the creator is employed to create something, in which, the employing company would own the rights. In each creative industry, especially the music industry, there are many rights that can be owned by different parties (the artist, songwriter, record label etc.).

    There are several rights involved in a singular release (single, E.P., Album). Here is an explanation to what they grant the rights to and who would own these rights:

    • Song Rights: Covers Musical Composition, Lyrics, Performance rights and Publishing Rights (mechanical rights, print rights, synchronisation rights).

    Often owned by the artist or the band. These rights can often be split amongst band music partners, i.e. Elton John (composer) and Bernie Taupin (lyricist), or have joint owners amongst a band, i.e. John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

    • Recording Rights: Covers Recorded Rights, Mastering Rights and Music Videos.

    Often owned by whoever pays for these services, i.e. the record label.

    • Artistic Rights: Covers Artwork and Photography.

    Often owned by the artist or photographer who creates/takes these.

    Making Money and Licensing

    If you own all the rights on a song (excluding artistic rights), you can control:

    • Re-production = re-recording your music.
    • Distribution = distributing your music to stores and streaming platforms.
    • Public Performance = your music being played publicly.
    • Adaption
    • Communication/Broadcasting = your music being played on radio
    • Synchronisation = your music being in film, TV, video games, advertisements and other forms of visual media.

    As the rights holder, you make money by Licensing these. Licensing means giving permission to others to use your property, and so as an artist, songwriter, record label etc. you can sell licenses (permission) for the above actions to other artists and industry members.

    NOTE: Copyright does not last forever i.e. in the UK copyright for recording rights last 70 years, becoming public domain afterwards. However, owners of these rights have found ways to renew these rights. For instance, as the recording rights for specific songs have started to run out, record labels have begun re-releasing music to renew the recording rights (which will last for another 70 years in the UK).

    Trademark

    People often get Trademark and Copyright mixed up, however unlike Copyright (which is automatically in place), to trademark something registration is required.

    There is no copyright in the name of an artist or band, however artists and bands can register their names for trademark (requesting which sector you are protected, i.e. Oasis – Band, Oasis – drink and Oasis – clothes retailer). Artists who trademark their name in entertainment can license their name to fashion, perfume, beer etc. For artists that reach a certain level of ‘success’, a lot of money can be made from trademark licensing.

    Artists and Bands may look to have the following trademarked:

    • Names
    • Logos
    • Slogans

    NOTE: Certain words cannot be trademarked, for example: swear words, key religious figures, city names.

  2. Horus Music welcomes PPL and PRS for Music move

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    PRS and PPL Leicester move

    Earlier this week it was announced that Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) and PRS for Music will be moving their national headquarters from London to Leicester city centre.

    Their new joint venture will begin around July 2017 and will be based in Mercury Place.

    Here at Horus Music we are very excited about this move to join us in Leicester. This has been our home for almost 10 years now and amongst the vibrant music that is played here we enjoy the Midland Mainline service meaning it takes us less than an hour to get into London city centre; less time than many those that are based around London itself.

    We have been partners with both PRS for Music and PPL for many years, and we have seen the benefits that their service provides to our many independent artists and record label clients, which includes the licensing of musical composition and lyrics on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers as well as the licensing of recorded music for record companies and performers which is played in public or in digital media.

    CEO and Managing Director of Horus Music, Nick Dunn, adds: We’re very happy to see that more and more companies are realising that there are opportunities for business, especially in the music industry, that are available outside of London and have the additional benefit of being both financially and environmentally friendly. We welcome PPL and PRS for Music to such a diverse and growing city.”

    Everyone at Horus Music looks forward to many more years of a successful partnership with both of these companies and hope that our relationship with grow even further as we work together in the city of Leicester to help the musicians, songwriters and record labels of Leicestershire and beyond.

  3. Music Rights Explained

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    Music rights can be a very tricky area to understand, with a crazy number of acronyms and collecting societies to remember. In this blog, we will explain a bit about what the PRS (Performing Rights Society) and MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) do for songwriters with publishing royalties, and what PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) do for performers and recording licenses.

    Music Rights Explained

     

    PRS and MCPS

    The PRS are a UK collecting society for songwriters and composers. When using a song for publishing there are 2 different components to the song that collecting societies have to consider.

    These are the songwriters royalties and the recording artists royalties.

    PRS represent the writers, composers and publishers of a piece of music whenever it is played in public. Songwriters can sign up with the PRS who then add your content to their database, and collect any performance royalties on your behalf. This includes whenever a track you wrote is publicly performed, such as in radio, TV, film and video games. This is done by adding a special code called an ISWC to the song that allows PRS to keep track of where the music is played. If you are a writer credited on a track then you will be entitled to publishing royalties through PRS.

    PRS for Music has blanket licenses in place with UK terrestrial TV networks for the use of music on their channels. Any track that is registered with PRS for Music can be used by the TV networks without the need to seek individual clearance. There are no blanket licenses in place in the US, or elsewhere.

    MCPS are another collection society that work to collect royalties on behalf of writers, composers and publishers of a piece of music whenever it is reproduced. Whereas the royalties from PRS are called performance royalties, MCPS collect what is known as a mechanical royalty. These kinds of royalty are made from downloads, streaming and physical sales of music. In order to collect mechanical royalties, you must have a membership with MCPS, who can then send information about your mechanical royalties to PRS. PRS for Music can pay both the mechanical and performance royalties to writers, composers and publishers if you are signed up to both organisations, which means you can collect all your royalties from one place.

    PPL

    PPL are a performance rights organisation that deal with collecting royalties for the performing artists on a track. Rather than PRS who represent songwriters and composers, PPL represent the recording artists and the record label, collecting royalties for the use of their recorded music publicly. If a retail shop wishes to play music in their store, they must buy a license from both the PRS and PPL as they are using the songwriters work as well as the performers work. Any situation in which the recorded music is used would mean paying for a PPL license.

    Income Streams

    It is important to know your right and where you can earn additional royalties from.

    Performing Rights - when music is played in public. Collected by PRS.

    Mechanical Rights - when music is reproduced. You must be a member of MCPS, but the royalty can be paid through PRS.

    Synchronisation - when music is placed with visual images. Can be a deal with a publisher or specific sync companies.

    Print Rights - when sheet music is sold or lyrics are printed. These can be both in physical and digital formats.