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Changes to PRS's Tariff LP are approved by the Copyright Tribunal

The Copyright Tribunal has approved a revision to PRS’s Tariff LP following three years of discussions between PRS and representatives of the live sector.

The Copyright Tribunal has approved a revision to PRS’s Tariff LP following three years of discussions between PRS and representatives of the live sector.

Tariff LP applies to live popular music events.

Agreement on the terms of a new Tariff LP was reached in July 2017 with major industry bodies representing the live sector including – the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), British Association of Concert Halls (BACH), Concert Promoters’ Association (CPA), Glastonbury Festivals Limited, Music Venue Trust (MVT), National Arenas Association (NAA), Society of London Theatre (SOLT), and the UK Theatre Association.

Terms of the agreed new tariff were subsequently submitted to and approved by the Copyright Tribunal, and will become effective from Monday 11 June 2018.

Key amendments

The key amendments to the tariff include:

  • The royalty rate for concerts and all other live music events within the scope of Tariff LP, will increase from 3% to 4% (or 4.2%*), except for festivals that meet certain criteria, as below.
  • There will be a new royalty rate within the tariff for festivals that meet certain criteria, which recognises specific considerations for festivals. For these qualifying festivals the royalty rate will reduce from 3% to 2.5% [or 2.7%*].
  • The minimum fee charged for events will be waived entirely, providing that music reporting requirements are met.
  • The incorporation of a direct licensing mechanism, as agreed with the live sector.

*The higher charge in both instances (4.2% and 2.7% respectively) would apply where the licensee elects not to account to PRS in respect of revenue generated from booking fees, administration and service charges.

Changes will help the grassroots live scene

The Musicians’ Union is pleased that the new tariff recognises the pressure that the minimum fee of £39 has been putting on grassroots gigs where margins are very tight.

Although the removal of this minimum fee will mean that these smaller gigs will now offer a decreased royalty to writers, we’re hopeful it’s a measure that will help to protect the grassroots live scene so that it can continue to launch and sustain the careers of artists. It will also encourage promoters to take creative risks, ensuring diverse and inclusive programming.

We welcome the increased royalty rate of 4% which will benefit both dedicated songwriters and those performing original material in live music venues.

The reduced royalty rate for festivals will no doubt disappoint some of our members, but due to the seasonality of these performances, we’re hopeful that it won’t necessarily have a detrimental effect on musicians’ revenues – particularly when considered alongside the increased rate for venue-based performances.

We’re also optimistic that the decrease will allow festival organisers to continue to increase the amount of stage time they can offer to emerging artists.

Improved transparency in reporting requirements

The new reporting requirements will hopefully lead to a higher accuracy of distribution across the tariff, and an improved efficiency and transparency for artists.

As with any changes to our members’ revenues, we’ll be monitoring the application of the new tariff, its impact upon other live royalty rates and our members’ experiences both through the direct submission of set lists and also the licensees’ reporting procedures.

Published: 05/06/2018

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