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Everybody needs good neighbour(ing rights)… August 2014

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By Pursehouse - follow me on Twitter.

So after years of me harping on at you via the medium of this blog to sort out your music publishing you’ve finally listened and got everything sorted with the PRS/MCPS, yeah? (If not then read this, if yes and you’ve done it by signing up to Sentric Music then bless you, I’m chuffed you’re on board).

So now you start emailing me, pestering me, demanding my time and attention like a toddler who is craving a biscuit inbetween crafting various trinkets from Loom Bands to a background of Ben & Holly reruns.

“Can you get my song on Emmerdale?”

I think this is perfect for Made In Chelsea!”

“If you got our new single on Soccer AM I’ll name my first born after you.”

And here’s the thing; you’re right! Your new single is perfect to soundtrack the love hexagon between Binky & Spencer & Trixy & Felicity & Dappy & Sneezy on Made In Chelsea and the opener of your new EP would fit wonderfully over coverage of Sheffield Wednesday scoring six goals against a gloriously disheveled Leeds during the Sky Sports News round up, but until it’s registered with the PPL then I’m afraid I can’t do a thing with it.

So what is PPL? (also known as ‘neighbouring rights')

PPL is an income stream that is split between two parties;

1) The master rights owner

So, traditionally (oh that word in these blogs, hey?), the master rights owner is the record label, but more and more is becoming the artist in question in this modern music industry. Basically; whoever paid for the ditty to be recorded effectively owns the master copyright.

2) The people who performed on the recording

So in the world of publishing and PRS/MCPS et al, the money generated there is for the songwriters alone, but for the PPL it is for everyone who actually performed on the recording.

So if you’re the drummer who doesn’t write anything because you’re, to put it bluntly, an ill-educated illiterate heathen whose only use is to literally hit things with other things, then the PPL is where you’ll earn your money.

(Yay drummer jokes!)

So! This means that you have to register with the PPL as two separate entities; as the master rights owner and as a performer. This is important; be sure to register as both or you’ll be missing out on lovely money.

If you have a label then you only have to sign up to the PPL as a performer (each one of you as well, not just the admin savvy bass player who has too much time on his hands backstage trying to tether his iPhone with his Mac to make a gig claim whilst the rest of the band are out there living their lives and taking groupies back to the tour bus).

(Yay bass player jokes!)

To sign up to the PPL head hither: www.ppluk.com

Once you’ve done everything correctly then you’ll see on the PPL database that your song will have a little green tick next to it as thus:

Oh if only all bands were as organised as the delightful Labyrinth Ear...

This, my friends, is where the trusty ISRC code comes into play. These nifty little digits are how royalties from the PPL ultimately work their way back to you. If you keep getting your ISRC’s mixed up with you ISWC’s then be sure to check out my blog regarding music industry acronyms; The BLOMIA.

So why should you do this?

Money

Everytime you hear your recording played in the public domain then in theory it generates a royalty that is yours to spend on whatever you wish. Radio airplay, TV airplay, bars, restaurants, jukeboxes, clubs etc.

We regularly distribute significant amounts of money to our artists here at Sentric for their neighbouring rights/PPL income (as it’s a service we offer as well as music publishing) so it’s very important you get on top of this please.

God knows enough musicians complain about how hard it is to make money in the modern industry, often using examples such as Spotify streaming rates to back up their arguments, but then worryingly regularly they’re missing out on key basic income such as performing, mechanical and neighbouring rights generated by gigging/radio airplay/TV airplay etc. because they’ve not done their basic homework on the business side of the music business.

(I’m not ‘having a go’ there I should add, honest – but this is why lovely people like us at Sentric Music are here; to do all this tedious administrative nonsense for you and make you money whilst you pen your art… “BECAUSE IT IS ART, MOTHER, YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND”)

Synchronisation on UK TV

As mentioned above, your music can simply not be used on UK television unless it’s registered with three societies; the PRS, MCPS (both publishing rights) and PPL (master rights). I, as the muppet who pushes your music to TV folk, can’t pitch it to them unless the track is covered by these ‘blanket licenses’, so please don’t ask me until it’s sorted.

(BTW – If you’re interested in getting your music synced then here’s a blog with more information)

The guys over at the PPL put together this rather handy video which is worth a watch.

I hope that clears that up. Please go and register all your releases with the PPL now. It’ll make the world a better place.

Pursehouse.

If you would like Sentric to handle your rights holder registrations then get in touch, once completed we can then include your music on the 'All-Blanket' sync catalogue and put you forward for further opportunities with our broadcast partners that will potentially see your recordings used on thousands of jukeboxes around the UK. 

1 Response Everybody needs good neighbour(ing rights)…

  • A great article as always! It can be a little more complicated though in practice. For example, I'm based in the UK but signed to an Australian label. PPL have told me that they have no affiliates globally, so even if my songs are registered with the Aussie equivalent of PPL (PPCA), the label will have to register them with PPL also (I can't do it myself as signed) before I can register my performances on the songs. Does this mean that labels have to register their songs with equivalent organisations in every country where the songs are likely to be played, and the performers then have to manually register their performances with each one?

    Posted by stan on May 15 Aug 26 at 18:10 PM

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