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PRS Performing Rights Gestapo

GUEST,New Guest 23 Jan 08 - 03:55 PM
Jon Nix 23 Jan 08 - 12:23 PM
pavane 23 Jan 08 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Jon Freeman 23 Jan 08 - 10:15 AM
mattkeen 23 Jan 08 - 08:10 AM
Jon Nix 23 Jan 08 - 07:58 AM
mattkeen 23 Jan 08 - 07:58 AM
pavane 23 Jan 08 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,clockwatcher 23 Jan 08 - 07:43 AM
GUEST 23 Jan 08 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Jon 23 Jan 08 - 06:55 AM
George Papavgeris 23 Jan 08 - 06:15 AM
mattkeen 23 Jan 08 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Jon (Freeman who did not use the term Gestpo 23 Jan 08 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 22 Jan 08 - 05:24 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 22 Jan 08 - 04:35 AM
pavane 22 Jan 08 - 03:11 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 21 Jan 08 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 21 Jan 08 - 03:49 PM
Howard Jones 21 Jan 08 - 03:22 PM
The Villan 21 Jan 08 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Dan Plews 21 Jan 08 - 01:14 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 21 Jan 08 - 11:26 AM
alanabit 21 Jan 08 - 09:50 AM
pavane 21 Jan 08 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 21 Jan 08 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless) 21 Jan 08 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless) 21 Jan 08 - 08:05 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 21 Jan 08 - 04:59 AM
pavane 21 Jan 08 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,Windy 20 Jan 08 - 06:19 PM
alanabit 20 Jan 08 - 04:15 PM
Lowden Jameswright 20 Jan 08 - 04:14 PM
GUEST, Tom 20 Jan 08 - 04:11 PM
Lowden Jameswright 20 Jan 08 - 04:02 PM
The Villan 20 Jan 08 - 03:27 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 20 Jan 08 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Elizabeth Ntsele 20 Jan 08 - 02:34 PM
The Villan 20 Jan 08 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Elizabeth Ntsele 20 Jan 08 - 01:41 PM
alanabit 20 Jan 08 - 04:34 AM
stallion 20 Jan 08 - 04:26 AM
The Villan 20 Jan 08 - 01:37 AM
GUEST,but must have a name - nice welcome 19 Jan 08 - 10:04 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 08 - 02:45 AM
stallion 18 Jan 08 - 07:42 PM
The Villan 18 Jan 08 - 07:26 PM
GUEST 18 Jan 08 - 03:24 PM
s&r 18 Jan 08 - 11:50 AM
Jim Martin 17 Jan 08 - 10:18 PM
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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,New Guest
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 03:55 PM

"People who feel there should be no licences involved in folk music might like to consider what would happen if we scrapped the TV licence, for example. There'd be no BBC and commercial interests would be even more in control"

Why then do PRS demand money for televisions in hotel rooms?   I am looking for a £3500 bill for a PRS licence in an hotel.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: Jon Nix
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 12:23 PM

Hi Pavane,

Certainly in my youth it was hearing local artists playing "their version" of a tune that made you want to go out and buy the "real thing" from the record store or to go to the "real" gig. The local singer was like an advert for the real thing and everyone was happy.

But then, in those days, you could to see a big name artist in a venue where you could see the performance WITHOUT a telescope and the ticket price was affordable.

Unfortunately, then greed got in the way..........


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: pavane
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 11:19 AM

Within my memory, there used to be a regular 'sing-song' at the local pub, where someone sat down at the piano, and the regulars all sang whatever he played.

This was not a club, nor was it folk, just people enjoying themselves, and no-one got paid anything.

It is social gatherings like this which, as far as I know, never thought about the PRS, in fact had probably never heard of it.

Still, the last few have probably been killed off by the PEL anyway.
I believe social music is still alive in pubs in Scotland, where the new PEL does not exist, and in Ireland. Pity about us in the 'Land of Song'


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Jon Freeman
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 10:15 AM

If you want to attract newcomers and/or audience you would have to advertise, and then who knows what types you might get turning up, also licensing problems.

If you don't, then it all gets a bit mutually masturbatory, if you know what I mean.


I guess much is a bit like that (MM) anyway. I for one don't play to an audience. As far as it goes is I like to think there might be a couple in the room who enjoy the music and that listening or otherwise a landlord feels he has enough custom with our presence (in some cases more a matter of not driving existing custom out than attracting extra trade...),

The hope of finding new to the music musicians and visiting musicians, I think would be a concern though. They seem so hard to find even in public places...

Overall though, I think between this thread and an artist centre thread, I think there is a widening and perhaps at some point permanent spit between the "professional" schools of thought and the "amateur" (which incidentally need not included "its only folk so...") schools of thoughts.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: mattkeen
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 08:10 AM

Just to clarify: my attraction to sessions is as a player
My attraction to English folk music is as a person.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: Jon Nix
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 07:58 AM

Hello again everyone,
I am pleased to say that I have now JOINED mudcat and am no longer a guest.

I am also the JON who first used the dreaded G**TAPO word, for which I make no apology. This was prompted by the manner and attitude of the PRS man who came to our venue - very threatening and intimidating towards our affable landlord.

On the subject in question, our landlord has taken up the matter with PRS, based on the website link info kindly provided by Tom Bliss. I accept capacity of the room is mentioned in the PRS info but not square footage of the property. We await the outcome.

Meanwhile, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this thread. It certainly proves there are two sides to every argument. My main concern is not for our landlord to avoid paying what is RIGHTFULLY due, but to pay that and no more.

Personally, I would be very happy for Tom and other songwriters in our "genre" to get rewarded better than they presently are. However, at the same time, the "monopolistic" and intimidatory manner of the PRS should be kept in proportion.

It is no co-incidence that the PRS have recently turned up the heat on small "folky" venues after seeing their traditional revenue source decimated by illegal downloads. The folky venues are a much softer target than "Limewire", "U-tube" or other file-sharing sites.
They are UK based, and easy to find.

Consequently, perhaps we should be pointing the finger at all those illegal downloaders who have upset the status-quo (which used to leave us "below the radar" of the PRS).

Jon Nix


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: mattkeen
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 07:58 AM

I wasn't attracted to folk music by a session, have always thought of them as being for the players benefit.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: pavane
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 07:47 AM

If you advertise, then you need a PEL as well as PRS licence!!!!!


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,clockwatcher
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 07:43 AM

But few of us in the UK live in a house large enough to run a folk club or even a decent size session.

If you want to attract newcomers and/or audience you would have to advertise, and then who knows what types you might get turning up, also licensing problems.

If you don't, then it all gets a bit mutually masturbatory, if you know what I mean.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 06:58 AM

(I still like a scruffy pub though but things change...)


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 06:55 AM

I think your right with origins, George. As far as I understand it the UK Irish pub session, the one I'm most likely to go to, is from late 50s-1960s.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 06:15 AM

Agree, Jon F. And I can't help thinking that playing and singing round the kitchen table is closer to the origins of folk in any culture, rather than in a drinking place, pub or taverna.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: mattkeen
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 05:33 AM

Good idea John


Lovely setting for sessions


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Jon (Freeman who did not use the term Gestpo
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 04:23 AM

All in all between these issues and the smoking ban, I'm beginning to wish informal sessions were taken out of pubs and just became a group of friends playing in someone's house.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 05:24 AM

Tom, whilst I've written a few tunes I'm not a member of the PRS and I'm not looking for royalties for myself, so the Gigs and Clubs Scheme doesn't apply to me (and it's hidden on the members-only part of the website). However if the PRS is getting a fee from the venue I'd prefer to see it going to the composers whose music I play, rather than enriching Paul McCartney or my slightly more famous namesake.

But quite frankly, since the experience with the folk club I referred to in my last post I've been a little wary about drawing the PRS's attention to any venue I play in.

I'm not sure what the solution is. The present arrangement for collecting and distributing fees is simple but not very efficient or equitable so far as minority interest genres such as folk are concerned. The cost is small, but it can be a disincentive, since the owner of the venue (who is responsible for getting the licence)isn't promoting the music event. If it's a formal club then he can pass the cost on (if he wishes) in the hire charge for the room, but that is less easy when it's just a bunch of customers in the corner of the bar.

As you say, the PRS probably doesn't understand how folk music works, in particular the idea of a non-commercial, informal session seems quite alien to their system.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 04:35 AM

The latter instance is covered under 'occasional and spontaneous performances' while performing members submit a standard, typical or average set list under the gigs and clubs scheme.

But yes, as we've said above, the whole problem with sessions and singarounds is that no-one's even thinking about writers or copyright, and certainly no-one's taking notes. I think it's right that not many people in PRS understand folk music, but some do and they do want to get it right - they have a legal obligation to do so in fact. But they have to have SOME system that won't break the bank, and that's why they currently operate a catch-all policy.

Now, maybe the price needs to be set lower in some situations, in recognition of the fact that a percentage of the work will be in public ownership (though as I've said, setting that price will not be easy). I think the current view is that most trad material will be registered by someone somewhere as an arrangement, so it's all treated the same as copyright, but I'm unclear about this bit, and need to make more enquiries.

They do, however, admit it's a compromise, and that the system may seem unfair to some people in some situations - and they ARE just starting a major review of all this.

The alternative would be to demand accurate records from ever club and session, which would be a major pain for participants, plus it would hike the admin costs to such a degree that there'd either be no money for writers, or the fee would have to rise dramatically to cover it. Which option would people prefer?

As for making contributions, I guess that would be a matter of forming new habits. Perhaps it could just become good manners for singers and players to pop 50p in the ashtray for the 'people whose talent they're borrowing,' as a friend put it recently. And hat-passing might pick up a few more quid from others round the room.

I personally see it as a matter of respect for writers, rather than as some authoritarian imposition - though points about PRS contact with licencees etc. are noted (and, I've heard recently, noted by PRS themselves, too).

Tom


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: pavane
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 03:11 AM

In my experience of folk clubs and sing-arounds, there is no such thing as a set list. Floor singers just sing whatever they feel like, traditional or not, and musicians often play tunes whose names they do not know. If there is a guest, he may well have a planned set, but often includes many requests.

Nor is it possible in many cases to identify the audience. Quite often, the performers have only a corner of a room, so going round asking for a contribution may not be possible.

It does seem to me that many people are under a mistaken impression of how folk events work or even occur. As a member of a Morris side, we often used to descend on a pub more-or-less at random at the end of a tour and ask if we could play and sing in a corner. No organisation at all.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 03:52 PM

PS In case you're wondering, the treatment back in the 60s when I was diagnosed (one of the first ever to be so) was to learn to touch type. But give me a pen and I fall apart (unless I'm DRAWING the letters, as I had to do when I worked in an architects' office - then it's no problem but takes ages).


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 03:49 PM

Howard, you need to use the Gigs and Clubs Scheme.

They send you a spreadsheet with two tabs: One for a list of gigs, and the other for a list of songs. All you do is fill it in every 20 or more gigs and mail it back to them.

It's really easy, but I agree not easy to find on their website (and I've taken them to task about that in the past too).

Log in, and search for Gigs and Clubs, that usually gets you there.

I personally would LOVE to be able to do the concert Green Forms online or by email too. I never have time, a pen, or a place to write at festivals etc. plus I'm horribly dyslexic and forms of any kind send me into a tail spin. Green, as it happens, actually makes me feel ill. (Maybe because that's the Inland Revenue's chosen hue too?)! The other advantage would be that we'd know it had been done. 90% of promoters are diligent (Lord knows how they cope with the work), but a few forget. I've suggested this in the past also.

Tom


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 03:22 PM

In reply to alanabit, I made the same point: that a problem arises when PRS puts venues in danger. This happened (over 20 years ago) to a folk club I was involved with; the landlord took such umbrage at the attitude of the PRS rep that he refused to pay on principle. He eventually reconsidered, fortunately, but his first reaction was nothing to do with the cost but with the arrogant attitude of the PRS rep.

I like the idea of a club licence, which would remove the responsibility from the landlord. Some landlords welcome music because they enjoy it, some tolerate it because they may sell a few more pints, but some see it as part of the pub's place in the community. Folk is very seldom a commercial thing for them (unlike a pub actually booking a band).

My main comment was aimed at those earlier posters who seem to think that just because it is not a commercial event the creator of the music has no right to expect recompense.

In reply to Dan Plews, the PRS needs to make it easier to submit returns. They don't even seem to have a form to download. The fact is, returns are a lot of paperwork for them, its easier for them to rely on sampling from only a few venues. Surely in this day and age they could have an online return which could collect and apportion the fees automatically.

But who would do it? The pub landlord who holds the licence isn't involved with the music. If it's a formal club, there will be an organiser, but for informal sessions there's often no one in charge.

In 40 years in folk music, both as a paid and unpaid performer, I've only been asked to provide information for PRS returns at the bigger festivals and by the BBC.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: The Villan
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 01:39 PM

Surely, when it comes to pubs, the manager decides to put music on and therefore pays the PRS. If they choose not to charge that on, well that's their problem.
When you see pubs putting bands on and paying them and letting people in for nowt, then why should a few bob in the PRS kitty be of concern.

For singarounds and sessions in pubs, surely the organisers can charge a quid a head and hand that over to the publican to cover PRS.
Surely that is not a hardship.

The same applies for people running events at churches, Village Halls etc.

For most people the cost is half a pint of beer and when you see what some people consume, its peanuts.

I suppose I will get hit now with the rhythm stick.

I'll get me coat and listen to a bit of Ian Dury.


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Subject: RE: PRS Sampling methods
From: GUEST,Dan Plews
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 01:14 PM

Hello there.

Having read Howard's point about sampling methods I'd like to observe the following:

Where a gig or session falls "under the radar" due to size, the following apply:
Either
1. the performer or session organiser can submit a generic but representative setlist once in a blue moon detailing all the dates it applies to. Any licences paid by the pub will be distributed according to that information less the c. 12% admin costs of the society. Result of reporting: the writers get their due, gradually.
or
2. The performer or session organiser does nothing and for a long time no one gets their due, until someone comes in and samples what's played, at which point every registered (i.e. professional) writer played that night gets a bumper and disproportionate payday.
Result of sampling: The writers get their due, eventually

I'm pointing out the latter as I don't see how else a sampling system can operate - by nature, it's a sample, a snapshot - leaving aside the question of amateur writers who want no recompense for the use of their work, any negative argument about the PRS is likely to lead to less revenue to those who are struggling, as, if in doubt, they are more likely to reject the chance for payment when it _does_come their way. I know of at least half a dozen cases of this.

Yours

Dan Plews


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 11:26 AM

Please keep examples of actual closures or other problems (named premises would help), and positive ideas for solutions (such as clubs and sessions having their own licences) coming. PRS are actively looking for ways to improve the situation. (They may even be reading this ;-)

Tom


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: alanabit
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 09:50 AM

Nigel Spencer and pavane given the clearest illustrations yet of why strictly enforcing PRS rules actually harms the musicians at the lowest end of the scale. You are well meaning Howard, but ultimately, it does cost us money. It closes down gigs - or we can even end up having to pay for licences to play our own material!

Thread drift: Yes "New Patriot" is one of mine. It is on my first album, "Small Voice Crying", which was kindly reviewed by some fellow Catters.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: pavane
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 08:57 AM

It's all about 'bums on seats'. The musicians are not the ones being expected to pay, but when their performances, however good, do not pull in the punters, the organiser cannot be expected to subsidise the event, whether a club or a singaround. The whole system is biassed against the amateur or semi-professional entertainer.

The risk to a landlord is that he pays the annual fee, then the club may fold or move elsewhere. Charging the club directly would remove this risk from the venue.

Many fine performers give their services FREE on occasion, but that doesn't help. Musicians know that if they don't have the venues, they can't play.

And I suppose there will always be more people wanting to watch football than listen to folk music.

I hope someone can pick up the suggestion about a club licence, but I am over in Luxembourg at present, not in the UK.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 08:27 AM

I'm amazed by the attitude of some of the people on here, who are presumably musicians themeselves. They will have paid, perhaps quite a lot of money, for their instruments, and they'll pay for new strings, bow rosin, tuning or whatever it is their instrument needs to keep it in fettle. They'll pay for music books and CDs, and no doubt when they go out playing music they'll pay for a drink or two. But they object to the very idea that a small payment might be made for the actual music they play. AND IT'S NOT EVEN THEM WHO HAS TO PAY IT!

I'll say it again: the problem is, firstly that the sometimes heavy-handed approach by the PRS can jeopardise the very existence of venues, where these are not being run on a commercial basis, and secondly that the sampling method used by PRS makes it unlikely that the composers whose music is actually being played will see any royalties.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless)
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 08:08 AM

Total thread drift (sorry!) , but is the 'Alanabit' of this thread the same man responsible for the excellent 'the New Patriot'?

Nigel


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless)
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 08:05 AM

I'm not particularly convinced by any of the arguments about the financial benefits of singarounds to pub landlords. Here's an example why. The redoubtable 'Les in Chorlton' organised a fantastic, brilliantly attended singaround at our local pub that had to compete with the much more popular pub telly. The standard of singing was excellent, the singers' choice of traditional songs was impeccable and we even had guest appearances from players of musical planks and small pipes. How cool is that? The following month, it had to relocate to another pub because the football was on and the room where the singaround was due to happen was needed for the overspill telly. Les later trawled round all the pubs in Chorlton looking for an alternative venue, but it's official - traditional music sung at high volume by a motley collection of folkies cannot hope to compete with football on the telly (or even random telly on the telly).

So much for the extra profits singarounds bring to landlords!

I wish I knew what the answer was, but I suspect its not charging landlords to allow people to sing traditional songs when the buggers don't want it in their footballtastic pubs anyway...

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 04:59 AM

"I do not see any reason why the PRS could not create a new category, for genuine clubs, with a reduced fee which would recognise the element of public domain content usually present and would be affordable. But of course, that is up to them."

There may well be a case for this. The problem would come in setting the price of that reduction, as there is massive variation in the percentage of copyright material from gathering from gathering, and from week to week. It would have to be a guess-based gesture, with approval from members - and I think PRS would say first that the fee is already very affordable.

I'd suggest that the problem seems mainly to be one of perception. A lump sum of £600+ seems hard to find, whereas a quid in the pot seems almost nothing (and some clubs are only being charged less than £50 pa, - how many pence is that per audience member)? The suggestion that it should be made possible for a club or session to apply for a new type of licence for themselves, rather than the venue having to make the application, has much merit. It would remove the risk of licence demands causing musicians to be banned, and it would allow the group to take their licence with them when they move - and so make it easier to find new premises too.

I've already written to PRS about this (and the confusing nature of both the charging system and the website) myself, but if it's going to happen it will need a concerted campaign, and with all due respect to Mudcat, posts on here are not likely to exert any pressure in Berners St. The best thing would be to write directly to PRS - ideally both as individuals and as whatever folk organisations can speak with authority on the matter.

Tom

The MCPS-PRS Alliance
29-33 Berners Street
London
W1T 3AB


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: pavane
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 03:07 AM

Firstly, let me say that I don't see the relevance of the TV licence analogy quoted by Elizabeth. The PRS exists to collect fees that are due in law on the performance of specific songs for which the rights are owned by their members. The PRS does not have any legal basis to collect fees on songs which are not subject to copyright.

The TV Licence simply allows the reception of broadcast signals - do the PRS want a licence for the reception of sound by the ears?

The real issue as I see it is that publicans are already under financial pressure from other directions (e.g. PEL) and are very likely to stop hosting live music completely - some already have.

Folk clubs in my experience (even dating back to the boom of the 1960's) were not a great money-mker for the pub, and costs have increased substantially since then.

The list of top names who started in folk clubs has been discussed here before, and killing the clubs will no doubt have a long-term effect on the whole music industry.

I do not see any reason why the PRS could not create a new category, for genuine clubs, with a reduced fee which would recognise the element of public domain content usually present and would be affordable. But of course, that is up to them.

Too many golden geese have already been killed, but 'Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone', in the (copyright) words of the song.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Windy
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 06:19 PM

It gets worse.
I'm a bit of a jazzer as well as a folkie.'Trad'(Am.'New Orleans') jazz mainly.Much of the trad jazz canon is not actually traditional,the composers are well known and venerated-W.C.Handy,Clarence Williams et al,no longer around,but recently deceased-e.g.WCH 1958 less than 70 years ago therefore estate entitled to royalties.
So,no bee in my bonnet about PRS collecting royalties via annual'licence'fees from pubs putting on a trad jazz band of a Sunday lunchtime.
That is,until I read the Pavane's list of American public domain work.Many of the big trad numbers are there-e.g.St.Louis Blues,High Society,Royal Garden Blues.
Does that mean PRS are collecting for US composers under reciprocal arrangements when the yanks aren't actually interested in having the dosh?


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: alanabit
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 04:15 PM

Irrespective of whether I happen to agree with you on every issue, I am hoping to be able to welcome you here as a member soon Elizabeth.
The point I have been trying to make - if perhaps not very articulately - is that many new songwriters are more likely to damage a landlord's trade than they are to enhance it. In most places, if you stick up a poster of two unknown singers, which says they sing John Denver and Simon and Garfunkel songs, the likelihood is that they will outdraw a new singer/songwriter every time. Before that new singer songwriter has enough "pull" to draw people in, he or she is more likely to be a liability to the landlord than an asset. Why should the landlord take that risk?
The PRS want it both ways. On the one hand they openly admit that certain people operate on too small a level to be be of any interest to them. Otherwise, anyone, who wrote a song would be eligible for membership. However, the landlord is still obliged to pay songwriting dues on that gig. Why is that? Unless an act has enough pull to attract substantially more custom than a landlord usually has, it is thoroughly unjust to charge him more, for something, which is not an asset. It is even more unjust when there is no prospect whatsoever that any of that money will reach the songwriters, who can not even achieve membership of the PRS.
I was getting played on internet radio last year, until US publishers deliberately forced a huge hike in royalties, which closed down many stations. The aspect of it, which puts my back up the most, is that they were pretending to do it for my own good! GEMA, PRS licences etc do me no favours at all. They threaten the gigs I enjoy doing. The only advantage to me of GEMA membership is that my records can legally be played on the radio. Mind you, I have to pay for it of course!


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 04:14 PM

"A coastguard near here (NE England) resigned last week. He had been reprimanded for "not following proper procedures" when he went to rescue someone who had fallen off a cliff. By all accounts, if he had followed "proper procedures" it is likely that the person he went to rescue would have died. Someone seems to have a warped sense of priorities."

....and then there's the case of the school crossing patrolman who was suspended for wearing a Santa Claus outfit for the kids in the last week of term before Christmas. Men in dark suits said it was "health & safety issue."

Now the kids have to cross without supervision.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST, Tom
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 04:11 PM

Tee hee - now that's an angle I hadn't thought of!


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 04:02 PM

I think maybe we should get paid royalties for singing and promoting the artist's songs, and getting folks into pubs that might otherwise be empty.

(Chorus: "Off with his head"!!)


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: The Villan
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 03:27 PM

Elizabeth, I have used The Villan for many years on forums and it is becuase I am an Aston Villa supporter. Some forums recommend that you use a different name to your real one, some don't.

However, as far as I know and I think it still applies, Guests are supposed to add a name after Guest, that defines who they are - that doesn't mean they have to use their real name. In many cases, high profile performers choose to use another name. We have had so many abusers on these threads posting away winding people up and really upsetting decent mudcatters. So are you here to partake without upsetting the applecart or not? If so just put a name of your choice after Guest, so we can recognise who you are. One of the other issues about remaing as a guest, is that soembody else can post as you and fleme away, and yo get the blame.

If I had my way, people wouldn't be able to post unless they had registered there e-mail address and verified it back to Mudcat, as do a lot of Forums.

That is not what Mudcat want to do, so they just have that simple rule.

Maybe somebody Like Joe Offer can intervene here and sort this out in his moderator role.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 03:25 PM

Elizabeth - do I google right? Was it indeed your father who wrote The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Solomon Linda?

If so then it seems that the royalty system failed him very badly indeed. My sympathies to you. I sincerely hope that today things might be different.

Tom

(And I still think a quid coin in a pint pot at a singaround would not be unreasonable, given the fun we're having, against what different fun might be costing us elsewhere).


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Elizabeth Ntsele
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 02:34 PM

Les - that doesn't answer my question: and how does adding a "Name" eg "the Villan" change any of that? especially when one adds their name it is questioned "If that is your name", maybe "Guests" should have to post a copy of their passports before you let them join your discussions?

The rebuff was not that I didn't register before offering my opinion on the reference to "Gestapo" but that I didn't say who I was or give a name of some sort.

And as for joining "Mudcat" I can see no real advantage in doing so unless I, and other non-registered "Guests" are refused opinion and their right to express it, neither is a fee charged for membership to help with the running cost that must be incurred, so what advantage is there in joining?

Elizabeth Ntsele aka "Guest"
    Nonetheless, the rule here is that if you wish to post, you must use a consistent name. We've had too much trouble with manipulation from people who refuse to use a consistent identity. We don't require membership and if you wish to post as a (named) Guest at Mudcat, that's fine - but my mother always told me that Guests are expected to be on their best behavior.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: The Villan
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 01:57 PM

Elizabeth
I am registered as a member on Mudcat, and you will notice that I do every so often put my actual name underneath a post.
Why don't you join?
Les Worrall
href="http://www.faldingworthlive.co.uk">Faldingworth Live


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,Elizabeth Ntsele
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 01:41 PM

Also Elizabeth, the assumption that a landlord can expect to profit every time live music is played is not always realistic

Nor can a Landlord expect to profit every time he opens his door, that applies to every retail business, he still has to pay his overheads, lighting, Heating, electricity, staff etc.

A songwriter cannot expect to profit (and seldom does) every time he writes a song, If his income is by way of the song being sung at venues and the payment due isn't paid Income will be Nil - bad enough if the item you make doesn't sell but not fair if it is selling (read; being sung) and you still don't get paid.

Les Worrall?? - "we constantly have problems with guest coming on Mudcat and causing real problems."

Causing Real Problems? it's a bulletin board - simply words, peoples opinion, hardly liable to cause life threatening condition or confine one to a hospital bed, easily deleted by admin if offensive or inflammatory etc.. and how does adding a "Name" eg "the Villan" change any of that?

Elizabeth Ntsele


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: alanabit
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 04:34 AM

Also Elizabeth, the assumption that a landlord can expect to profit every time live music is played is not always realistic, as I pointed out about a hundred posts ago. In the case of an unknown songwriter, the landlord is taking a considerable risk that the musician will actually drive away a fair amount of his custom. As the PRS deems many of these songwriters as being small fry (and therefore not eligible for PRS membership) why should the landlord then be liable for a fee, which will only put money into the pockets of more well known artists and the PRS itself?
In Germany now, there are cases where the performers are deemed "the organiser", so that they have to take responsibility for the GEMA licence. The cafe´ or pub simply can not afford to gamble money on them. Do you want to see the day arrive in the UK when the artists have to pay for licences to play their own songs, while at the same time, they are not eligible for royalties? If you insist on a "one size fits all" policy, that will be the inevitable outcome.


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: stallion
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 04:26 AM

Also elizabeth, read the thread, the bar thing has been covered. can someone change this thread name to something less confrontational and maybe people wont wade in firing from the hip


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: The Villan
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 01:37 AM

Elizabeth (if that is your name), we constantly have problems with guest coming on Mudcat and causing real problems. So, as I understood it, people posting as just Guest would not be allowed, thats all.

Les Worrall


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST,but must have a name - nice welcome
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 10:04 PM

No, whether the performance is played live or by such means as CD, radio, DVD, TV, karaoke etc, whether a charge is made for admission, or whether the performers are paid, a PRS Music Licence is still necessary.

If you play music in your business or want to include it in your product you need clearance to do so from the owners of that music. PRS and MCPS represent the owners and can get you the clearances you need. We are a not-for-profit organisation, enabling you access to the world's music in the most efficient way.

If you don't obtain clearance for your use of copyright music, you could face legal action for copyright infringement and may become liable to pay damages and costs.


I can see nothing wrong with the above quotes from PRS/MCPS

Buy a music/song books you pay for it, buy a CD you pay for it, or is it easier to download free from the Internet and steal from the artistes you enjoy so much?

Landlords allow sessions out of the goodness of their hearts yeah! cheap entertainment and more beer sales no doubt - karaoke yeah than that must be tolerated to let all the wannabes get it off their chests !

You all should be fighting for fair payments for composers not moaning about not being able to do what you want for nothing (you can of course sing songs in a pub without charge, it's only the Landlord who pays for the attraction and license to have music played, the same as he needs a license to sell alcohol) whilst other die in poverty giving you those songs.


need a name "the Villan"? OK,

Elizabeth Ntsele


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 02:45 AM

Go easy on PRS lads and lasses - they vere only obeying orders
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: stallion
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 07:42 PM

guest,
read the thread, i think the argument has been covered, although it is interesting idea that someone who is playing, not for hire and reward, should pay a pound because they are in a pub, should this also be included when played at home? So, are we all going to have an "honesty box" at home or, as someone has already pointed out, whistling in the street, or maybe on a building site, should this include the morons who only know one line and sing it endlessly? How long is a piece of string? As I have already pointed out the line is fuzzy and PRS don't win friends by being heavy handed and whilst I sympathise with the people like Tom who are trying to make money out of music I resent having a gun pointed at my temple for singing songs for nowt with my friends in pub, no, I deeply resent it, and so do a lot of others and the PRS membership should take note and reign them in. What we do is not exploitation it is a celebration of the music and exists in spite of the rest of the world

Peter 2BS&S


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: The Villan
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 07:26 PM

I thought Guest had to at least add a name to it?

Or have the rules changed?


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 03:24 PM

Play one piece of copyright and you owe PRS?-simple alright,simply outrageous.
Watch one TV programme a year = pay a years TV licence!

A benevolent landlord allows amateurs to have a session once a week.Approaches PRS-that'll be 52x £7.62 (£396)p.a.please.
Sells Beers to singers and if the session is half decent more beer to "audience"

Fillng in the form he'll be asked how many people his pub holds-up to 100 in this case (although he knows only 20%of the punters are even vaguely interested).PRS will take his word for it,tick that box,
and jump on him if it turns out to have a 1000 capacity.
and???

Now,where is the 'administrative nightmare' that prevents them from including 'boxes' asking for % of'public domain'(to use that lovely inclusive phrase)music and giving a pro-rata reduction?
If that drives the amount down to the point where it's not worth raising an invoice,so be it-they exclude minor composers on that basis don't they?,
can I get a refund for the TV programmes I don't watch?

Figures based on an unpracticed reading of their site
Before anyone points it out:in reality most establishments will also broadcast music from other sources for which a'licence'is appropriate.

8 people at a session, enjoying themselves and singing songs from their favourite song-smiths - must be worth a pound each? the more at the session, the less per person and maybe the Landlord to cough up for his extra beer sales?


Jim - can you think of another word with the same flavour? stu

maybe not; but maybe a more appropriate and less offence one, for individuals who perform a service for professional musicians!

MCPS, PRS etc - I've never minded paying my way in this world, If I get paid for singing or recording someone else's songs, I think they deserve a share - if it's good enough to sing it's good enough to pay for!


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: s&r
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 11:50 AM

Jim - can you think of another word with the same flavour?

stu


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Subject: RE: PRS Performing Rights Gestapo
From: Jim Martin
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 10:18 PM

Max, have PM'd you under the title 'Mudcat Forum Access Denied' regarding my problem when using my local library network, suggest the word 'Gestapo' in this thread title be changed (if possible).

Thanks.


Jim Martin


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