Zanoise Talent

Will US Artists Qualify For PPL Royalties Soon? UK Government Initiates Copyright Law Consultation!

Zanoise Talent
May 27, 2024By Zanoise Talent

In early 2024, the UK embarked on a pivotal consultation to potentially revise its copyright laws, particularly focusing on the rights associated with foreign sound recordings and performances. This initiative, led by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), is set to enhance how these recordings and performances qualify for domestic copyright

protection, aiming to align with international treaties more effectively.

Current Legal Landscape: The UK's existing copyright framework offers differing levels of protection for recordings and performances. Recordings can qualify for remuneration if first published in the UK or a qualifying country, or if the producer is a national or resident of such countries. Performances, however, only receive protection if performed by a UK national or in a qualifying country—signatories to treaties like the Rome Convention and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

Challenges & Proposed Changes: This distinction has led to a scenario where US record labels receive performance royalties, but US artists often do not. To address such disparities, the IPO has formulated three options:

Universal Equitable Remuneration: Extending rights more broadly to all foreign rightsholders, which could increase UK public-performance revenues for US artists.
Reciprocal Rights: Remunerating foreign rightsholders only if their countries offer similar rights to UK nationals—potentially relieving UK music users from fees for US repertoire.
Balanced Approach: A mix of both policies, ensuring full protection for existing foreign recordings while limiting rights for new ones.
Implications for the Music Industry: These amendments carry significant financial implications and risks, with all parties being most concerned about the second and third options.