Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

PPL announces Performer ER deal with Jamaican society

By | Published on Monday 20 February 2017


The UK record industry’s collecting society PPL has announced a new deal with its Jamaican counterpart JAMMS covering performer equitable remuneration, as the music community in Jamaica lobbies the government there to enshrine the performer royalty right into local copyright law.

In most countries, like the UK, whenever the ‘performing rights’ of a sound recording are exploited – so that’s mainly broadcast and public performance – both the rights owner and any performers who appear on a track are due ‘equitable remuneration’. The performers’ right to payment isn’t linked to their deals with rights owners, which are usually labels, and the royalties are paid directly to said performers via their local collecting society.

However, in Jamaica there isn’t currently a right to Performer ER under local copyright law. As a result collecting society JAMMS doesn’t have any reciprocal deals with other performer right collecting societies around the world, which means performers there can’t receive the royalties they are due when their recordings are broadcast or played in public in other countries. Though some bigger name acts are also PPL members, so they can receive their royalties in the UK.

JAMMS is hoping that copyright law will change in Jamaica, and as a result has now started accepting performer members. And thanks to the new reciprocal with PPL, those members will now start receiving ER income they are due from over here. The new arrangement builds on PPL and JAMMS’ existing partnership relating to the rights of indie labels represented by both organisations.

The Jamaican Intellectual Property Office, which last reviewed the country’s copyright law with a view to including ER in 2015, is due to review copyright matters once again this year. JAMMS is hoping that this time it can get ER inserted, and PPL is backing its partner society in that regard.

The addition of ER in Jamaica would make the PPL/JAMMS reciprocal a two-way arrangement, so that UK performers played over there would earn ER back. Though by putting the deal in place now, PPL hopes that Jamaican lawmakers will be convinced that performers there will benefit from new international royalties once ER is added to local law.

Commenting on the new reciprocal, PPL Director Of International Laurence Oxenbury said: “Any lover of popular music knows that the world owes a debt of gratitude to the musical talent and creativity of Jamaican performers. Having a local Jamaican organisation appointed by performers to manage their repertoire, collect revenue from the UK on their behalf and collectively represent their rights can only be a catalyst for the more effective flow of revenue back to Jamaica from the UK and hopefully other countries in the future”.

He added: “We believe that the establishment of an agreement to remunerate performers where their recorded music is broadcast or played in public in Jamaica would be of considerable economic benefit to the Jamaican music industry and its performers. The strength and reach of the nation’s music internationally places it in a unique position among its many counterparts to be a net earner of royalties for performers”.