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Welsh artists call off strike, for now

By | Published on Tuesday 20 December 2011

BBC Radio Cymru

Welsh language musicians have called off their three day strike one day in, saying that a change to the agenda of a meeting to discuss their dispute with the BBC and PRS in January has placated them for the time being.

As previously reported, Welsh language artists and labels have hit out at recent changes to the way royalties are paid for songs played on Welsh language radio station BBC Cymru, which they say have radically reduced the fees labels and artists get from airplay on the station, impacting on the viability of artists recording in the language.

In protest, the Welsh Music Publishers And Composers Alliance requested BBC Cymru refrain from playing its members’ music from yesterday to tomorrow. The request had no legal basis because the Beeb is covered by a blanket licence from PRS, but station bosses said they’d try to comply for one of the three strike days.

As it was, the Alliance announced it was postponing its strike yesterday. Representatives will now meet with both the Beeb and PRS For Music on 12 Jan, with the “economic value” of payments made to Welsh language artists by the BBC via PRS on the agenda for discussion.

Arguably the Alliance’s dispute is more with its collecting society, the PRS, than it is with the Beeb, though the agreement it is unhappy with is specifically between the collecting society and the broadcaster. It now remains to be seen if the matter can be resolved in the new year. Pob lwc.