The complexities of music licensing cause a great deal of confusion and likely lost revenue through lack of compliance. In the UK a Copyright Hub is being developed to address a wide range of issues including joint licensing for playing music in a public establishment. This week two music licensing organizations in New Zealand joined to offer a single public performance license called OneMusic for businesses featuring recorded music or live performances.
OneMusic is a more specific partnership between the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), representing songwriters, and PPNZ, a division of Recorded Music NZ, representing rights holders of recorded music. In addition to representing local performers, they also work cooperatively with other rights organizations world-wide to collect royalties for international acts.
Until now businesses playing recorded music, hosting live shows and recording music performances had to get public performance licenses from both organizations. Now they can go to OneMusic, get a combined license and know they're covered.
Of course, it's a little more complicated than that since fees vary by business and intended use. You can get a sense of the array of possibilities via OneMusic's licensing page. It's pretty interesting to see the factors for determining fees, such as square footage, and the differences in how similar businesses use music.
The overall emphasis seems to be on recorded music used in the background. Though there is a section for live music venues these tend to be more aware of licensing requirements than the local coffeehouse streaming Spotify.
This joint initiative is a good look for both APRA and PPNZ. Licensing is one of the most complicated areas of the music business and the current reign of licensing fiefdoms works against appropriate collection of fees and proper transparency for rights holders.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.