Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

I’ve had a few compositions recorded by other people over the years, and I’ve always been quite happy and said "Go ahead, send me a copy of the CD." However, it’s happening a little more frequently these days, and the other day a German musician asked me to send him the "code" for a tune of mine he’s recording next week, for royalty purposes. I’ve never registered any of my tunes, and although I’ve done a little research on-line, I have found it confusing. It’s possible that some people here might have done it and can give me a pointer about where to look for good info, and any help would be appreciated.

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

Nigel, sorry I can’t help, but someone we know who might is Sarah Northcott - I think she has registered a number of her tunes for this reason.

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

Their FAQ reads, http://www.prsformusic.com/creators/helpcentre/Pages/Joiningus.aspx#18

"Does registering my works with PRS for Music mean my copyright is protected?

Currently, no official form of copyright registration is available. In the UK, all original music is protected by copyright from the time it is recorded/written down in some format. Registering your works with PRS for Music enables you to be correctly paid for the broadcast or performance of your songs."

And their guide on copyright is here: http://www.prsformusic.com/aboutus/essentialinformation/aboutcopyright/Pages/aboutmusiccopyright.aspx

Now happy to defer to more knowledgeable contributors.

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

If you are talking about the ISRC codes (they flag up on radio station software when they play your CD and help revenue collectors like PRS pay you for when your music has been played) you can obtain them from PPL, it can take a few days.

If you google ISRC codes you can find out all about them. The codes are embedded at the mastering stage.

Edit:

After reading you question again I think that your friend in Germany would need to register his CD with his local equivalent of PPL, then he could get his ISRC. You don’t have to have them but the automated system makes things easier for everyone.

You would need to register your compositions with PRS or MCPS, not sure which. You would be entitled to the writer’s share and he would get the performers share for any radio plays etc.

Sorry for any confusion

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

Basically all the information you need is on that site, but, if you want the royalties from recording, it’s MCPS that you should join (they do one or the other or both on the site). The one about sending a copy of the music yourself by Special Delivery is all you need for evidence of copyright.
It depends on what you want out of it. If it’s a tune or two once in a while, then what you’ve been doing is possibly all you want. You’re not likely to get one of your tunes in the charts - but it’s not beyond possibility.
If it’s more regular, then signing up and getting royalties might help keep you in strings and plectra.

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

Weejie: " You’re not likely to get one of your tunes in the charts…"

Bang goes another ambition, Weejie, but I’m still holding out for a place in the Scotland World Cup Final squad (at 56 years old), and being the first Secretary-General of the United Nations to swim the channel.

Re the registration, the German musician is putting the tracks on his CD through the German agency (GEMA, I believe), and it’s really to make things easier at his end, I suspect. PRS is for live performances, I think, so it looks like MCPS is what I need, as Weejie says. £50.00 in order to get a few Euros royalty? Mmmm. Thanks everyone for your advice.

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

I believe the collection societys take samples of what was broadcast on TV and Radio and pay you per minute of airplay. Rates vary according to broadcast method. National TV pays more than local radio. The thing is that they don’t sample constantly so if his CD track was played when they weren’t monitoring the airwaves he (and you) wouldn’t get paid.

This is one of the ways in which the system works better for mainstream acts with loads of airplay than it does for relatively obscure folk acts without much airplay.

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

Nigel-you never know. When I was in school a friend of mine had written a guitar piece which he played on a local NPR show. They liked it so much they bought it from him. It payed his college tuition. (Of course college was a lot cheaper then.) It’s even possible that some movie producer might hear your tune and decide it’s perfect for his next epic.Then, after multiple lawsuits, you’re either set for life or flat-broke.

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

If the German musician does it properly then, whether you have registered with PRS or not the track will go down as "Composed by Nigel Gatherer. Copyright control." When they print the cd they will need to pay a sum to GEMA for the licencing of the tunes based on all the tunes that are registered. Those that aren’t registered but have an identified composer will sit there pending any future registration. Were you to register later then the musician could get a subsequent bill in the post to cover the inclusion of your tune. The same should go for all previous recordings with your tunes on.

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

As for whether you join MCPS or PRS it is a bit of a red herring. They are both under the umbrella "PRS for Music" and work together closely. To all intents and purposes they are opposite sides of the same organisation.

http://www.prsformusic.com/Pages/default.aspx

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

"As for whether you join MCPS or PRS it is a bit of a red herring. They are both under the umbrella "PRS for Music" and work together closely. To all intents and purposes they are opposite sides of the same organisation."

It’s not a red herring in the slightest. The two societies, although different facets of the same organisation, collect different royalties. Nigel was concerned with royalties from recordings. He could join both, of course. That will cost him £100, though. Costly herring, however red it is.

Re: Advice On Registering Compositions (UK) Requested

"Bang goes another ambition, Weejie, but I’m still holding out for a place in the Scotland World Cup Final squad (at 56 years old), and being the first Secretary-General of the United Nations to swim the channel."

Hi Nigel - I don’t want to swim the channel - but I’m same age and same football possibilities!

I have written a number of tunes and I have had a couple recorded by other people which I’m quite relaxed about (as well as surprised) given I still regard this as a hobby (so can enjoy) rather than a job (…well I wouldn’t like to be relying on my musical creativity to bring in food). But I suppose there is always the possibility that one of our recorded tunes "takes off" in some strange internet viral or other commercial sense that we did not anticipate and we have then left things ambiguous about what we were agreeing to

I have a friend who is a singer songwriter and produces what I regard as good material. I think he registers individual tunes with MCPS. He also gets studio recordings of his material, which given the aural versus dots debate might be another aspect to consider.

Keep writing anyhow, and when the Scotland squad is announced, don’t be too disappointed when you hear my name mentioned (though I must lose a little bit of weight first - that’s my New Year’s resolution sorted).

Oh yes and I still hope to be appointed to the job of Head of Guitars at Pink Floyd, but the present incumbent stubbornly insists on hanging on to this post…which reminds me, back to the actual subject matter, of Led Zeppelin who blatantly plagiarised a lot of material, using the tag "Traditional" to gloss over some of it.