Copyright in music is how our 95,000 members - songwriters, composers and music publishers - earn their living. Our members license their rights through us rather than doing it individually, making it easier and more efficient for those who want to use music to do so legally by obtaining a licence from us.
We are owned by and accountable to our members. After deducting the costs of running our organisation, all the income we receive from licence fees is distributed back to our members.
We are the UK's leading collecting society and part of a global network of societies. In most cases a licence from us gives those who want to use music the right to legally use millions of copyrighted songs and music compositions registered around the world.
In terms of music copyright, there are people who write and publish songs and musical compositions, and people who perform and produce recordings. We deal with the former, while Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) deal with the latter. Wherever recorded music is used for public purposes it is likely that a licence will be required from PPL in addition to one from PRS for Music: separate payments for the use of separate rights. PPL and PRS for Music are separately owned by their respective members but we both seek a secure environment for music copyright and work to promote its value both in the UK and overseas.
Recent transformations within the music industry have significantly impacted the way music is accessed and used: across borders, across boundaries and on a diverse array of devices. We are meeting the challenges of music in the digital age by ensuring that music rights can be licensed across borders, in an accurate, transparent and efficient manner.
Our aim is to demystify the licensing process so everyone better understands how our members’ rights are licensed and the value that copyright represents to the UK economy.