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Our policy areas 

We actively engage on public policy and legislative developments with UK Government, Parliament, the European Commission, European Parliament and international bodies. We provide information and data on a range of policy area that help others understand the role and function of the collective management of rights, and by definition, the role of PRS for Music.

Our main areas of interest:

We are open and constructive in our communications with political and regulatory audiences. PRS for Music does not support or align ourselves to political parties and we don’t make political donations.


Contact us

If you would like to receive regular information regarding our policy and research areas, email policy@prsformusic.com

A well-functioning digital market for online content services

An effective Digital Single Market requires a level playing field, where providers can compete fairly for consumers. This is not the case today where some platforms are required to pay for the content they use, while others do not, despite the fact they provide very similar functions as, and are in direct competition with licensed services. A level playing field for online content services is only achievable if there is a clarification to the existing copyright law to ensure all online platforms and aggregators that distribute music are liable for the copyright of the works they make available.

The Role of Online Platforms– the hosting defence

Legal ambiguity in the current legislation, specifically the application of the Hosting Defence in the E-Commerce Directive, has allowed for some online platforms, such as user upload sites, to claim they are not liable for copyright and as such they do not remunerate rightsholders. This was never the intention of the Hosting Defence legislation, which was intended to support the development of hosts and conduits as the online market evolved, and the result of the legal ambiguity is harm, caused by the creation of an unfair market and to the detriment of content creators, other service providers and consumers.

On behalf of our members we are calling for a clarification of copyright law to ensure that we can, on behalf of our members, license services which make available works online and they cannot claim to be mere hosts of content uploaded by others. This will ensure that all services which provide access to music online, including in audio visual content, fairly pay for the use of all of the music they use. The European Commission’s Digital Single Market reform proposal represents the most effective and realistic mechanism to redress this imbalance.

You can read our response to the consultation on the Regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy here [document supplied, to be included on the Research and Submission Archive page].

Providing effective and balanced enforcement systems

Enforcing rights online, by quickly and efficiently tackling copyright infringement, is essential to the future of all creative industries. PRS for Music works with a number of organisations in the UK to support enforcement actions against copyright infringement. It is essential that the legal framework for enforcement supports these actions and is capable of meeting the challenges of the constantly evolving market for infringement.

On behalf of the members, PRS for Music is calling for a forward thinking and flexible approach to copyright enforcement with particular focus on the increasing proliferation of stream-ripping services and mobile apps; the use of parental controls by ISPs; notice and stay down; and the cross-border application of enforcement.

At the end of 2015 the European Commission published a consultation on the Enforcement Directive, which looks at the legal framework and policies for the enforcement of rights. In our response we will reinforce the need for measures which address the access to and funding of infringing sites and the app stores and platform providers who make them available.

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