The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) representing over 300 record companies
The Digital Service Providers (DSPs) AOL, Apple iTunes, MusicNet, Napster, RealNetworks, Sony Connect and Yahoo; and
The Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) 02, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodaphone
UK songwriters and composers
The future royalty earnings of UK songwriters and composers - the creators of music – are under threat.
The MCPS-PRS Alliance Joint Online Licence (JOL) is the subject of legal proceedings. The JOL has been referred to the UK Copyright Tribunal by the BPI and a consortium of Digital Service Providers (DSPs) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). The objection is to the rate at which the Alliance licenses its 44,000 members’ works for use or sale online.
Since 2002 music creators, via the MCPS-PRS Alliance, have facilitated the growth of the legal online music market by providing online services with an inclusive licence to operate a number of business models to suit their needs – downloading, streaming, webcasting - through the Joint Online Licence. To further help the growth of this market, the creators and music publishers have supported this licence being issued at 8% of gross revenues – discounted from the headline 12% rate.
The BPI, DSPs and MNOs claim that 12% - and even the current 8% - is an unreasonable portion for the creator from online music sales and would like to see the amount reduced. At 8%, the creators earn 5-6p from a 79p download. At 12%, they would earn 8-9p. In the physical world, creators earn about 8p a track from the sale of a CD. So 12% would only bring about parity between the online and physical worlds.