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New MCPS Membership Framework 

View the MCPS Members Frameworks FAQ

View the non-core licence areas opt-out form

If you need to discuss the new MCPS membership framework, you can contact Member Services at membership@prsformusic.com or call +44 (0)20 3741 4848.

The MCPS Board recently agreed policies to implement a new MCPS membership framework designed to allow for a new way of operating under the existing MCPS Membership Agreement (‘MA2’), which will continue to apply.

The new framework applies to all members (however library publishers rights will remain exclusively administered by MCPS), whilst recognising the value that larger rights holders bring to the overall collective. Collective licensing will be maintained where appropriate but all MCPS members will be given the flexibility to manage their rights directly and to ‘opt-out’ of certain licensing areas.

The main policy changes are:

  • More flexibility for MCPS members to opt out of certain types of ‘non-core’ licences or licensing schemes.
  • Specific new controls and representation on committees for ‘Larger Rightsholders’* – this includes having approval of certain types of licensing schemes/blanket licences and having representation on committees.
  • Ability for members to audit MCPS (subject to certain qualifying criteria).
  • On-going commitment to manage costs rigorously.
  • Introduction of more ‘cost-reflective’ commission rates, with some increases in minor licensing areas to take effect from January 2011 (see below).

*A ‘Larger Rightsholder’ is any single member or parent company whose UK affiliate members had aggregate distributions from MCPS in each of the three previous calendar years equivalent to 5% or more of total MCPS distributions. At the present time, four publishers qualify as Larger Rightsholders under this definition.

The changes have been made to ensure that MCPS continues to offers all its members the best possible service in a fast changing world. They have been made in full consultation with MCPS members and the Music Publishers Association (MPA) and have been endorsed by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA). An FAQ document is included at the end of this letter.

1. Non-Core Licence areas

MCPS would prefer to carry on licensing your rights, however the new changes mean that you now have the choice of opting-out of ‘non-core licence areas’, as explained below.

Opting-out of any licensing areas would enable you to license all your repertoire, in that area, directly with music-using customers, i.e. directly liaising and negotiating fees, self-administering the licensing, invoicing and payment processes and directly enforcing your rights.

Please note that some of these ‘non-core’ licence areas already have provision for members to give their prior approval before MCPS issues licences for uses of works. For example, prior approval is currently needed before MCPS issues licences for all Premiums, Novelties and ‘single artist products’ (as defined) in both the Karaoke and Cover-Mount licensing schemes. Refraining from opting out does not mean that you lose these prior approval rights.

MCPS will continue to license your rights in the non-core licence areas set out in this table unless informed of any opt-outs before 3rd July.

We will continue to apply prior approval where required. [MCPS will, in any event, continue to license your right in core licence areas, which include the Audio Product (AP) schemes (e.g. retail CDs) and broadcast agreements.]

Generic Station Promotions (‘GSPs’) are also being made a non-core licence area for future deals. GSPs are items promoting TV channels and/or the specific brand(s) of the TV licensee (other than trailers). MCPS does not need an up-front mandate choice from members for GSPs. A small number of blanket licences with TV broadcasters currently cover these rights. Opt-outs opportunities for GSPs will be offered as and when any new blanket licences are arranged with TV broadcasters that cover such rights or if the existing agreements are renewed.

Existing Mandate choices: MCPS members will have notified MCPS already as to whether they want MCPS to issue licences on their behalf in relation to multimedia products and for individual licensing (e.g. for TV advertisements and corporate videos). Please let us know if you wish to change your existing mandate choices in any of these areas.

2. Commission rate changes

MCPS is committed to achieving the lowest possible commission rates for its members and customers over the longer-term. However, in the short-term we are facing challenging financial pressures arising from the downturn in the physical products market. We therefore need to reflect the fact that some of MCPS’s licences are more expensive to administer than the larger, more automated, schemes. Consequently, the commission rates for the licensing areas below will be increasing from 12.5% to 20% from 1st January 2011, to better reflect the current costs of undertaking this licensing:

  • ProDub
  • Limited Manufacture
  • Specialist music products
  • Digital memory devices
  • Novelties
  • Individual sync licensing
  • Karaoke

MCPS is continuing to look at ways to make all schemes more cost effective and the commission rates for these areas will be kept under regular review.

View the MCPS Members Frameworks FAQ

View the non-core licence areas opt-out form

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