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ProDub FAQs

For the avoidance of doubt, this document is for guidance only. It does not form part of the Professional Dubbing (‘ProDub’) Licence. The terms and conditions of the licence are set out in their entirety in the document entitled “Professional Dubbing Licence Terms and Conditions”.

 

1. Who are MCPS and PPL?

MCPS sits under the broader PRS for Music brand, and licenses your mechanical (reproduction) rights and pays your mechanical royalties.

PRS for Music is the home of the world’s best songwriters, composers and music publishers. We represents the world’s music – that’s 10 million pieces of music – enabling businesses and individuals to access all the music they need for use in their business, products or projects in the most effective way.

PPL is the UK music industry service organisation which licenses recorded music on behalf of over 6,750 UK and international record companies and over 47,000 performers around the world. The company collects domestic and global broadcast/new media revenues and public performance income. PPL members include featured artists as well as all session musicians, ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and to singers.

Both PRS for Music and PPL are collecting societies, formed by music copyright owners to license their music and to collect and distribute the subsequent royalties. We pass all the money we collect from licensees directly on to our members, only deducting our administration costs.

  

2. What does the ProDub Licence allow me to do?

In very simple terms the ProDub Licence allows an individual to copy music they own onto various formats and devices, such as from their CDs to their laptop, for the purpose of using that device or format to undertake professional or semi-professional performances, such as those undertaken by DJs, karaoke jockeys, fitness instructors, performers etc.

 

3. As I have already paid for the music I am copying, why do I still need to pay for a ProDub Licence?

When you purchase recordings, for example CDs from a record store or downloads from a legitimate online music service, you are only buying the right to listen to these recordings for private and domestic uses. This is why these recordings normally state that any unauthorised copying, hiring, broadcasting, etc of them is not permitted. If you therefore wish to make copies of these recordings for the purpose of carrying out performances such as DJing or conducting fitness classes or any other public performance, then you need to obtain a licence, which in these circumstances is the ProDub Licence. If you are a health and fitness professional, and you purchase all of your music from a company which is licensed under the Fitness Music Services (FMS) Licence, you may not require a ProDub Licence. Please check with your music provider.

 

4. Why should I get a ProDub Licence and what are the benefits to me in doing so?

Making copies of music is against the law unless you have the appropriate licences from all the relevant copyright owners.

Rather than having to identify, contact, negotiate and pay for licences with the owners of each individual song and recording you wish to copy, the ProDub Licence provides an extremely convenient “one stop shop” that licenses all the rights needed from the owners of these songs and recordings. 

Within this context, the ProDub Licence also means you do not have to purchase all the tracks you want to copy again on the format you perform from.

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5. Does the ProDub Licence allow me to make copies of recordings onto CDs or other formats so that I can sell or give these away to people attending my performances or to anyone else?

No, it does not. This activity is not permitted under any circumstance unless specific licences have been obtained from all the relevant rights owners.

 

6. What should I do if I do not use up all of my maximum copy allowance during a year and will still be making copies the following year?

If you will be making any copies over the next year then you will be required to take out a ProDub Licence for at least the minimum number of copies permitted. If at the end of a licence year you have not made as many copies as you had originally estimated then you may be able to take this into consideration when estimating the number of copies you need to pay for in the coming year.

For example, in year 1 a licensee obtains a ProDub Licence to make between 10,001 and 15,000 copies, but only makes 6,000 copies. When applying for a licence for year 2 this licensee may calculate the difference between the the number of copies actually made in year 1 and the minimum allowance under the licence they obtained for year 1. In this case that difference would be 4,001 copies. If this licensee therefore estimates that they will make a further 6,000 copies in year 2 then they need only apply for a licence for between 0 and 5,001 copies in year 2, i.e. 6,000 minus 4,001 = 1,999.

 

7. Does the ProDub Licence allow me to make copies of recordings that I do not own personally?

No. The ProDub Licence does not allow you to make copies from other individuals’ recordings. A ProDub Licence is issued to an individual and that individual may only make copies from legitimately sourced recordings they themselves own, e.g. their own vinyl, CDs or downloads purchased from legitimate online music services.

 

8. Is anyone else allowed to make copies under my ProDub Licence?

No. Only the individual who holds the ProDub Licence is entitled to make copies under that licence or use those copies for their performances. Therefore, no other person is permitted to make copies for you and you are not permitted to make copies for anyone else.

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9. If I am making copies in this way, is the ProDub Licence the only licence I will need?

The ProDub Licence is a joint licence granting the right to copy both musical works (songs/compositions) -and sound recordings (artists’ performances). In this respect it is the only licence you need. However, other licences may be required if you are undertaking other activities that are not covered by the ProDub Licence.

Please also note that separate licences are required to cover the public performance of the all the music you play. These licences are issued by the Performing Right Society (PRS for Music) to the venues in which you perform and by the PPL to either the venues or to you as an individual.

 

10. What is a single “copy” in relation to the ProDub Licence?

A “single” copy is the transfer of an individual sound recording from any source to various formats. By way of example: each different version of a particular song or recording constitutes a separate copy; copying of the same sound recording from CD to a laptop and an MP3 player would constitute two copies, copying of a CD album to a laptop would constitute several copies depending on the number of tracks included on that CD album. However, if a sound recording includes samples from other sound recordings, on its own, this particular issue does not constitute multiple copies.

 

11. Does the ProDub Licence allow me to make my own mixes?

No. The ProDub Licence does not permit you to make copies of your own mixes from different sound recordings.

 

12. I have heard that the government may introduce a copyright exemption for “format shifting” in the future, if they do will I no longer require a ProDub Licence?

If, or when, the government considers introducing such an exemption they have already stated that they will only consider this in respect of personal and domestic uses. The ProDub Licence is for individuals who wish to make copies that will be used to aid their professional or semi-professional performances. Therefore, if you are undertaking these commercial activities, which the ProDub Licence covers, you will still require a licence.

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13. Haven’t the venues that I play in already paid a licence fee on our behalf to cover these types of activities?

Any licences that venues hold are likely to be to allow them to publicly perform musical works and sound recordings on their premises. The rights being granted under the ProDub Licence allow individuals to make copies of recordings they own on to various formats. It is therefore not possible for a venue to obtain a ProDub Licence on your behalf.

 

14. What reporting will I be required to provide to MCPS or PPL?

Once you have applied for your ProDub Licence you will not be required to submit any further reporting. However, it is a requirement of the licence that you keep some form of record of the copies you make under your ProDub Licence, as MCPS may request that you send this information to them and/or allow them to verify this list.

 

15. Does my ProDub Licence allow me to make a back-up of the copies I make?

Yes it does. Furthermore, the additional copies that constitute your back-up database do not count as extra copies when calculating your licence fee, however, these back-up copies may not be used for your performances.

 

16. I will be copying some karaoke tracks under my ProDub Licence, why is there an additional fee to pay because of this?

Karaoke tracks include the use of on-screen lyrics. A separate copyright exists in the on-screen representation of lyrics, in addition to the recording of the song in the form of a sound recording. The karaoke uplift is paid in respect of the licence granted for this extra right.

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17. If I do not need a ProDub Licence should I contact MCPS for some form of an exemption?

No. MCPS and PPL will not be issuing any form of an exemption if people contact them and do not need a licence.

 

18. If I stop copying music during the term of my ProDub Licence and have not used up my maximum copy allowance for that year will I get a refund?

No. There will be no refunds issued.

 

19. When my ProDub Licence comes up for renewal, if I will not be copying any further music during the following year, am I still allowed to use the music I copied under the ProDub Licence(s) I have held to date?

Yes. If you completely stop making any further copies and will not make anymore for at least a year following the expiry of your existing ProDub Licence then the copies you made under your previous ProDub Licences may continue to be used by you when undertaking your performances.

 

20. I will only be copying a few tracks over the next year, so why do I have to pay for the right to copy up to a maximum of 5,000 tracks?


In developing the ProDub Licence there have been a number of key aims that both MCPS and PPL have sought to deliver to licensees. These include:

  • the creation of a joint licence covering both sets of our members’ rights that is not only simple and straightforward for licensees to obtain, but which is also far more affordable than any separate licences in this area would be.
  • the setting of a minimum annual fee as close to licensees’ expectations as possible, which is expressed including VAT.
  • to allow licensees to make a significantly large number of copies under this minimum annual fee so that as many as possible licensees qualify for this.

In addition to these points, during the next year we shall also be considering the possibility of introducing a lower price bracket, which would be available to licensees who are renewing their ProDub Licence.

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21. Can I make copies outside the UK?

The ProDub Licence allows you to make copies in the UK and then use these copies when you undertake performances throughout the European Economic Area subject to the venues you perform in having the relevant public performance licences.

If you make copies outside of the UK then you will need to obtain appropriate licences from all the relevant copyright owners in that country. Once you have obtained all of these licences the nature and scope of these will determine whether or not you are permitted to use those copies once you return to the UK. Even if all these licences do permit the use of these copies in the UK the venues in which you play will still need to hold public performance licences.

 

22. Does the ProDub Licence allow me to copy any genre of music?

The ProDub Licence allows you to copy any of the existing tracks you already own that are part of the vast repertoires of MCPS and PPL members, which cover well in excess of 10 million different tracks from all genres and recognised forms of music

 

23. What happens about the copies I made prior to obtaining my ProDub Licence?

You will be permitted to use copies you have previously made under your ProDub so long as you include the number of any such previous copies in your estimate of songs to be copied for your first year’s licence. However, please note that individual MCPS or PPL members could still make claims against you for past unauthorised uses and these claims would not be affected by the grant of your ProDub Licence.

 

24. I already have a PPL Digital DJ licence and/or an MCPS SG6 licence to cover these activities, what should I do?

Please contact the MCPS Licensing team via the email address applications@mcps.co.uk and one of our licensing advisors will be happy to call you and discuss your options for moving over to the ProDub Licence.

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25. What should I do if I want to use or copy music videos in any way?

Pop promo videos and other audio-visual recordings that include music (except for karaoke tracks that simply include on screen lyrics plus some form of still visuals) are not covered under the ProDub Licence. If you do wish to copy videos, you will therefore require a different licence from MCPS plus a separate licence from Video Performance Limited. Please call +44 (0)20 3741 4500 and +44 (0)20 7534 1000 respectively for further advice regarding such licences.

 

26. What should I do if every single recording I will be copying is not owned by a PPL member and/or an MCPS member?

Given the extraordinary breadth of the songs and recordings MCPS and PPL members own, it is highly unlikely that this will be the case. However, if you believe it to be the case, please contact the MCPS Licensing team via the email address applications@mcps.co.uk. If it is deemed that a licence is still required from either MCPS or PPL in isolation then the options will be discussed with you.

 

27. I have heard that the cost of this licence is tax deductible, is that true?

In many circumstances we believe that it may well be. However, we strongly advise that you speak to the relevant tax officials or an accredited tax advisor regarding your specific circumstances.

 

28. Will venues refuse to hire me if my name is not on your list of ProDub Licensees?

MCPS and PPL will be advising and encouraging venues to ensure that DJs, fitness instructors or other performers they hire or employ hold a ProDub Licence. Venues will be able to do this by either checking our online list of licensees or by asking licensees to show them a copy of their ProDub Licence. If venues find that a DJ, fitness instructor or other person require and yet do not have a ProDub Licence, then MCPS and PPL will be asking them to prevent that person from using the music in question and to report this matter via the email address applications@mcps.co.uk.

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29. How do the MCPS and PPL intend to enforce the ProDub Licence?

MCPS will be undertaking a number of activities to ensure that those individuals who require a ProDub Licence obtain one. These activities will include: visits to and educational work with venues; liaising with industry bodies, active third parties and trade publications; following up on information received regarding possible unlicensed individuals supplied by our members, other licensees and venue owners.

 

30. What would happen if I refused to take out a ProDub Licence?

We hope that those individuals who do require a ProDub Licence will obtain one and we strongly advise them to do so. If such individuals refuse to take out the licence and our licensing team are unable to ensure that they do then the matter will be passed to our legal team who will take appropriate legal action given the specific circumstances in each case.

 

31. Has the introduction of the ProDub Licence been discussed with any potential licensees or their representative bodies?

Yes. Over the past twelve months we have discussed our development of the ProDub licence with a broad spectrum of individuals and relevant representative groups and bodies. We have also encouraged other individuals and parties with an interest in the ProDub Licence to share their views with us and we shall continue to do this with the aim of ensuring the ProDub Licence remains fair, effective and relevant in the future.

 

32. I know a person who ought to purchase the ProDub Licence but refuses. What should I do?

You may anonymously call the Licensing Team on +44 (0)20 3741 4500 or anonymously email applications@mcps.co.uk


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