I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pay to play

I want to make my PORK shows (and the non-PORK ones I've got planned) available for download. Mixcloud's great, but the few people who listen so far would like an offline version. I want to do this legally, which involves getting a licence.

Amusingly, the costs are (or at least feel) punitive, in that the more popular you are the more it costs. It seems the licensing authorities either want to discourage people from promoting music too much, or encourage them to shove ads in their shows or get sponsorship or whatever. Ho hum. Whatever. I don't expect to be that popular anyway, but it's got my back up that you're essentially forced to whore yourself out (or stop completely) if too many bloody people start listening.

Anyway the upshot is mp3s of my shows will be put up, but only after I'm legal, which means waiting for a response to the email I sent to the PRS's enquiry line, reproduced below. If I get a response I'll probably post that too, though tbh I expect it to come with a huge disclaimer-signature which prohibits me from doing so. And just before the email itself, this is the licence I refer to in it. I think it's going to cost me ~£246 to make the mp3s.

To: onlinelicensing@prsformusic.com
Subject: suitable licence for weekly podcast


I would like to start making available an online weekly "radio" show -- ie, a podcast, downloadable by my audience (not streamed). Each show would contain 10-15 songs, with speech between most but not all songs (some will be played back to back), and I'd expect a maximum of ~100 or so downloads of each show. I won't be running ads, being sponsored, or charging for anyone to listen.

Am I correct in thinking I need a Limited Online Exploitation Licence, band B? If I understand the information on your website correctly, my plans above require this (rather than the podcasting licence), and correspond to a theoretical maximum of 15 x 52 x 100 = 78000 downloaded works per annum.

As you're aware, your fee structure discourages hobbyist music lovers from promoting music (that they've already paid for) to too many people -- ie, becoming even vaguely popular -- by making it prohibitively expensive above a certain audience level. Because of this I presume you can provide me with some advice on how to ensure I don't reach such a level. I need to stop before too many people listen to the music, as it would only take 450 downloads of each show before I go beyond even a band C LOEL, itself a financial stretch too far. Please let me know the recommended way of doing this.

PS I notice this paragraph on www.fairplayforcreators.com:

"Music creators rely on receiving royalties whenever and wherever their work is used. Royalties are vital in nurturing creative music talent. They make sure music creators are rewarded for their creativity in the same way any other person would be in their work."

Most people in their work are paid a wage or salary, not commission. For example, I'm a web developer, and I don't get paid more if more people look at my employer's website. But don't let that stop you.

Thanks in advance,


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