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PRS will take action on illegal recordings

The PRS for Music has informed 4BR that it is aware of the growing problem of illegal brass band recordings — and will be taking action.

PRs

 

The Performing Rights Society for Music has informed 4BR that they will take action against any individual who uses social media platforms to illegally broadcast brass band performances.

Aware

PRS for Music, who collectively manages the rights of 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK, told 4BR they are becoming increasingly aware of the use of digital platforms being used by individuals to record and broadcast brass band performances of music written by their members.

Speaking to 4BR, the PRS said that if it is informed by the composer of a work that has been illegally recorded and broadcast, it will take action.

Contacted

The ‘Piracy Unit’ also confirmed that it had been contacted following performances placed on Soundcloud from the recent Butlins Mineworkers Championship at Skegness.

"In general, unless specific and very clear written confirmation has been given from the venue, organisers or the composer, then any individual recording a performance for this purpose from a brass band contest is doing so illegally," they said.

"It is a form of recording and broadcasting piracy.

Although Soundcloud and other digital platforms are not yet licensed within the PRS framework, we would reiterate that it is still illegal to record music in this manner.

If it is reported to us we will contact the appropriate people to get it removed — and we will strongly consider taking further action."

Theft

They added: "This is simply a form of theft — and many composers are losing out of what should be their legal entitlement for a performance payment.

Brass band contests, concerts and general performances are not exempt — and we are aware of a growing problem in this area."

This is simply a form of theft — and many composers are losing out of what should be their legal entitlement for a performance paymentPRS for Music

Sparke's view

Composer Philip Sparke certainly has strong views on the matter.

"Although I’m aware there are mixed opinions about the issue, I feel strongly that these illegal recordings are having a very damaging effect — and not just financially for composers.

I’m certainly unhappy that many of my works are illegally recorded at brass band contests. But it also means that it denies the composer the opportunity to have their work properly commercially recorded, especially on CD — and that damages the future of the whole of the brass band movement."

Contact

The PRS is now also considering getting in touch with brass band composers themselves.

"We are becoming increasingly proactive in this area. Further legislation is forthcoming and we will want to work with those who are being affected. We would reiterate however, that if we are informed, we will take action."



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Phil Lawrence

ARCM PGRNCM MFTCL ARCM B.Mus.
Composer and conductor