Performing rights

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manniemain
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Parish / Diocese: St Margaret's Huntly - diocese of aberdeen
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Performing rights

Post by manniemain »

A small group in our Parish have started saying that we need a performing rights licence for any music played in the Church - even for the hymns played on the organ on Sundays. Can anyone shed any light on the legal position here? If there's any kind of a "grey area" they've made it clear that they will report the Church to anyone they can get hold of so we will have to do it by the book.
....and yes, their motivation doesn't bear too close an inspection!
Rob

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contrabordun
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Re: Performing rights

Post by contrabordun »

You're OK.

Full details are at http://www.prsformusic.com/users/busine ... nce.aspx#6, the 2 key paragraphs of which are
you will need to buy a Music Licence unless:
there is an exemption in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) that means you do not have to obtain a copyright licence,
or
your music use is covered by a PRS Charging Policy and PRS for Music has decided, at its discretion, not to make a charge for our licence in your circumstances.

and
6. Music used in divine worship
PRS for Music, at its discretion, does not make a charge for music used at a recognised Service of Divine Worship in consecrated places of worship (of any recognised faith), where no charge is made to attendees for admission.


(And that's for music in copyright: music out of copyright is...well...out of copyright: you wouldn't need a licence anyway).
Paul Hodgetts

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musicus
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Re: Performing rights

Post by musicus »

From the current PRS website:
6. Music used in divine worship
PRS for Music, at its discretion, does not make a charge for music used at a recognised Service of Divine Worship in consecrated places of worship (of any recognised faith), where no charge is made to attendees for admission.

You will find that at http://www.prsformusic.com/users/busine ... nce.aspx#6

I would also refer you to the Copyright Guide that the Archdiocese of Birmingham's Music Committee has produced (see http://www.abcm.org.uk/publications/pub ... ns/cg.html ), which sets out the same advice, along with much other useful and relevant stuff.
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musicus
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Re: Performing rights

Post by musicus »

:lol: contrabordun beat me to it!
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JW
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Re: Performing rights

Post by JW »

From the perspective of Mid Kent, and not knowing much about church politics north of the border:

In a situation like that, I think I'd just pack up, let someone else do the job and join another parish, especially if your PP isn't supporting you in this. Life's too short and there's no point arguing with some people.
JW

Peter
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Re: Performing rights

Post by Peter »

Perhaps Manniemain's colleagues could be asked if they pay the PRS every time they sing "Happy birthday" - after all, it's still in copyright. :wink: See http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.asp.

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musicus
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Re: Performing rights

Post by musicus »

Peter wrote:Perhaps Manniemain's colleagues could be asked if they pay the PRS every time they sing "Happy birthday" - after all, it's still in copyright. :wink: See http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.asp.

Indeed it is. Stravinsky got caught out by that when he quoted it in his Circus Polka.

But, again, if it were to be sung in the course of divine worship - Father's 60th birthday perhaps - there would be no fee!
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alan29
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Re: Performing rights

Post by alan29 »

musicus wrote:
Peter wrote:Perhaps Manniemain's colleagues could be asked if they pay the PRS every time they sing "Happy birthday" - after all, it's still in copyright. :wink: See http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.asp.

Indeed it is. Stravinsky got caught out by that when he quoted it in his Circus Polka.

But, again, if it were to be sung in the course of divine worship - Father's 60th birthday perhaps - there would be no fee!


Surely those ladies must be 50 years in the grave by now?

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Nick Baty
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Re: Performing rights

Post by Nick Baty »

Patty Smith Hill died in 1946 which would normally mean that, under UK law, the piece would be in copyright until 2016. However, I believe that, for some reason, it's in copyright until the 2030s in the US.

justMary
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Re: Performing rights

Post by justMary »

Nick Baty wrote:Patty Smith Hill died in 1946 which would normally mean that, under UK law, the piece would be in copyright until 2016. However, I believe that, for some reason, it's in copyright until the 2030s in the US.


US copyright law is a little different for works created pre 1978: their copyright expiry date may depend on when they were first published, and/or if the registration of this first publication has been renewed, irrespective of the creator's date of death.

There's some detail on this US government site: http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-duration.html

Wikipedia has a lot more detail, but I'm never sure how much weight to give it, especially on legal questions.

And of course the internet, while opening so many doors, makes things even more head-scratchingly difficult.

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