New Zealand Invents the ‘Single Music License’ for ALL Performances…

If the royalty system is totally and completely f&*ked up, why don’t we fix it?

 

Enter the country of New Zealand, which is about to introduce a reasonable, one-stop license for any public performance of any work, whether radio, restaurant, publishing, or recording.  The ‘Single Music License,’ created by local licensing agencies APRA and PPNZ Music Licensing, will be formally unveiled this week.

It even has a brand name, OneMusic, so everyone can understand.  And, one office, so everyone can deal with it in a central location.  And, one website, onemusicnz.com, so everyone can actually license it and not get sued unexpectedly.

According to PPNZ chief executive Damian Vaughan, this is an entirely new license, not just an administrative slap-together of two different licenses.  “Our customers were telling us that the international norm, which is a two-licence model, was frustrating and confusing,” Vaughan says.  “APRA and PPNZ exist to represent different rights holders, so we have always operated independently and have calculated fees in different ways.

“Too many customers were not even aware they needed both licences. So now we’re dealing with the complexities behind the scenes. That’s our job.”

Instead of a mish-mosh that inherits the warts of the past, OneMusic was constructed from the ground up, according to both groups.  “By APRA and PPNZ coming together our customers will now be going to one place, www.onemusicnz.com, to calculate and pay a single fee without having  to  deal  with  overly  complex  paperwork,” said Anthony Healey, head of New Zealand Operations at APRA.  “We’ve built the licence scheme from the bottom up after extensive consultation with our customers on what works best for them.”

“The idea of dual performance right is complex for the music industry itself let alone the general public that just want to get access to music legally.”

We now bring you back to our regularly-scheduled program in the US, where major labels are lobbying Congress to create a new performance right for terrestrial radio, the National Association of Broadcasters is fighting against it, Pandora is lobbying Congress to lower one performance right for recordings, while suing in US District Court to lower the other; publishers are desperately trying to work around pre-set rates for their online performance royalties, and major broadcasters like Clear Channel are signing direct deals with labels like Warner Music Group to privately create their own, unified performance rights license.

Any questions?

Written while listening to Flux Pavilion.

16 Responses

  1. hippydog
    hippydog

    OMG!
    please .. everyone cross your fingers and hope this actually works..
    If one country shows a bit of “common sense” and it works, maybe.. just maybe
    others might catch on..

    Reply
  2. Ellen
    Ellen

    I wonder how much of an influence this single music license model will play in other markets. For instance, what will China’s music license model in the future be like? There is currently not much of a clear distinction between music publishing and master recording in China…

    Reply
  3. TuneHunter
    TuneHunter

    Fresh and optimistic move!
    Current payment schematics both in US and Europe are complicated, unfair and hopeless!
    The only more screwed up operation mode is in The Medical Industry (in the USA) – the only difference is total polarization to FREE in music “ventures” and total INCOME in medical field.
    One is shrinking to nothing and the other one will become 1/4 of the economy. RIAA lobby must learn from medics!

    Reply
    • Central Scrutinizer
      Central Scrutinizer

      Yes, abolish software patents.
      That leaves software developers with just cpyright to protect their IP.
      If software developers were in the same boat as other copyright holders, we might see some real change for the better in copyright law. And we would see change quickly, not maybe in the next decade or two.
      As it is now, politicians and the general public (for the most part) consider authors (the copyright law definition) to be useless, lazy freeloaders when compared to software developers who are useful, hardworking (make lot’s of money for their employers who also donate to re-election campaigns) and intelligent.
      So I say yes abolish software patents and welcome those software authors to the copyright party.

      Reply
      • AnAmusedGeek
        AnAmusedGeek

        actually – copyright protection would be fine with us – its like 120 years vs 10 years(?) for patents…
        The big problem has been patent offices granting too many bullshit patents that mean every time we write something, we have to worry about someone claiming we ‘infringe’ on something we never saw, never heard of, and never knew existed…
        Of course, mathematicians get royally screwed – they can work on something for decades and get zero proctection as you can’t patent/copyright a mathematical formula… Imagine if Einstein’s estate got a payment everytime someone wrote ‘e=mc2’ 😀

        Reply
        • Central Scrutinizer
          Central Scrutinizer

          Copyright may last longer but it does not carry the same legal protection that patent does.
          Patent protects the idea. Copyright protects only the expression of the idea.
          Copyright protects you if I use more than a “de minimis” amount of your copyrightable code in exactly the same way.
          So if I write some code that performs the exact same function as your program but I use different language and/or sequence of commands then copyright protection does you no good. That is a serious drawback to copyright law.
          I do agree that mathmaticians get the short end of the monetary stick. However, Einstein was a physicist first mathmematician second. He had to borrow the math from mathematicians who had done the work before him.
          Isaac Newton on the other hand had to invent a whole branch mathematics to get noticed.

          Reply
          • Central Scrutinizer
            Central Scrutinizer

            “So if I write some code that performs the exact same function as your program but I use different language and/or sequence of commands then copyright protection does you no good. That is a serious drawback to copyright law.”
            Actually, patents are not really as much protection as you’d imagine… You can pretty much ‘write-around’ any patent you know about (for instance, reverse engineering M$ protocol’s in Samba, or ‘zip’ utilities that produce compatible archives using a different algorithm). Also, you have to divulge all the ‘secret sauce’ in the patent app which gives your competitors a huge advantage in ‘cloning’ things.
            So the patent doesn’t protect you (very much) from people using your ideas… it mostly just trips you up later when some ding dong granted a meritless patent…
            I’ll cut Einstein a lil slack… after all, not all vocalists write their own songs 🙂

          • AnAmusedGeek
            AnAmusedGeek

            “So if I write some code that performs the exact same function as your program but I use different language and/or sequence of commands then copyright protection does you no good. That is a serious drawback to copyright law.”
            Actually, patents are not really as much protection as you’d imagine… You can pretty much ‘write-around’ any patent you know about (for instance, reverse engineering M$ protocol’s in Samba, or ‘zip’ utilities that produce compatible archives using a different algorithm). Also, you have to divulge all the ‘secret sauce’ in the patent app which gives your competitors a huge advantage in ‘cloning’ things.
            So the patent doesn’t protect you (very much) from people using your ideas… it mostly just trips you up later when some ding dong granted a meritless patent…
            I’ll cut Einstein a lil slack… after all, not all vocalists write their own songs 🙂

    • Visitor
      Visitor

      Software patents do more harm than good to software developers. In fact a lot of these software patents aren’t even filed by software developers. Imagine if anyone could patent a genre of music? If I patented rock and roll (don’t even have to be a musician..), and you’d get sued if you played rock and roll, you think musicians would go for that? That’s basically what a patent does. So, no having strong IP laws isn’t always helpful.

      Reply
  4. John Luongo
    John Luongo

    Hate to be a wet blanket or wet blanket license as the case may be but you are not going to get labels and publishers and collecting agents to agree that someone else will collect for them and determine and control what they get and insure that they get it.

    Greed made them all this way and that is the way they will proceed for many years to come.

    Reply
    • Bandit
      Bandit

      Think of all those lawyers, accountants, PRO middlemen and label and music publishing execs that would be out of work if we simplified the licensing process.
      They need jobs too.

      Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      The ‘one-stop’ model just launched in NZ is a joint venture between PPNZ (representing ‘master recording’ rights holders ie primarily Major and Indie lables) and APRA (representing the publishers and songwriters).
      It is administered by a combined team and monies divided back to it’s ‘parent entities’ for distribution to it’s members

      It is early days but I am personally extremely positive this will work very well (and I base this on understanding both the organisations, individuals and politics involved).
      Whether this OneMusic model can be exported outside of NZ will depend largely on the willingness of recording and publishing rights representatives in other territories to explore this simplified and extremely logical new model

      Reply

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