The British Society of Composers and Songwriters (BACS) has made a formal complaint to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) about the assignment of music publishing rights in music for films and television programmes. BACS are concerned about the practice of some film and TV companies of demanding an assignment of publishing rights as part of a composer’s engagement to write music for a film or television programme. BACS point out that in some circumstances the commissioning company may take rights but not exploit these, exclude mechanical royalties from any deal and sometimes offer less favourable publishing deals to composers that those they could find with third parties, depriving composers of revenues. BACS has also raised wider competition concerns in that many publishers are excuded from the film and television production market because they have no relationship with film and television companies. The OFT will investigate breaches of the Competition Act 1998, Article 81 of the EC Treaty and whether the case merits reference under the Enterprise Act 2002.
Source: PACT Magazine March 2005
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