MCPS and BPI Finally Agree Rates for DVDs

September 2004

Record Labels, Music Publishers

The Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) and British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have finally agreed the terms of a 2 year licensing agreement for the copying of musical works to be released in DVD format. BPI members who use music on DVDs are required to take a licence from MCPS. MCPS represents composers, songwriters and publishers; it collects and distributes royalties on their behalf and administers copyright in their works. In 2003 MCPS informed BPI that it was going to introduce a DVD Licensing Scheme. Some of the proposed terms were rejected by BPI and the matter was referred to the Copyright Tribunal. The parties have now reached a settlement with reduced rates payable for the immediate future and then new rates applicable for 2005 onwards for both royalties and synchronisation licences.

Under the agreement, the royalty rates are:

– 6.25% of PPD for music DVDs that are predominantly audio-visual and contain no more than two audio-only music tracks
– 7.25% of PPD for music DVDs that contain more than two audio-only music tracks and more than two audio-visual music tracks e.g. a DVD release packaged with a CD
– 8.5% of PPD for music DVDs that contain audio-only music tracks and no more than two audio-visual music tracks e.g. many DVD singles
As part of this agreement, products issued on other, primarily audio formats that have the capacity for some visual content (e.g. SACD, DVD audio, enhanced CDs) will be licensed at 8.5% of PPD, with a sliding scale of introductory new format discounts. These royalty rates are inclusive of both the mechanical and synchronisation rights, which, except in the case of live classical recordings, will not need to be paid for separately. Producers will also have automatic access to all MCPS members’ and affiliated societies’ repertoire without the need for prior approval from copyright owners for the use of each individual work.

Commentary taken from Picton’s Solicitors “In The Know” e-newsletter

See : MCPS (official website) –

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