The Bermuda Music Group has raised concerns over the proposed rate structure put forward by the Performing Rights Society for Music in recent meetings between the two.

PRS for music represents hundreds of thousands of artists around the world in the interests of protecting their copyrighted material and ensuring that the artists receive proper compensation for the use or performance of their music in a public setting.

The meetings with Bermuda served two purposes: to ensure Bermudian businesses were following correct protocol when using and playing licensed music, and to meet with Bermudian artists and songwriters to discuss the licensing of their music as they begin to make a splash in the international scene. 

Jackie Church, head of international licensing for PRS for music, said in a press release: “It’s been a valuable experience to spend time with businesses and musicians to clear up any misconceptions and ensure clarity about the importance of music licensing in Bermuda.

“We were also delighted to meet Bermudian songwriters – both established and new. Some of these already receive royalties from the global music community through PRS for Music and we look forward to more Bermudian songwriters joining us.”

The BMUG has raised several concerns to the PRS, most notably with regards to the proposed pay scale, saying in a press release:

“BMUG and several of its members also had direct meetings with the UK representatives to voice the concerns raised from the public meeting. Those issues included the need for transparency in the approach of PRS, a proposed rate structure that was too complicated and was in some cases more that 10 times what other jurisdictions are paying for the use of licensed music that PRS represents.

“BMUG members stated that the fee structure should be no more than it would be in similar places with similar population densities.

“PRS has agreed to take on board all the feedback they received during their recent visit and reconsider their approach. They also conceded that current fees may be too high and indicated that credits may possibly be issued to organizations that have been paying at higher rates, if indeed lower fee structures are introduced.”