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Neighbouring Rights - What is it all about?
Posted By : Alex Powell
|
Posted Date : November 19th, 2018
The music industry is forever evolving, whether that be technological, social or legislation based, opportunities to exploit new and existing revenue streams constantly present themselves. Over the last few years, you are probably hearing more and more about Neighbouring Rights and with good reason. Neighbouring Rights is one of the fastest growing revenue streams in the music industry today. In 2016 alone, revenue from Neighbouring Rights topped $2.1 billion which was up 4.4% from the year before and is still growing strong.

Neighbouring Rights are in no way the new kid on the block, in fact, they have been around since the Rome Convention was signed in 1961 and in the USA when the WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty was signed in 1996. We won't bore you with the details here but feel free to dig into this at your leisure.

So what are Neighbouring Rights? Well, these are rights related to the public performance and broadcast of sound recordings. Not to be confused with publishing or 'mechanical' rights though, there is an important distinction here. Mechanical rights are rights associated with the reproduction of recorded music whereas Neighbouring Rights relate to the public performance and broadcast of music.

Why now though? This revenue stream has been around for years, why only now are we exploiting Neighbouring Rights? Well, there are multiple reasons, mainly the fact that many countries that signed the Rome Convention haven't had the infrastructure in place to pay rights holders. Advancements in technology combined with communication and cooperation between countries growing have also helped pave the way to build that infrastructure. And with certain revenue streams such as CD and Downloads declining, the industries hand has been forced to adapt.

Now for the burning question on everyone's lips', who is owed royalties? These royalties are generally split 50/50 between the performing artists and the master rights holders (who in most cases are the record labels). So, if you are a performing artist or a record label who has had your music broadcast on radio, TV, in a public place such as a nightclub, festival, bar, restaurant or on new media somewhere in the world, then there will be money owed to you.

That's great, isn't it? There's money available that we didn't even know was there. Now where's my money and how do I get it? There are a few companies out there that will be able to claim Neighbouring Rights royalties on your behalf and they will usually take a small fee for doing so. On the flip side, you can try going to each territory directly, but who has time for that and most of the time you will be banging your head against a brick wall of bureaucracy. Companies like our sister company 'Lime Blue' have systems, contacts and direct agreements in place with over 60 countries worldwide that will save you buckets of time.

If you're are not claiming your Neighbouring Rights and would like to find out more about how to do this. Contact our team today.

 

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