BASIC FACTS ABOUT EOS AND THE CURRENT DISPUTE WITH THE BBC
- In 2007 PRS (The Performing Rights Society) changed their distribution policy on the way they distributed revenue from public performance (pubs, clubs, cafes, juke boxes etc.). Most Welsh language composers lost around 85% on average of their royalties
- In 2008 PRS changed their policy on the way they apportion revenue from the BBC ‘blanket licence’ estimated to be worth around £55m per annum. The per minute rate paid for music played on Radio Cymru was halved. The ‘blanket licence’ deal, also known as a ‘collective licence’ allows all of the BBC’s services (radio, television and on-line) to broadcast any of the music represented by PRS, which, through reciprocal deals with other collecting bodies around the world, more or less means all the music in the world.
- PRS decide how this blanket payment is apportioned to various TV channels and radio stations. Since 2008 the PRS rates are approx.:
BBC Radio 1 – £11.53 per min
BBC Radio 2 – £19.64 per min
BBC Radio 3 – £9.28 per min
BBC Radio 4 – £16.45 per min
BBC Radio 6 Music – £3.43 per min
BBC Asian Network – £6.72 per min
BBC Radio Wales – £0.95 per min
BBC Radio Cymru – £0.49 per min
The rates vary according to usage as the blanket fee is a finite pot. All current rates are on the PRS for Music website www.prsformusic.com
- In 2008 Welsh composers and publishing companies formed an alliance called The Welsh Music Publishers and Composers Alliance (WMPCA) or Y Gynghrair (Cynghrair Cyhoeddwyr a Chyfansoddwyr Cerddoriaeth Cymru) (www.ygynghrair.com ) in order to try and persuade PRS to re-examine their changes to the distribution policies as it was killing the Welsh music industry. There were some marginal successes, including the introduction of the Welsh Analogy line for public performances, but nothing significant compared to what had been lost.
- The WPMCA (Y Gynghrair) is a ‘not for profit’ company limited by guarantee and has a board of 12 trustees made up from representatives from Welsh publishing companies and independent writers/composers – details on www.ygynghrair.com
- Following a ‘strike’ of Welsh music on Radio Cymru in December 2011, WMPCA directors forced a meeting with senior BBC and PRS personnel in January 2012 in order to address the concerns of Welsh composers. Numerous meetings were held throughout the year, but the PRS board refused to agree to the various options on the table.
- In August 2012 the WMPCA decided to invoke the ‘GEMA categories’ and set out to withdraw two of the categories of rights held in a musical composition, from PRS. (GEMA is the German version of PRS and following an European ruling on a case in Germany, 7 categories of rights in a composition were established, and any could be assigned or re-assigned).
- The WMPCA decided to withdraw the broadcasting and televising rights from PRS. According to PRS’s constitution, this required three months notice. Welsh composers and publishing companies were therefore required to sign and send a re-assignment letter to PRS by the end of September 2012, in order for the re-assignment to take place at the end of the calendar year (as noted in PRS’s constitution).
- 297 composers and 34 publishing companies signed, and also re-assigned their broadcast and televising rights to Eos, the new agency formed by WMPCA to act as a broadcast rights agency.
- Eos is also a ‘not for profit’ company limited by guarantee and has a board of 9 trustees made up from representatives from Welsh publishing companies and independent writers/composers. 5 of the trustees are also directors of WMPCA and 5 out of the 9 trustees are independent writers/composers. This is in accordance with CISAC’s rules for collecting societies world wide (www.cisac.org )
- On January 1st 2013 the re-assignment of the broadcasting (radio) and televising (television) rights came into force, and so Eos was now responsible for negotiating these rights on behalf of its members for all broadcasters in the UK. Eos and S4C came to an agreement on a 12 month ‘blanket licence’ before the end of Dec 2012.
- So far the BBC and Eos have not come to an agreement.
- What is being discussed between Eos and the BBC?
- Eos is discussing a ‘blanket licence’ for the use of the 30,000 or so works (or songs) it represents for all of the BBC’s radio stations and television channels, not just Radio Cymru. However, Radio Cymru is the greatest user of this material, followed by Radio Wales, but there is also significant historical usage on other BBC services.
- On-Line usage has not been re-assigned and is not part of these discussions.
- The 30,000 or so works include songs in Welsh, English and other languages as well as instrumental works.
- The blanket licence being discussed is for a 12 month, non precedential trial period only.
- A per minute rate for Radio Cymru or any other station or TV channel cannot be calculated until Eos receives the usage data from the BBC every 3 months. Eos will then apportion the blanket fee in the same way as the PRS does. Eos intends to match the current PRS per min rates for most of the BBC’s services but intends to give more status to the Nations radio stations, and hopefully increase the per min rate for Radio Cymru and Radio Wales.
- At the moment the BBC is offering a blanket fee of around a ¼ of what the Asian Network blanket fee would be, based on current per min rates.
- Eos is not looking for parity with the Asian Network, only a fair rate for the music.
Eos – The Broadcasting Rights Agency
‘Eos’ (Nightingale) is the name given to the new broadcasting rights agency.
The agency is owned by WMPCA but will have its own management board.
Amongst many proposals, (including endless acronyms!) ‘Eos’ stood out from the rest. It is client, internet & media friendly and easy to remember in any language. It has creative marketing qualities too; the nightingale song is tuneful, sings night and day and migrates to other countries… attributes similar to the agency’s long term, ambitious and open minded vision. Also, many poets and singers used ‘Eos’ as part of their stage names, therefore it has Welsh, as well as global, relevance.
(Welsh / Cymraeg)
Eos – Yr Asiantaeth Hawliau Darlledu
‘Eos’ yw enw’r asiantaeth hawliau darlledu newydd.
Mae’r asiantaeth yn berchen i’r Gynghrair, ond a bwrdd rheoli ei hun. Manylion i ddilyn.
Ymysg yr holl gynigion, roedd ‘Eos’ yn enw llawer mwy diddorol a thrawiadol na’r holl acronymau diflas. Mae’n enw addas iawn i gynrychioli ein haelodau yn ogystal â defnydd ar-lein a chyfryngol, a chofiadwy mewn unrhyw iaith. Mae’n greadigol mewn ystyr marchnata hefyd, mae’r aderyn ei hun a chân soniarus, yn canu dydd a nos ac yn mudo o wlad i wlad… nodweddion tebyg iawn i weledigaeth hir dymor, uchelgeisiol a meddwl agored yr asiantaeth. Hefyd, roedd ambell i fardd yn defnyddio ‘Eos’ fel ffug enw, a chantorion yn eu defnyddio fel rhan o enw llwyfan, felly mae perthnasedd Cymreig yn ogystal â rhyngwladol iddo hefyd.