Gog sound - Welsh music royalties

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat Jan 12 18:37:18 UTC 2008

Gog sound - Welsh music royalties
Jan 11 2008 By Craig Owen Jones

LATE last autumn the PRS (Performing Rights Society) – the
organisation responsible for collecting and distributing royalty
payments to musicians – announced a change in its policy. Instead of
basing the majority of payments on samples of the music that radio
stations play, the society instead decided to make far greater use of
the 'pay-per-play' policy. Quite simply, the new principle works as
the name implies – once a track gets played on the radio, the artist
receives a certain amount of money. Fair enough, one might think –
except the new policy meant Welsh-language artists whose music was
played on Radio Cymru would be receiving significantly smaller
royalties in the future.

Well, of course it does. After all, whereas the latest track by a
chart-topping UK act has every chance of being played on dozens of
radio stations throughout the country, Welsh-language music tends to
get played – well, in Wales, and nowhere else. This is not semantics.
Rather, there is a wider issue at stake, one of how Welsh-language
music gets classified. PRS guidelines describe Radio Cymru as a
'regional station'. We in Wales have tilted at these particular
windmills before. As long as it has no detrimental impact of the
cultural life of the nation, no-one much cares whether or not a radio
station, newspaper or TV channel is considered national outside Wales;
but if it should be necessary to acquire such a status for the one
nation-wide radio service that broadcasts in Welsh to ensure a good
deal for our musicians, then so be it.

It is subjects that similarly concern the future of the Welsh-language
popular music industry that will be discussed at Caernarfon's Galeri
next Thursday, in a one-day conference organised by the Welsh Music
Foundation. Covering a wide range of themes from getting one's music
on TV to organising music festivals, the conference is free to attend
– and an essential draw for anyone interested in the future of
Welsh-language music. Speakers include Dilwyn Morgan of the North
Wales Events Commission, and organiser of the renowned Faenol
Festival, Steve Blake. Sessions will be conducted in both English and
Welsh, with translation facilities available.


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