UK Politicians Recognizing That Draconian Licensing Policies Can Harm Up-And-Coming Musicians

from the free-the-musicians dept

One point that often comes up (from all sides) in discussions about draconian copyright laws is the fact that, rather than worrying about copyright, new musicians can just ignore the legalities with no one being harmed. If only that were true. Earlier this year, we wrote about how those licensing policies in the US and overly aggressive enforcement by ASCAP and BMI meant that fewer and fewer venues were willing to host open mic nights, significantly harming how many young musicians get their start. Over in the UK, where venue licensing rules have reached such ridiculous levels that a woman playing the radio for her horses has to buy a performance license from PRS, it appears that politicians are finally recognizing there’s a problem. A new government report is saying that such aggressive licensing policies are holding back young musicians by making it too difficult for venues to allow live performance of music:

“The licensing requirements are still too bureaucratic and costly, particularly for non-commercial groups such as sports clubs, not-for-profit establishments and organisers of occasional events. Our report calls on the government to relax restrictions in this area, which in some cases are unnecessarily draconian, and in others simply absurd.”

So, it’s important to remember that while you’d like to think those who recognize such draconian laws are bad can just “opt-out,” it’s not always so easy. The wider impact of these laws can seriously stifle opportunities for new musicians.

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Comments on “UK Politicians Recognizing That Draconian Licensing Policies Can Harm Up-And-Coming Musicians”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

And since you obviously didn’t read the story and won’t believe AC #2:

“The MPs called for Metropolitan police form 696, which requires performers to give the name and date of birth of all performers as well as specifying the “musical style” of the act, to be scrapped.

In one of the more extreme examples of the form’s impact, a charity concert in London for a teenage cancer victim was cancelled because organisers had not filled in a police form, said Whittingdale.”

This is, again, about “performances” not “occupations”.

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

France, global licence + copyrights

I know you guys aren’t big fans of global licensing and especially mandatory global licensing, and copyrights. How about BOTH??????

Apparently the SACEM (french equivalent of the RIAA) is now gunning for a tax on ISPs in order to be compensated for the fact that people use the Internet to download music and somehow benefit from music existing! Now, France already taxes all storage devices because it allows private copies to be made.

This is the absolute best business model ever! You make money off what is now a basic necessity without having to provide it AND you get to sell strings of 1s and 0s! This is brilliant!

Perhaps we should tax auto manufacturers because people use their cars to go to the movies and therefore, an externalities is generated by movies…

In French:

ACUMEN Business Law (user link) says:

Performance issues & Licensing Act 2003

It’s true to say that live performance is hindered by the UK’s licensing regimen. Before the 2003 Act was implemented, the “two men in a bar” rule, allowing any bar to have up to 2 performers together without needing any further consent, created opportunities for young creatives. The loss of this has been a cultural blow to the UK.

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