Look I will tell you for a fact that PRS often completely 100% FAIL to collect writer
royalties even in a situation where the works in question are all registered perfectly in
and recordings of them are sold on a major online retailer with 100%
(Because iTunes and other stores identify recordings by
ISRC, and PRS know nothing of ISRCs... so if iTunes report that they sold a recording of
"Baby I Love You" by Some Band PRS Have Never Heard of,
and there's 37 songs called
"Baby I Love You" in their database, then PRS have no clue as to which songwriter wrote
the one on that particular recording)
As you can imagine, their matching of
usage data and attendant royalty distribution are orders of magnitude worse when the
songs' entries on the database are not perfect,
and when the usage data is from a
less than perfect source (i.e. one where the playlist or cue sheet is manually written up
rather than autogenerated by a billing system).
In other words,
money does not go astray due to naughty retailers or broadcasters evading PRS:
a hugely greater extent, it goes astray because PRS's IT systems are not fit for purpose
and need a kick up the arse.
And PRS don't even ASK for usage data from many sources
because they don't feel they can cope with processing it.
e.g. of the hundreds
of community radio stations round the country with an OFCOMM license, PRS charges them all
a flat annual fee and does not request ANY usage data from them.
to stop living in an abstracted bubble where a musical work is distinct from a recording
of that musical work. That was fair enough 100 years ago when the primary means of
dissemination was printed sheet music. It's not any more.
They need to get their act
together with PPL and interlink their two databases, so every recording (with an ISRC) is
cross-referenced to the musical composition (with an ISWC or tunecode).
mumbled something about plans to do this is a newsletter,
but it needed to happen
about 15 years ago, not in 5 years time.
They also need to sort out the flippin
shambles of their ICE database, where every time a work is edited, it creates a duplicate
database entry: you can end up with half a dozen entries all for the same song, with no
ready way to tell which is the right one.
~~~ A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen as you are tossed with! www.feline1.co.uk