Performing rights organizations

Performing rights organizations collect license fees on behalf of their clients, and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed; composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers. Three main types of liscenses are issued: Mechanical liscenses for record companies to release albums and singles; performance liscenses for whenever the songs are performed live or played on radio and TV or heard in hotels, bars, theatres, etc.; synchronization liscenses for music for use in film, television, advertising and multimedia. [1,2]

These organizations are non-profit. Each country generally has at least one such organization, though sometimes there may be more. Sometimes one organization does not cover all the various liscenses. In the UK, MCPS issue liscenses for recorded music (CD, DVD, radio, TV, etc.), while PRS issue liscenses for public performance. (These two companies formed MCPS-PRS Alliance in 1997, but they still take care of their respective areas.) There are also organizations which cover larger regions, like Europe or Scandinavia. These international organizations represent the national organizations. [1,2]

While matrix and IFPI codes help us to determine where an item was manufactured, it gives little insight about where it was released. This can be found out by finding the performing rights organization(s) which issued the liscense to release the music, which is written on the disc and/ or the back insert. Below is a list of several such organizations. Most of them have been compiled from BIEM [1]. As I have not researched the respective areas of each organization, some of these may not offer liscenses for recorded media (mechanical), so you may never find them on a disc. In addition, not all releases mention the performing rights organization, maybe because it is not as strict in all countries. For example, it is mandatory to print them on items released in France, Italy, and Spain, but on many British Nirvana releases from around 1990 there are no mention of any performing rights organization.

Some performing rights organizations