- 10 Sep 20
The ruling will increase performer earnings from recordings by up to 30%.
In a landmark ruling on September 9, the European Court of Justice has paved the way for performers to receive an equal share on income earned from recordings. The ruling will mean that record labels will be forced to pay performers an increased share of revenue collected from the broadcast and public performance of sound recordings.
The decision will be a welcome boost for performers who have seen their earnings through live events severely affected due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The legal action was taken by R.A.A.P. (Recorded Artists Actors Performers), the Irish collective management organisation representing performers against P.P.I. (Phonographic Performance Ireland), which represents the three major music labels: Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music.
R.A.A.P. challenged methods introduced by P.P.I. of diverting performer finances to record labels through a combination of devices, reducing a potential 50% share paid to performers to approximately 20%. The Irish State was joined in the proceedings.
The ruling makes it clear that each time a musical work generates a payment to the record label for broadcasting or public performance, the performers on that recording are entitled to receive an equal share of earnings.
“At a time when the income of so many talented and gifted music professionals has been decimated by the Covid pandemic it is some good news that the European Court of Justice recognises the need to protect the economic welfare of performers," said R.A.A.P. chairman Paddy Cole.
Cole said it was a vindication of the actions that they had been forced to take to protect the economic rights of performers and look for a more equitable share of the royalties generated.
The matter is now set to go back to the Irish High Court, for a finding based on the judgment of the European Court, and attention will then turn to the Irish government to amend the legislation.