- 08 Jun 07
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This fortnight, Anne from Belfast less us that recently played on almost every track of an album for a good friend but is only receiving a once-off session fee. She wants to know if she is entitled to a royalty like the rest of the band members, and if so, how does she go about doing this.
A – The simple answer is yes. January 1 2001 saw the introduction of the Copyright Act into Irish law. This meant that ALL Irish performers, featured and non-featured, are entitled to a payment when a sound recording that they have contributed to is publicly broadcast in Ireland, regardless of any contracts signed at the time of the recording. Needless to say this right had existed in other countries for quite some time and Ireland was the last country in the EU to introduce a performers right and was four years behind the UK! But I suppose it’s a case of better late than never.
The Recorded Artists and Performers Ltd. (RAAP) was set up, and officially launched on February 15 2001 to administer this new right for performers and to collect worldwide on behalf of its members. Any artist who has contributed to a sound recording is entitled to “equitable remuneration”. RAAP is a not for profit company run by performers for performers, it is limited by guarantee and controlled by a board of directors voted by the members.
The way it works is that the Phonographic Performance Ireland (PPI), who collect and administer royalties on behalf of record companies and producers, now collect on behalf of performers as well. These royalties come from many different users such as radio, TV, nightclubs, hotels, restaurants and everywhere music is publicly broadcast. RAAP, through an agreement entered into with the PPI, have negotiated a realistic payment of royalties from the PPI and they look after the distribution of it. RAAP also collects worldwide through agreements it has entered into under EU and WIPO directives and it currently has reciprocal arrangements with nearly 30 countries. Any performer who has contributed to a commercial recording since 1951 is now eligible to receive royalties from RAAP if that recording has been broadcast since January 2001.
Membership to RAAP is completely free. All you have to do is fill in the membership form which you can find at www.raap.ie, alternatively you can write to them at 24 Beacon Court, Sandyford, Dublin 18 or call them on 01-2934999. You are also required to submit a copy of your passport or birth certificate. In addition to the membership form you must complete what is called a Discography Form with as much detail as is possible. This must include ALL contributions you have made to sound recordings. You will have to do a bit of research as the type of information needed is the track title, album title, artist/band name, your role eg. guitar, record company name, catalogue number, country of recording, year of release and whether you are featured or non-featured. It is in the performers own interest and their responsibility to update their discography on a regular basis. If you don’t, you will undoubtedly miss out on money you are entitled to.
RAAP usually makes two distributions a year, one in April for all Irish income collected and another in December for all foreign income collected. As always, there is an exception to the rule: Germany. If you think you might have had some sales in Germany you must make a separate claim.