Commercial radio industry welcomes Senate committee review on copyright laws


The referral of a bill to amend Australia’s long-standing copyright laws covering music broadcasts for review by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has been welcomed by the commercial radio industry.

Senator David Pocock’s private member’s bill, which seeks amendments to the Copyright Act that would remove the 1% cap on copyright fees for sound recordings broadcast on air, has been referred to the Committee for review by June 2024.

Commercial radio believes the proposed removal of the cap will severely damage the radio industry, undermining one of the major platforms for the promotion of Australian music.

Ford Ennals, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio & Audio, says the bill was designed to increase payments to the multinational record labels, not Australian artists.

CRA says every year, the Australian commercial radio industry pays royalties and fees totalling about $37 million to Australian music artists. About $30 million goes directly to artists through APRA royalties, with a further $2.5 million paid to PPCA for the right to simulcast music online.

Mr Ennals says the cap was established to provide a safeguard for local radio to ensure that the separate fees collected by the record labels, represented by the PPCA, did not rise to unsustainable levels.

“We welcome the Senate committee review as we know that it will demonstrate how the removal of the cap would be a win for the multinational record labels. It will shine a light on how little of the existing PPCA fees actually go directly to artists.”

“We look forward to providing evidence to the committee on the value of the cap in protecting a valuable platform for Australian music.”

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Pull My Finger
12 Aug 2023 - 5:19 am

For mine, I’d LOVE to see someone look into the structure and practices of APRA/AMCOS and how they manage and distribute royalties to Australian artists and composers. As a small time writer and producer looking from the outside in, all I see are inefficient and wasteful practices in the way the “peak” body functions (collecting and distributing royalties). They supposedly work for the content creator (artists, writers & producers/publishers) but seemingly and deliberately “stone wall” any attempt to understand the how and why of royalty distribution within Australia and NZ, ask 3 different people at APRA the same question and you will get 3 different answers, that’s if they get back to you at all. From where I stand, some level of customer service, efficiency and transparency would do a lot more to ensure the survival of the local music industry than lifting the cap on earnings.

Just my 2 cents worth.


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