Meeting 4 – The Goats Tavern

Meeting 4 of EDIT took place on Wednesday 13th Jan 2010 at The Goats Tavern.
Firstly the committee considered progress made by EDIT to date, what labels have got out of the committee so far and what the expectations are going forward.

General consensus is that EDIT has been beneficial for members in certain ways, namely:

– Networking
– Sharing information / best practice
– Establishing a representative framework
– Opening dialogue

The committee also felt that there is potentially a great deal more that EDIT could achieve for members going forward. It is hoped that the new EDIT blog will help to bring issues to the fore and facilitate progress and movement on issues of concern for EDIT members.

There were no further matters arising and the following items were discussed:-
1. Comittee Matters – Manifesto, Logo Options, Blog Website
2. Protection against digital bankruptcy
3. Industry Matters – PPL Repertoire Database, ProDub License / Gigs & Clubs Scheme, Worldwide Royalty Collection
4. New Business Opportunities

Manifesto
The committee reviewed the draft ‘EDIT Manifesto’ and it was felt that non-AIM members should not be able to receive any discounts made available to EDIT members. Committee also felt that EDIT should support efforts to standardise label metadata required for digital exploitation and this aspiration should be reflected in the EDIT Manifesto.

Logo Options
The committee reviewed a range of logos designed and submitted by Simon Saunders (Exploding Chicken). The official EDIT logo was decided by majority vote.

Blog Website
Peter Pritchard noted that Media Records has a blog template, which is currently being used for two of his blogs, and it could easily be adapted for the EDIT blog.

The committee agreed that using the Media Records template was the most simple and logical option. The EDIT committee members are all invited to submit blogs to be posted online.

The committee discussed potential topics for the blog and noted that there could be a different weekly theme to stimulate debate. Suggested topics / ideas for the EDIT blog included:

– EDIT Manifesto
– Digital Bankruptcies – The lawyers view
– Piracy (guest article by RipBlock)
– Download store comparisons (guest article by FATdrop)
– Preferred Suppliers
– Opening dialogue
– Marketing
– Podcasting
– Trade Fairs
– Other International Dance Organisations
– Festivals
– Publishing
– Synchronisation

The committee also greed that the blog should not be PR’d until there are a significant number of posts and articles online.

Protection against Digital Bankruptcy
The committee debated what the impact on labels would be if a digital distributor or retailer were to go into administration. It was noted that this would be extremely serious in the online world as it would be extremely difficult to get administrators to stop selling record company material, as was the case when Pinnacle went into administration. All agreed that there would be some value in AIM commissioning lawyers to draft a standard contractual clause to deal with this issue.

The committee agreed to invite lawyers to write an opinion on the subject as a piece for the EDIT blog.

PPL Repertoire Database
The committee is aware that PPL has updated and rebranded CatCo as the PPL Repertoire Database, and this is the all-important system that record companies use to register the details of their sound recordings to ensure that they are properly paid for broadcast and public performance.
Peter Pritchard noted that he has been registering his releases over a number of years in accordance and as instructed by PPL staff, but recently found out that a large proportion of his tracks were not on the database and do not appear in current records. PPL now say that they are unable to rectify the errors or reimburse labels for any financial loss suffered in the past as a result of the maladministration even though the label had done everything asked of them by PPL.

ProDub License / Gigs & Clubs Scheme
A review of the provisions of the ProDub Licence was undertaken by the committee. It was noted that whilst the ProDub Licence should benefit laptop DJs and dance labels, many simply view it as a tax on small DJs that is paid over to the larger labels. The problem is that the scheme doesn’t require reporting, so is not distributed on a usage basis. The committee agreed to look into ways in which the scheme can be made more equitable with PPL and PRS for Music.

The aim of the Gigs and Clubs scheme is to help deliver a more equitable scheme by ring-fencing a fixed amount of the licence fee paid by smaller gig and club licensees which is then set aside and paid directly to smaller labels. Committee felt that with regards to shops licensees, there should be greater transparency on how this money is administered and distributed amongst rights holders in the independent sector. Billy Grant agreed to send details of the companies who provide instore compilation CDs for information purposes.

Worldwide Royalty Collection
Many labels appoint PPL to act as their overseas collecting agent for public performance and broadcast income. Some labels have noticed that PPL collection in some territories is extremely patchy and inefficient. Labels have the option of:
(a) appointing PPL as their overseas agent,
(b) appointing a private royalty agent to collect overseas income or
(c) join overseas societies directly.

Everyone was in agreement that a detailed list of overseas collecting societies was needed.

New Business Opportunities
The committee had previously debated the effect that unlicensed podcasting has on dance labels, particularly with respect to compilation CDs. It was noted that a label’s perspective on whether it would be preferable to force the unauthorised sites to take out a licence or work in partnership does to a large extent depend on whether they make the majority of their income from music sales, events or merchandise.
Many labels use sites such as Resident Advisor to market their events and sell merchandise. The committee felt that every effort should be made to try to ensure that podcasts are monetised. Everyone was in full agreement that this issue needed to be raised and discussed with PPL and PRS for Music at the forthcoming planning meetings.

Full minutes of the fourth meeting are available by emailing electronicdanceindependence(at)googlemail.com

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