This August, the Performing Rights Society for Music (PRS) announced that it was taking legal action against the music sharing service SoundCloud.
In an email sent out to PRS members, the body explained that “after careful consideration, and following five years of unsuccessful negotiations, we now find ourselves in a situation where we have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings.” PRS described this as a “difficult decision”, but “one we firmly believe is in the best, long-term interests of our membership.”
PRS have today sent out an update email to members, explaining that “through intense discussion and negotiation” they have managed to reach an agreement with SoundCloud. It reads thus:
“The agreement covers the use of repertoire controlled by PRS for Music since the service launched and is an important step in our quest to achieve a level playing field in the licensing of online services so that songwriters, composers and their music publishers can be paid properly for the use of their music online.
“We believe this agreement to be the best outcome because it sets us on the path towards receiving proper reporting from SoundCloud of their use of your repertoire, enables royalties to be paid and also avoids the cost of legal proceedings.
“Receiving enough accurate data on music uploaded to the platform remains a challenge but SoundCloud have committed to working with us to improve the quality of their reporting over time. We are conscious of the value that many of you derive from using SoundCloud and are pleased to have reached this landmark agreement. Whilst it is only one step along the road to a fully functioning online market, it is an important one. I would like to thank SoundCloud for breaking with the past and agreeing to work with us; a move which we feel is in not only your, but all rightsholders’, interests.”
PRS has put together a FAQ page for those eager to know more – members can browse that here. PRS is responsible for collecting publishing royalties for musicians, for radio plays, public performances and more.