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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tom Bliss Heavy Handed PRS (105* d) RE: Heavy Handed PRS 05 Jan 10

Please re-read my posts above. There are changes afoot which (PRS tell me) should remove this problem once and for all (though, admittedly, they're taking their time about it).

We need to establish if The Three Stags Heads (isn't that too many words?) was a traditional tune session - in which case the musicians could and perhaps should have advised the landlord on how to negotiate with PRS for a lower or even no fee. It shouldn't have led to the session being stopped unless the landlord wanted it so.

If, however, the session played copyright material then the PRS fee is reasonable and legal - though (again, as above) I think we need a system which allows writers to waive their royalties when no money is changing hands. (That's up to us members to fix IF we choose - not for 'consumers' to impose).

In either event, there's no reason why the musicians at the Three Stags Heads couldn't have had a whip round for the 7.92. How many people went, on average? More than eight? And they wouldn't put a quid in a pot? I'm sorry but there's something wrong here.

The sharing out of the collected sum to the writers is a different matter - but that's purely between we members and our Society. I get three figures from PRS each year, and I'm just a two bit folkie. Like Mark it's an important part of my income, specially now that I'm a full time student and not earning.

Folk people need to understand: Copyright exists, immediately, in any work as soon as it's created - whether it be an industrial process, a painting, a song, or a book, and that's a core plank of society. If we had no such thing, we'd have no society because no-one would be able to develop any products.

All PRS is doing is, legally, collecting the rightful dues of song-writers.

Yes, they are sometimes heavy-handed - but they are operating in an environment where a lot of people seem to think songwriters have no rights. There is a lot of misplaced antipathy - and we've seen a lot of it here.

If people have a problem with PRS, they should write to the Society, not whinge on web forums. They do listen, and if enough people make a good case, they sometimes even respond - (but they don't read Mudcat - though I've told them to often enough).

PRS's biggest failure is explaining what they do and why. But I suspect they've given up trying. Plenty of people here have tried to explain, and yet still we keep reading posts from those who think that just because you call something 'folk' it means it's out of copyright and fair game.

It just goes to underline yet again the importance of attribution.

Anyone playing music should know if that tune or song is public domain or not, as a matter of manners and as a legal necessity. Not to do so is asking for trouble for someone at some point.

The culture of calling everything 'folk' is to blame here. We need to enshrine the word 'trad' and know if we're using it correctly or not.

Does anyone know: was the Three Stags Heads a (mainly) trad session or not?

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