Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/21/podcast_licensing_scheme/

The podcasting rule book

Licensing scheme launched

By OUT-LAW.COM

Posted in Media, 21st March 2006 09:52 GMT

The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Right Society have launched a licensing scheme for music podcasters. The MCPS and PRS plan to assess the operation of the licence and update the scheme early next year.

Podcasting is the creation of audio (or video) content for download to a mobile device or computer for an audience to listen to where and when they want to. According to Steve Porter, MD of the MCPS-PRS Alliance, the medium has exploded into life over the last six months.

"It has quickly moved from the efforts of a few hobbyists into an accepted method of distributing content," he said. "We are introducing this licence as quickly as possible to enable music podcasters to trade legitimately over the next year."

The licence will allow podcasters to use the global repertoire of musical works represented by the alliance - some 10m musical works - by granting the necessary writer/publisher permissions for inclusion of their works within the podcast.

The royalty rate for the scheme will be the greater of 12 per cent of gross revenue or the minimum fee per track downloaded as part of the podcast: full-track 1.5p; half-track (less than 50 per cent by duration) 0.75p.

Under the scheme, where podcasters do not use digital rights management technology on their podcasts, they will have to comply with certain conditions.

In particular, the podcaster will be required to:

Podcasters will also be obliged not to:

The alliance is also providing cover for podcasts that generate low levels of revenue and usage, by incorporating the medium into an update of its Limited Online Exploitation Licence (LOEL) - due to be launched in the second quarter of 2006.

Non-music podcasts (e.g. predominantly speech with very little music) will be licensed under a new on-demand scheme for non-music services, which is being prepared for launch at the end of April 2006.

The podcast licence is not the first of its kind. AIM, the UK's Association of Independent Music, launched a trial of its own version of the licence back in December.

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