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Musicians Required for Research into use of Backing Tracks and Stems in Live Performance

Are you a touring musician, regularly record commercial audio, or both? The Recording & Broadcasting section is actively seeking members to help find out more about the use of backing tracks and stems – particularly on tours.

Are you a touring musician, regularly record commercial audio, or both?

The Recording & Broadcasting section is actively seeking members to help find out more about the use of backing tracks and stems – particularly on tours.

If you have any factual or anecdotal information that could help in establishing a really accurate picture of this part of the industry, it would be extremely helpful to our research.

We need the following help:

  • any information on current or planned tours
  • names of tour companies
  • names of promoters and tour managers
  • evidence of fees being paid together with agreements signed

Making sure that musicians are paid properly

Where musicians record commercial audio under the BPI/MU agreement, the fees for those rights do not extend to secondary use in live performance. This means that tour promoters should be ensuring musicians receive further payment for each ‘use of tape’.

We are approaching this by various routes – reminding the labels of their responsibilities in assuring the BPI agreements are upheld, and that passing over stems to promoters and managers should go hand in hand with full understanding of associated rights.

We’re also taking promoters to task where use of stems has not been cleared with either the label, musicians or the union. And we are making sure that fair payment is made for use of backing tracks and stems.

Next steps

The Recording & Broadcasting Committee will be developing a structure of relevant fees to be implemented following proper consideration of the evidence we obtain.

In first instance please send any information to rb@theMU.org with a header as “STEMS”.

For further information please contact, Musicians’ Union Sessions Official Geoff Ellerby on 020 7840 5559

Read more about the Musicians’ Union Recording & Broadcasting section, including rates and further advice.


Published: 29/01/2019

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