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Performers’ Property and Non-property Rights

Performers' non-property rights are unassignable so you cannot sell or give away these rights, however, always seek MU's advice before signing a contract that seeks to take them away.

Last updated: 07 January 2021
  • Not to be recorded live (except for private use).
  • Not to be broadcast live.
  • Not to be recorded off a live broadcast (except for private use).
  • The so-called “Use It or Lose It” right.
  • The right to supplementary annual remuneration.

Performers’ property rights

Performers’ property rights can be bought and so it is essential as a Performer to use an MU Contract to prevent inadvertently giving away rights without either receiving proper remuneration or allowing the MU to seek further remuneration on your behalf in the future.
In relation to a recording of a performance th ekey property rights are:

a. The reproduction right:

A performer’s property rights are infringed by any person who, without the performer’s consent, makes a copy of a recording of their performance.

b. The distribution right:

A performer’s property rights are infringed by any person who, without the performer’s consent, issues copies to the public of a recording of their performance.

c. The rental and lending right:

A performer’s property rights are infringed by any person who, without the performer’s consent, rents or lends copies of a recording of their performance to the public.

d. The making available right:

A performer’s property rights are infringed by any person who, without the performer’s consent, makes available a recording of the whole or a substantial part of a performance by electronic transmission in such a way that members of the public may access the recording from a place and at a time chosen by them.

N.B. Performers’ property rights are assignable.

Equitable remuneration

Where the whole or a substantial part of a qualifying performance is played in public or communicated to the public otherwise than by being made available by electronic transmission (as above).You as a performer are entitled to equitable remuneration from the owner of copyright in the sound recording. This is collected and distributed by PPL and it is free to join.

How long do performers’ rights last?

Performers’ rights last 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the performance took place; or if during that period a recording of the performance (other than a sound recording) is released, then they last 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it is released; or if during that period a sound recording of the performance is released, then they last 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which it is released.