The additional annual remuneration: what is it?

December 3 2018

In 2011, Europe decided to extend the term of protection for music recordings from 50 to 70 years. Record labels thus enjoy an extra protection of 20 years, and as a musician who can count on a royalty fee, you enjoy revenues for 20 more years. That is, however, not the case for session musicians who handed over their rights to the record label in exchange for a flat-rate payment, or for any musician that was bought out with a one-off payment by his producers.

Is the transition from 50 to 70 years of protection correct in this case?

70 at the price of 50? That is a massive discount… As the European Commission wanted the extension of the term to be to the advantage of all musicians, it obliged the record labels to, after the expiry of the 50-year term, still share their revenues with the musicians whom they do not pay royalties. How?

By yearly transferring 20% of the revenues from these recordings to the collecting societies that represent these musicians.

In 2017 PlayRight obtained an official mandate to collect and distribute this remuneration in Belgium. The additional annual remuneration is valid for tracks that have been recorded in 1963 or later. If you, as a musician, contributed to a recording during the period 1963-1967, and you receive no royalty fee from this exploitation, please verify whether the recordings are added to your PlayRight repertoire. If these recordings are still being sold, downloaded or broadcast via online streaming, you are now entitled to receive part of the revenues generated by this exploitation.   

In addition, the period for which the additional remuneration is collected and paid, increases by one year each single year. For example:

  • In 2019, an additional remuneration will be paid for the repertoire from the period 1963-1968.
  • In 2020, an additional remuneration will be paid for the repertoire from the period 1963-1969, etc.

We therefore advise our members not to limit themselves to the period 1963-1967. If you were active as a musician in the 60s and 70s, it is a good idea to already check whether you declared your entire repertoire in the PlayRight portal. It is necessary that your repertoire is complete in order to correctly claim all revenues produced by the various remuneration rights that you are entitled to, not only the additional remuneration.

2018: What is the current situation?

Since PlayRight was appointed as the responsible collecting society in Belgium, we have been working hard to collect the additional remuneration. PlayRight is currently discussing this with all major record labels in Belgium, and we hope to carry out a first distribution of the additional remuneration in Belgium in 2019.

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