(File pix) Darren Choy. Pix by Ghazali Kori

THE issue of confusion over the collection of music royalties will no longer be a problem with the establishment of Music Rights Malaysia Bhd (MRM).

The non-profit organisation is the sole licensing body that has been tasked with the responsibility of fee collection in the country.

This is done on behalf of four music licensing bodies — The Music Authors’ Copyright Protection (MACP), Public Performance Malaysia (PPM), Recording Performers Malaysia (RPM) and Performers’ Rights and Interest Society of Malaysia (Prism).

MRM was launched recently by Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

MRM was created to ensure that the collection and disbursement of music royalties were carried out in a fair and transparent manner.

“It’s a good thing,” said PPM vice-chairman Darren Choy told the New Straits Times yesterday.

“There will no longer be any confusion for music users, such as the retailers, malls and radio and television stations, since it (the collection and disbursement of music royalties) is a streamlined process with only one body handling the collections.”

Choy said there were clear guidelines that made it transparent. Due to MRM being classified as a non-profit organisation, he said the government had allowed the four bodies to discuss and come up with workable solutions, and were in agreement with the payment rates to the artistes.

Another good point, he added, was a lower operational cost as there was no overlapping (of responsibilities).

“Aside from spending less, it is a more efficient process,” said Choy.

It was reported that MRM collected music royalties from about 50,000 registered companies, which then were distributed among MACP, PPM, RPM and PRISM at agreed rates.

The collection by MRM began on Oct 1 last year and has yielded around RM4 million. It is estimated that about RM85 million will be collected by the end of this year.

MRM is expected to disburse the royalties to the four bodies every three or six months.

The four will distribute the collected fees to approximately 6,000 members consisting of composers, lyricists and artistes, as well as production and record companies.

All public performances, airing and commercial rentals, and reissue of music works must be licensed by MRM.

Exclusions to this provision are performances or screenings by non-profit institutions, performances or screenings for the purpose of charity or education and performances for free events.

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