Tuesday, 24 February 2015

PRS ProDub License

There has been a new license requirement. PRS ProDub, which although appears primarily aimed at DJ's, could also affect other professions such as singers, bands and fitness instructors.

Firstly, don't panic, if you buy all your music in digital format, and play directly from this you do not require a license. The license allows you to legally copy music you have purchased from one format to another, and transfer music files form one machine to another. I'm guessing there's an air of confusion regarding this statement, and understandably so. 

Copying music from one format to another (e.g. ripping a CD to play back on your laptop or MP3 player) is known as format shifting. When a copy is created in a new format (and the original purchased disc or purchased file isn't used in the playback machine) then the license becomes necessary. This applies even if you purchase MP3's onto your main PC and then transfer them to another playback machine (laptop, MP3 player, external hard drive etc.). The license only relates to music that is used for public performance.

As you can imagine, the implementation of the license isn't going down well, especially for those DJ's and Karaoke DJ's who have copied all their genuine CD's, vinyl or CDG tracks onto their players with the primary objective of making things far easier to transport and utilising the many programs that can access files far quicker than a CD player. For some bizarre reason the licensing tariff begins with the minimum option of 1-5000 tracks. So essentially the license costs the same if you only have 12 tracks that require transferring as it does for 5000 tracks. As with many things related to music licensing the information available is lacking in clarity so if you feel that this license may be necessary for you, further information can be obtained from the PRS website.

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