The rights administered by IMRO exclude what are usually referred to as ‘grand rights’. This expression is generally understood to refer to performances of dramatico-musical works and ballets.

In IMRO’s Articles of Association:

– a dramatico-musical work means “an opera, an operetta, musical play, revue or pantomime, insofar as it consists of words and music written expressly therefor”

– a ballet means “a choreographic work having a story, plot or abstract idea, devised or used for the purpose of interpretation by dancing and/or miming, but does not include country or folk dancing, nor tap dancing, nor precision dance sequences”.

However, the performing right in dramatico-musical works and ballets is administered by IMRO when these works are performed by means of films which were made primarily for the purpose of exhibition in cinemas (and this control extends also to television broadcasting of such films). IMRO also controls performances of these works when given in public by means of radio or television sets (for example in a hotel lounge or a public house).

Television broadcasts of short ballets specially written for television up to a total duration of five minutes or of excerpts from existing ballets are also controlled by IMRO.

(ii) Excerpts from dramatico-musical works

The extent to which excerpts from dramatico-musical works are controlled by the individual copyright owners and by IMRO respectively can be summarised as follows:-

a) Excerpts performed dramatically are always controlled by the individual copyright owner (except in the circumstances mentioned above in which IMRO would control a complete performance of such a work and, at the option of the member who is the owner of the copyright work, IMRO may administer the broadcasting right in a dramatic excerpt subject to certain conditions).

b) As regards excerpts performed non-dramatically public performances of these fall within IMRO’s control provided that they do not exceed 25 minutes duration and neither cover a complete act of the work nor consist of a ‘potted’ version of it. Non-dramatic excerpts in excess of those limits are controlled by the individual copyright owners. The same rules apply to television broadcasts (except that the maximum duration of excerpts controlled by IMRO is 20 minutes), and as regards radio broadcasts, all excerpts, however performed, fall within IMRO’s control except where they exceed the same limits as apply in the case of public performances (subject however to the additional proviso that the total duration of the excerpt(s) must not exceed 25% of the total length of the work).

(iii) Other exceptions

The rights administered by IMRO also specifically exclude public performances (but not broadcasts) of music especially written for son-et-lumière productions and for dramatic productions in theatres, when performed in conjunction with such productions. In certain cases words written specially for commercial advertisements are also excluded from IMRO’s control.

NB a) All non-dramatically performed excerpts which exceed the above noted durations fall outside IMRO’s control and must be licensed by the individual copyright owners.

b) All ballet music – complete or in excerpt – is controlled by IMRO when not accompanied by a visual representation of ballet.

c) If a dramatico-musical work (of specially written music) begins its performance life as a film, broadcast, record, tape or CD and is later adapted to the stage, IMRO does not control the stage performance of such an adaptation. However, pre-existing musical works used in films which are later adapted to the stage are normally controlled by IMRO in the first instance.

Posted in: FAQs for Music Creators

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