Section E – Rights

The Rights Administered by IMRO

Summary

The extent of the rights administered by IMRO on behalf of its members is regulated by detailed provisions in IMRO’s Articles of Association and in special directions issued by the Board of IMRO pursuant to the Articles. These definitions are long and somewhat complicated, but their general effect in practice is as follows. Subject to the exceptions explained in the next paragraph, IMRO administers the performing right in all its members’ musical works; and the term ‘performing right’ means the right (a) to perform a work in public, (b) to broadcast a work and to cause the work to be transmitted to subscribers to a diffusion service. IMRO also administers the film synchronisation right in any musical work specially written by a member for a film.

Exceptions
(i) ‘Grand Right Works’
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.

Full definitions of rights administered

1. Performing Right
The term ‘performing right’ is defined in IMRO’s Articles of Association as follows:- ‘Performing Right’ means, in relation to a musical work, the right to do, or authorise other persons to do, any of the following acts:-

(a) to perform the work in public,

(b) to broadcast the work; and

(c) to cause the work to be transmitted to subscribers to a diffusion service, in so far as such rights subsist under the law in force from time to time relating to copyright in the State, and includes such corresponding or similar rights as subsist under the laws relating to copyright in all other countries in the world as in force from time to time.

2. Musical Work
The term ‘musical work’ is defined in the Articles as follows:-

‘Musical Work’, without prejudice to the generality of the expression includes:-

(a) any part of a musical work,

(b) any vocal or instrumental music recorded on the soundtrack of any film,

(c) any musical accompaniment to non-musical plays,

(d) any words or music of monologues having a musical introduction or accompaniment

(e) any other words (or part of words) which are associated with a musical work (even if the musical work itself is not in copyright, or even if the performing rights in the musical work are not administered by the company).

3. Film synchronisation right
The term ‘film synchronisation right’ in respect of any musical work means the exclusive right in any part of the world to record the work on the soundtrack of a film and the term ‘film’ has the same meaning as it has under the Copyright Act 1963, namely

“any sequence of visual images recorded on material of any description (whether translucent or not) so as to be capable, by use of that material –

(a) of being shown as a moving picture, or

(b) of being recorded on other material (whether translucent or not) by the use of which it can be shown;”

NB The assignment to IMRO of the film synchronisation right by a writer member is subject to the express provision that IMRO will at any time, at the request of the composer or author of the work, assign or licence the film synchronisation right in the work to the film producer or other person who commissioned its composition or writing provided that IMRO shall have obtained from the producer of the film on the soundtrack of which the work is to be recorded, an agreement in a form satisfactory to IMRO providing for payment to IMRO of such fees either by way of a lump sum payment or share of receipts of royalties or otherwise as IMRO may require in respect of any exhibition of any film embodying the work in cinemas (motion picture theatres) in the USA.

IMRO’s Board
The precise extent to which, with effect from 1st January 1995, IMRO actually administers rights on behalf of its members is set out in the following directions adopted by the Board under the powers granted to it by the Articles of Association:-

A. For Television Broadcasting (otherwise than by microwave distribution):

The broadcasting right in every musical work of which the member is the writer, publisher or proprietor, except :-

1. a dramatico-musical work whether staged or otherwise; provided that the rights administered by IMRO do nevertheless include the right to broadcast on television:-

a) a dramatico-musical work or an excerpt or excerpts from a dramatico-musical work broadcast by means of a film made primarily for the purpose of public exhibition in cinemas or similar premises; and

b) a non-dramatic excerpt or excerpts from a dramatico-musical work (by whatever means broadcast) – the total duration of which in the course of the same programme does not exceed 20 minutes and which excerpt or excerpts –

(i) are not a ‘potted’ version of the work or

(ii) are not or do not cover a complete act of work;

Note: At the option of the member who is the owner of the copyright in a dramatico-musical work IMRO may administer the broadcasting right in a dramatic excerpt or excerpts from the dramatico-musical work broadcast in a documentary programme where non-dramatic excerpts from the dramatico-musical work also appear in the same programme and where the total duration of all the excerpts in the course of the programme does not exceed 20 minutes.

2. the whole or any part of any music and of any words associated therewith composed or used for a ballet if accompanied by a visual representation of such ballet or part thereof; provided that the rights administered by IMRO do nevertheless include the right to broadcast on television any such music and words so composed and used and accompanied by such visual representation when:-

a) a ballet or part or parts thereof are performed by means of a film made primarily of the purpose of public exhibition in cinemas or similar premises; or

b) a ballet or parts thereof, having been devised for the purpose of a broadcast on television, have a total duration in the course of the same programme not exceeding five minutes; or

c) a part of parts (being less than the whole) of a ballet, not having been so devised, have a total duration in the course of the same programme not exceeding five minutes;

Note: At the option of the member who is the owner of the copyright in a ballet, IMRO may administer the broadcasting right in a part or parts (being less than the wholes of the ballet broadcast in a documentary programme where the total duration of all the parts in the course of the programme does not exceed 20 minutes).

3. words written for the purpose of a commercial advertisement unless such words are sung to music specially written for a commercial advertisement or to non-copyright music and the sung performance has a duration of not less than five seconds.

B. For Radio Broadcasting (otherwise than by microwave distribution):

The broadcasting right in every musical work of which the member is the writer, publisher or proprietor, except:

1. a dramatico-musical work; provided that the rights administered by IMRO do nevertheless include the right to broadcast on radio an excerpt or excerpts from a dramatico-musical work the total duration of which in the course of the same programme does not exceed 25 minutes or 25% of the total length of the work whichever shall be the shorter and which excerpt or excerpts –

(i) are not a ‘potted’ version or the work, or

(ii) are not or do not cover a complete act of the work;

2. words written for the purpose of a commercial advertisement unless such words are sung to music specially written for a commercial advertisement or to non-copyright music and the sung performance has duration of not less than five seconds.

C. For Public Performance:

The performing right in every musical work of which the member is the writer, publisher or proprietor, except :

1. a dramatico-musical work whether staged or otherwise; provided that the rights administered by IMRO do nevertheless include the right to perform in public: –

a) a dramatico-musical work or an excerpt or excerpts from a dramatico-musical work performed by means of a film (3) or by means of a radio or television set used for the purpose of giving a public performance of broadcast programmes;

b) a non-dramatic excerpt or excerpts from a dramatico-musical work (however performed) the total duration of which in the course of the same programme is 25 minutes or less and which excerpt or excerpts –

(i) are not a ‘potted’ version of the work, or

(ii) are not or do not cover a complete act of the work;

2. the whole or any part of any music and of any words associated therewith composed or used for a ballet if accompanied by a visual representation of such ballet or part thereof; provided that the rights administered by IMRO do nevertheless include the right to perform in public any such music and words so composed or used and accompanied by such visual representation when performed by means of:-

a) a film (3); and/or

b) a television set used for the purpose of giving a public performance of broadcast programmes

3. any musical work specially written for a son-et-lumiere production when performed in or in conjunction with that production;

4. any musical work (being a musical work which is not a dramatico-musical work or part of a dramatico-musical work) specially written for production of a dramatic work in a theatre when performed in or in conjunction with that dramatic work.

D. For inclusion in a Cable Programme Service and for Broadcasting by microwave distribution (4)

The right to include in a cable programme service or to broadcast by microwave distribution every musical work of which the member is the writer, publisher or proprietor except words written for the purpose of a commercial advertisement unless such words are sung to music specially written for a commercial advertisement or to non-public domain music and the sung performance has a duration of not less than five seconds.

E. For Film Synchronisation:

In the case of a writer member only, the film synchronisation right in every work composed or written by the member primarily for the purpose of a particular film or films in contemplation when the work was commissioned.

Guidelines
1. If an excerpt from a dramatico-musical work is performed on television or on stage it will be deemed to be dramatic if it is accompanied by any dramatic action, whether acted, danced or mimed, and thereby (and/or through the use of costume, scenery or other visual effects) gives a visual impression of or otherwise portrays the writers’ original conception of the work from which the excerpt is taken.

2. It follows (by way of example) that a performance will not normally be deemed to be a dramatic performance if in the case of an excerpt not clearly to be regarded as ‘dramatic’ under 1 –

a) the excerpt is presented on a fixed set which is not based on the set of the original dramatico-musical work. (A ‘fixed set’ would be one which is used for the whole or a substantial part of the television or stage show); or

b) the performer(s) is/are wearing a costume which is not a costume from or based on the original dramatico-musical work; or

c) scenic effects are limited to the use of either a single prop, and/or a backcloth or a piece of scenery (whether physically present or created by technical means e.g. lighting effects) provided that the use thereof is not combined with costume from or based on the dramatico-musical work from which the excerpt is taken.

Notes:
(1) IMRO also controls the cable re-transmission of such works when the act of re-transmission derives from and is simultaneous with a broadcast of the work by radio or television. However, the circumstances in which such simultaneous re-transmission constitutes a ‘restricted act’ which can be licensed by or on behalf of the copyright owner are somewhat limited.

(2) Guidelines to help determine whether any given performance of such an excerpt is ‘dramatic’ or ‘non-dramatic’ have been adopted by the Board of IMRO.

(3) ‘Film’ is defined as in Section18 of the Copyright Act 1963 (see paragraph 10 on page 71). It thus includes videograms (whether in the form of cassettes or discs) as well as films in the narrower sense.

(4) Broadcasting by microwave distribution is the technique by which television or sound services may be distributed, in a specified area, to homes or other places having special aerials capable of receiving microwave signals.

Posted in: Members' Handbook

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