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Audio Product Licence (AP2)

MCPS issue Audio-Only Product (AP2) Licences to companies/individuals that manufacture or distribute audio-only products for retail sale in Ireland. The product formats covered are:

  • CD
  • Vinyl
  • DVD Audio
  • SACD
  • Other audio formats agreed with MCPS

The AP2 licence enables the licence holder to:

  • Manufacture audio-only products
  • Distribute audio-only products for retail sale

Rights

The AP2 Licence covers the payment of Mechanical Royalties only, which are paid to Music Publishers for the use of Musical Works. Sound Recording rights must be licensed directly from record companies (where applicable).

Costs

8.5% of Published Dealer Price (PDP), or if unavailable, 6.5% of Retail Price (RP). This is then multiplied by the number of copies shipped. Customers on AP2 pay before manufacture. The charge is reduced proportionately if any of the music on the CD/LP is in the Public Domain or is non-MCPS repertoire.

Payment Basis/Time Payment Terms
Payment basis On copies manufactured
Payment terms Before manufacture

AP2 Exclusions

  • MCPS songwriter, composer and publisher members have the right to set up an exclusion of their own record company from royalty collection arrangements.
  • You may exclude a record company on a manufacturing agreement provided the two are defined as related parties (refer to clause 16.20 of the Membership Agreement). MCPS will continue to licence that record company, but you will collect royalties for your music.
  • When licensees are manufacturing over 500 units, they can opt for a promotional allowance of up to 25%. The maximum number of promotional copies allowed under the AP2 agreement is 250 (where 1000+ units manufactured).

 

Audio Products (AP2) FAQs

What does the Licence cover me to do?

The AP2 Agreement allows the issuing of audio products (CDs/LPs) in Ireland for retail sale.

What is a ‘Notification of No Claim’?

This is a document which is sent in place of a Licence when no royalties are owed.

What if I’m releasing my own work?

If your works are unpublished and the writers are not direct MCPS members you will not be charged royalties. You will receive a ‘Notification of No Claim’ document.

What if I’m not a record label?

Anyone can apply for an AP2 Licence as long as the product adheres to the terms and conditions of the agreement. However, you may find the LM Licence more appropriate for your needs.

I’m trying to apply for a product which includes a medley. How do I input these details?

Medleys require a medley header followed by each individual title completed in the subsequent track fields. In the medley column, the row which contains the header remains blank, and then the subsequent tracks containing the individual titles are numbered.

I don’t have the publisher details?

Only complete the publisher’s details if you have them. We will be able to search for the publishers of any songs where they haven’t been provided. However, it is important for you to include the composer/songwriter details.

When will I receive my Licence?

An invoice (if royalties are payable) will be emailed to you within 10 days of us receiving your application. Once the invoice is paid, your Licence will be emailed to you.

What is a catalogue number?

You will need to issue your releases with a catalogue number for identification purposes. This can be whatever you want it to be, however we do advise you to try to make it unique to you e.g. MNPCD1 as opposed to CD1 as it will be easier to find.

What is ‘Copyright Control’?

Copyright control is when the works aren’t currently registered with MCPS so we cannot collect royalties at present. If works and subsequently registered, you will receive a back claim.

What is a ‘Back Claim’?

A back claim is a retrospective invoice for works unclaimed by MCPS at the time of application. This will occur when works are subsequently registered.

What is a Published Dealer Price (PDP)?

This is the price a product is sold to the distributor for.

Can I use existing sound recordings?

You can do this only if you have permission from the sound recording owner. If you do not own the master recording from which you will manufacture, you should ensure you have a valid Licence from the owner before applying to MCPS. MCPS only represents writers and publishers and not sound recording owners or record labels.

How much will I be charged?

You will be charged at either 6.5% of the retail price or 8.5% of the dealer price pro rata for works registered to MCPS. Where timings are not available, tracks will be treated as of equal duration.

What are promotional copies?

You are entitled to a promotional quantity in order to promote the record. The allowance for promotional copies is 25% of the first manufacture. You will be allowed to manufacture this quantity royalty free. The allowance will be available where 500 or more copies of the product are being manufactured. The maximum is 400 units per format for a single and 250 per format for albums. If you wish to benefit from this option, you should tick the appropriate box on your application for Licence (AFL). If this option is chosen, the record’s packaging must be prominently marked ‘PROMOTIONAL COPY – NOT FOR SALE’. Promotional copies which go over your allowance must be licensed under the AP4 licensing scheme.

What is First Licence Refusal?

This is a flag on our system which shows when an MCPS member publisher initially placed a restriction on the recording of the work and licensing of this track was refused on your Licence. Once the restriction is lifted, the work is available for licensing and royalties are payable.

What happens when I need to repress the product?

You will be sent a repressing application form with your Licence. Please submit this form to

What do I do if I need to make changes to my application which has already been submitted?

If the changes meet the following criteria: Please email the changed you need made to

Do you need to obtain an MCPS Licence before you record the music?

No. However you need to obtain a Licence before you wish to manufacture copies for distribution to the public.

One of my tracks is a cover version but you have changed some of the lyrics. Will the AP2 Licence be sufficient in this case?

In this case permission to adapt the musical work should be sought from the copyright owner. MCPS represents the mechanical rights of its members, but is unable to grant a Licence for any adaptations made to any members’ music without their permission. If your version is an adaptation, or is in any other way significantly different to the original track then you must first of all seek permission from the copyright owner.

Do I need a Licence if I’m using existing Sound Recordings?

Yes, if you do not own the Sound Recording from which you will manufacture, you should ensure that you have the written consent or a valid Sound Recording Licence in addition to an MCPS Licence. The MCPS Licence is conditional on these consents being in place.

Do I need a Licence in order to give music away for free?

Yes. Whenever music is distributed on an audio product, whether for free or not, a Licence from the copyright holders (or MCPS on their behalf) is required. There are various licenses granted by MCPS, dependent on the use and purpose of the particular product.

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