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What does MCPS do?

The essential function of MCPS is to collect and distribute royalties. It acts on behalf of its members by negotiating agreements with those who wish to record and distribute product containing copyright musical works and collecting licence fees for this use. The money is subsequently distributed to its members as mechanical royalties.

MCPS is known as a collecting society because its main role is collecting money from music users in the UK who record music into TV and radio programmes, websites, feature films, CDs, records, and so on. MCPS collects royalties by issuing licences to music users in respect of the mechanical copyright in musical works. Details of the music used are supplied to MCPS by the licensees. This information, when matched to the detailed work information held on the MCPS databases, enables the payment of royalties to the writers and publishers of the music used. MCPS is a not for profit organisation which is funded by the commission it levies on the licence revenue it receives.

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What does PRS do?

The PRS collects and distributes licence fees for the public performance and broadcast of musical works. The MCPS collects and distributes 'mechanical' royalties generated from the recording of music onto many different formats. This income is distributed to their members - writers and publishers of music.

PRS is known as a ‘collecting society’ because its primary role is collecting royalties from music users in the UK who every day publicly perform, broadcast and include music in cable production services. PRS also collects royalties from around the world for its members through reciprocal agreements with collecting societies overseas. PRS collects the royalties by issuing a licence to the music user (usually charged on an annual basis). In order to then make royalty payments to its members, PRS needs to know what music is being played. Major users, such as the BBC and large concert venues, give PRS detailed reports of the music they play. For many other venues including commercial discos, clubs and pubs, PRS sends researchers to obtain first hand information. With an estimated 8 billion public performances in the UK every year it is not possible to track every one. To pay out these royalties, statistical methods are used based on actual performance information. PRS is a non-profit making organisation. Having recovered its running costs it pays all the remaining money collected to the members identified, both UK and overseas.

Information reproduced by kind permission of the MCPS-PRS Alliance

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