Digital piracy undermines the licensed music business across many forms and channels; greatly affecting the sustainability of the industry and livelihood of musicians.
The author of a book, a song, a painting, a play and the producer of a sound recording or a film must have the right to control the use of their work to be able to benefit from it. If not, there will be no incentive to create which is society’s loss.
Every sound recording is made up of 2 main rights:
– the copyright in the music and lyrics which is usually owned by the songwriter or music publisher
– the copyright in the sound recording which generally rests with the recording artiste or the record company.
Sound recording artistes like Stephanie Sun, A-do, Tanya Chua and Kit Chan, work very hard to come up with an album. While they are easily recognized on an album cover, they are just part of the many hundreds of creative people involved in the production. Have you noticed the names on the album sleeves that are credited for the songs written, musical arrangements, instruments played, backup vocals and cover design?
The singers put in the hours to record songs that they and many others have written and composed in studios where musicians, sound engineers and producers add in their expertise. Once all the songs are recorded and the editing is done, in come the marketing and promotions people, with the advertising campaign and the public relations roadshow. Then there is the music video which in today’s context, is an essential element in the promotion of the music. The production of the video involves another set of creative individuals.
Aside from the blood, sweat and tears of the many people involved, there is also the question of the cost of producing an album. When you add in the cost of production, promotion and distribution of an album, on the average, less than 10% of all releases are profitable. Which means that for every 10 new albums, only 1 is likely to make the recording company some money which essentially funds the costs of the other 9.
Music Rights (Singapore) Public Limited
MRSS is a collective management organisation (CMO) regulated and recognised by IPOS to administer and collect the license fee for commercially published sound recordings and music videos.
Under the new Copyright Act (2021), MRSS has the right to collect license fees for the broadcast or public performance of commercially published sound recordings. Businesses that wish to play recorded music in any physical venue are to obtain a license from MRSS.
Types of Licenses administered by MRSS
Public Performance of Sound Recordings/ Music Videos
Public Reproduction of Sound Recordings / Music Videos