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Japanese radio and TV web broadcasting gets a little easier September 12, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in IT, Japan, Music.
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JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers) and CPRA (Center for Performers’ Rights Association) have announced that they will begin centralised management of rights and royalites starting October. (Asahi article in Japanese here)

The royalty fee is apparently 5.45% for programming which is more than 50% music. (It is not clear if this is the combined fee split between the two organisations, or it is 5.45% each, which would mean a 10.9% royalty which seems rather steep)

(Lower fees apply for programming where music is incidental (1.8% to each organisation for content which includes less than 10% of music, 2.7% for 10-20%), such programming would include TV dramas, TV/radio documentaries with incidental background music, etc)

One of the main barriers to web based music content was the fact that rights and royalties had to be negotiated with each individual rights holder prior to this centralised system.

NHK and community radio stations apparently baulked at the license fee structure and declined to participate.

More details should emerge when the respective organisations publish their official fee structures. Other royalty payments are structured with a “per work fee or % of revenues which ever is higher” type structure, and the details might reveal some hidden surprises.

Setting aside the question of the size of royalty payments, a centralised system of royalty collection will make it easier for on-line music services to begin in earnest.

Last.fm have begun offering services in Japan, and it would seem that this announcement will allow it to begin its web radio services including Japanese content in earnest. Other web music services are hopefully set to follow.

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