BBC take Welsh language musicians to copyright tribunal

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The BBC are set to take Welsh language musicians to a copyright tribunal over royalty disputes.

MusicWeek report that the Wales’ national Welsh language station, BBC Radio Cymru lost the rights to play around 30,000 songs after Eos, the representatives of musicians in Wales, broke away from PRS (Performing Right Society) back in December.

BBC Wales released the following statement on the matter:

“Obviously, we’d prefer to come to an agreement without the need for a tribunal hearing, and that remains our focus. But if a permanent settlement cannot be reached through negotiation with Eos over the coming weeks, a tribunal hearing would ensure all the arguments are heard and that a fair and transparent decision on commercial rates could be reached. That’s why we informed Eos last week that we would be starting the copyright tribunal process in parallel with our on-going negotiations, something we confirmed in an open letter to Eos yesterday. By taking the significant step of offering to help support Eos’ legal costs, we will ensure that Eos is able to put its arguments – arguments it has articulated widely for months – to the independent copyright tribunal which is the established legal process to resolve commercial disputes of this nature in a fair and binding manner.”

Eos broke away from PRS after a change in procedure meant that musicians would be paid less royalties for their music being used.

Eos chief executive Dafydd Roberts has replied:

“We’ve taken legal advice on that today, so we’ll be considering our position in terms of a copyright tribunal. But what’s disappointing is that whilst we thought we were negotiating with the BBC on various terms, in fact all they were doing was preparing ground for the copyright tribunal.”