‘No deal Brexit won’t disrupt business’ says PRS policy head


PRS for Music is anticipating business as usual for members and licensees once the UK leaves the EU, John Mottram, the organisation’s head of policy and public affairs, has said.

‘In terms of our core business, we’re not expecting any significant disruption in the flow of performing rights and royalties as a result of Brexit, deal or no deal,’ Mottram told M, following two government-released technical notices about the impact of Brexit on copyright.

‘This is not to say leaving the EU is without risk to PRS for Music or its members, for example in the movement of physical products like DVDs and CDs. However, in respect to the crucial flow of performing rights and royalties from the EU, these will be unaffected.’

He added: ‘If you’re a songwriter, composer or publisher member based in Europe, don’t worry – your PRS for Music service will continue as normal.’

Europe is by far the largest market for British songwriters, composers and publishers, representing around 60 percent of PRS for Music’s total annual international income, or £155.4m in 2017.

The flow of royalties between societies in the EU, and beyond, are governed by voluntary agreements between collecting societies. These agreements have no direct relationship to the UK’s membership of the EU or any trade deals, Mottram has confirmed.

Moreover, copyright law is determined at a European level and then implemented into national law by member states. This means that existing rights and protections are already enshrined in UK law and the government has indicated it has no plans to change them after Brexit.

Mottram added: ‘After Brexit, we will work closely with the UK government to ensure these protections are upheld and where necessary strengthened.’

The government has published two notices on copyright after Brexit, one entitled Copyright if there’s no Brexit deal and the other entitled Exhaustion of intellectual property rights if there’s no Brexit deal.