After threatening to throw out the baby, the bathtub and the bathwater, while giving the mother a swift kick in the shins for good measure, Apple emerged victorious as the Copyright Royalty Board froze digital publishing rates at 9.1 cents per song. Music publishers had requested an increase to 15 cents per song.
Of course, as many dance companies often negotiate direct deals with publishers, an increase would not have passed directly through. That being said, it’s easier to negotiate a reasonable deal that meets tighter cost structures when the industry rate is lower.
One of the more complicated challenges impacting the dance world (especially as it relates to making content available on TenduTV), is the need to properly acquire music rights. From a legal perspective, part of the challenge has been that in many situations, the music industry itself hasn’t figured out a royalty structure (or at least a fair one).
On the frontier of progress, industry groups reached a resolution on mechanical royalty rates for internet streaming and limited downloads. Whereas this agreement solves only two parts of a much larger problem, it at least sets a stake in the ground (eg. the 10.5% mechanical royalty) for other, more essential uses, such as synchronization with choreography. Now if the music industy could further uncomplicate this challenge by making record labels more reasonable in their royalty requests, or more responsive to phone calls from artistic and executive directors, we might just have something.