Thursday, 17 November 2011

Collecting Royalties in Brazil: episodic work or soap opera?

In Brazil, the Central Bureau of Collection and Distribution (ECAD) is the body that represents musicians and is responsible for collecting their royalties. To this effect, on May ECAD filed its first action in a civil court (in Sao Paulo) against SWC which is a music festival, or should I said ‘the’ Festival [something like Glastonbury Festival in the UK – this year lines up includes Black Eyes Peas, Snoop Dogg, Duran Duran among other international and national artists].

The lawsuit regards last year Festival in which the producer of the festival were asked to pay 10% of gross sales for the public use of musical works in SWU and ECAD granted a reduction to 9.2%. For the event – SWU 2010, there was a payment of $ 250,000, representing minimum guarantee for the performance to take effect. After the count of tickets sold, the amount to be paid by the producer of SWU to ECAD was calculated at around $ 1 million after the deduction of U.S. $ 250,000 paid previously.

In a new action, filed on October 7, this time in a court in Paulínia (SP), ECAD has asked for the suspension of this year's event – November 12, 13 and 14. This year the festival will be in Paulinia, -- last year was held in São Paulo.

In a recent statement SWU declared that they are judicially discussing [this is a nice way to say ‘we have been sued’] with EDCA its criteria for the collection of royalties. Because of this they do not believe that ECAD has legal grounds to prevent the festival this year.

This statement was followed by another one, this time by ECAD itself. It noted that it has no interest in causing inconvenience to the public by cancelling the music festival. Its interest is to defend and ensure to the thousands of artists affiliated with the collective management and especially to composers of the songs performed, that they will be paid. ECAD is working in accordance with the Copyright Law (9610/98) and thus, it is essential that producers of an event such as the SWU needs to pay royalties.

The statement continues to explain the situation: “In 2010, the SWU signed a contract with ECAD, pledging to pay the equivalent of 9.2% of the ticket. At the time, the organization paid 30% as a minimum guarantee and failed in the remaining of the contract.” Indeed, this is damaging hundreds of artists from the national and international music. “How can a musical event not to respect the copyrights of composers? Without an alternative, the ECAD is taking appropriate action in court”.

This episode was reported 16 Nov at 14.35 on Programa Propiedade Intelectual para Inovacao na Industria.

The story is TO BE CONTINUED...

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