Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wales considers UDI from PRS; PRS looks worried

Welsh artists and labels are showing signs of increasing discontent with the UK-wide PRS organisation. The Welsh Music Foundation has held a conference to discuss the feasibility of constructing a Wales-only royalty collection agency, mainly irked by the BBC's National Regional stations paying royalty rates on a par with local radio stations rather than the UK-wide networks.

Naturally, the PRS aren't happy with the idea and suggest that a breakaway Welsh-only organisation could be a terrible idea:

"We are a well-oiled machine, and we have all the things in place to administer on behalf of all a members in Wales," said John Hywel Morris from PRS.

"We have over 2,000 PRS members in Wales - it's a very small fraction of people who have turned up here voicing their concerns.

"Yes, they are concerns that we take seriously. We've been in discussions with them for the last three years, and I speak to a lot of the people who have been hit.

"And we have been working to better reflect what the usage of Welsh language music is in general."
If the PRS is really convinced that only "a very small fraction" of people suggest breaking away, they could hold an event in Wales to demonstrate the depth of support for the current system, then? That'd be a useful exercise.

You can understand the fear, though - if Welsh artists quit, it'd only be a matter of time before the Scottish and Northern Irish explored their own options, and the very existence of the PRS would be thrown into question.

Perhaps, though, the PRS having taken three years of discussion to get absolutely nowhere indicates why it's time for someone else to have a go.