KUALA LUMPUR: Recording artistes and musicians who do not write lyrics or compose their own songs or music are now entitled to royalties.
Prior to the amendment made to the Copyright Act 1987, royalties were only payable to composers, lyricists and recording companies.
Following the amendment two years ago, a new body called the Performers' and Artistes’ Rights Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Prism), has now been empowered by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry,to collect royalties for recording artistes and musicians who deliver sound recordings played in public areas or business premises.
Prism, however, would come out with the rates only in about six to 12 months’ time for the ruling to be implemented.
It will work with the music copyright licensing body, Public Performance Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PPM) to collect the royalties, PPM chief executive officer Tan Ngiap Foo said.
Prism claimed to represent more than 600 local artistes as well as leading music associations, such as the Association of Malaysian Chinese Artistes (Amca), the Indian Recording Industry of Malaysia (Irim) and Persatuan Penyanyi, Pemuzik Dan Penulis Lagu Tanah Air (Papita).
One radio station yesterday said the new body's presence would increase the current chargeable rates.
The spokesman said they were already paying royalties to PPM, which is collecting on behalf of recording companies and to the Music Authors’ Copyright Protection Berhad (MACP), which collects for songwriters and composers.
Tan said the admission of Prism may create some confusion but ”we will talk to trade associations representing shopping complexes, hotels, coffee shops and radio stations to seek their views and discuss the new rates.''
He added that there would be an increase of 10% in the current amount of royalties.
Anugerah Industri Muzik winner Ivan Chan aka Rabbit, who clinched the Best New Artiste and Best Local Album awards under the English category in 2001, said the real heroes of the music industry were those who wrote the songs and produced the music.
“They are the ones who deserved to be paid. Prism to me is just another party coming in to get a slice of the pie, and the ones benefiting are those who don’t write their own songs and just know how to sing,” he said.