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VillagePeopleLast year, Blue Pencil reported that former Village People member Victor Willis (he is the one who dressed like a policeman) was taking his record company to court in order to claim back his copyrights.

Recent reports suggest that he has been successful and that his exercise of this termination rights means that the copyrights of his smash hit songs such as In the Navy and YMCA will revert to him, together with his entitlement to royalties. Mr Willis when interviewed on BBC’s Radio 4 Broadcasting House programme said that he reckoned he was entitled to $30million dollars.

In our previous article we reported that the record company asserted that Mr Willis was an employee of them and as such any intellectual property rights vested with the record company.

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64 IvanChandlerIn tune with Ivan Chandler of Musicalities.

When cover by the BBC blanket licence is not so cosy.


The BBC has ongoing music licensing agreements with PRS (The Performing Right Society), MCPS (the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society) - jointly known as PRS for Music - and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) giving the broadcaster effectively blanket coverage to use whatever music they like.

Through reciprocal arrangements with similar songwriter and publisher societies around the world, PRS for Music offers the BBC the right to use a vast repertoire of thousands of songs and other musical compositions of every conceivable genre.

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64 IvanChandlerIn tune with Ivan Chandler of Musicalities.

Music is everywhere and apart from the traditional methods such as radio, television, film, home and in-car stereo systems, we can listen via YouTube, mobile phones, iPods, iPads, iTunes, Mp3 players and websites including Spotify, Jango and Grooveshark.


Given the omnipresence of music people assume, often as a result of 'free' downloads sites, that music is 'free'. Music is free to listen to, but it is not free to use.

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50 MusicCC Considers IMR role for Copyright Standards.

Earlier this year the Consultative Committee (CC) of the International Music Registry (IMR) has decided to prepare a report entitled, 'Analysis Report on Function Requirements for the International Music Registry'. The IMR purpose is to facilitate faster, easier access to music, sound recording and music videos information, and its licensing in the context of the digital environment by providing a network of reliable information about the music. The IMR is a collaboration of the worldwide music industry, with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) acting as the facilitator.

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