|Title:||Promise and Perils of Sri Lankan Performers' Rights: The Royalty Collection in Music|
|Citation:||Nanayakkara, G. (2017) ‘Promise and Perils of Sri Lankan Performers’ Rights: The Royalty Collection in Music’ European Journal of Current Legal Issues, 23(1).|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data were obtained from 17 semi-structured interviews with singers, lyricists, music composers, entertainment lawyers, members of artists’ organisations, politicians and representatives of media companies from Sri Lanka. No specific analysis method is detailed, and instead the study focusses on using the interview data to substantiate the authors claims to the distinctiveness of the Sri Lankan music industry (with comparisons against the UK, USA and India).|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
“Royalty collection in music is considered as the 'holy grail' in resolving the remuneration issue of musical artists through copyright and performers' rights. Predominantly grounded on economic incentive theory, these intellectual property regimes promote extensive implementation and enforcement of royalty collection schemes coining the survival and sustainability of the relevant aesthetic industry and their participants. This article will examine the feasibility of musical performers' royalty collection under performers' rights in Sri Lanka while making reference to established schemes in other music industries such as USA, UK and India. In doing so, this paper attempts to highlight the perils of introducing a royalty collection scheme in a relatively smaller music industry in Sri Lanka that is heavily dependent on foreign music. Probing the capabilities of such a scheme to address the remuneration concerns of the country's aging artists, a commercially vulnerable group within the music industry, this paper attempts to demonstrate how a music royalty scheme would fall short of its promise if not implemented with appropriate sensitivities to the relevant domestic conditions and with realistic expectations.”
Main Results of the Study
There is no proper and consistent royalty collection or distribution with regards music in Sri Lanka, which interview participants blame as leading to a lack of adequate remuneration. Many of the participants believe that such a royalty scheme would improve market conditions in the music industry and promote fair remuneration for artists. In particular, participants point to several industry-specific practices which make fair remuneration difficult:
• whilst performers are hesitant to relinquish their IP rights, due to imbalances in bargaining power they are likely to assign these to record companies in order to achieve widespread distribution (if not remuneration).
• lack of transparency with the value chain in the digital market results in artists being under-remunerated.
• particular value is placed on the ability to perform live, and where this is not possible performers are under-remunerated. Performers express concerns about the ability of ageing artists to be remunerated in this context.
However, the author cautions that “it is very unlikely that a proper royalty collection scheme would deliver a reasonable mode of remuneration for the vocalists in the Sri Lankan music industry.”. This is due to a number of country-specific limitations, including a requirement to acquiesce to TRIPS, which may create an undue financial burden on local media companies to pay royalties for foreign works.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Whilst the author notes that a royalty collection scheme may be successful in Sri Lanka if implemented with “great caution and care”, they surmise that in its current state any such scheme would likely be unsuccessful in achieving fair remuneration for vocalists.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||2012-2013|