Neighbouring Rights Collection - a service by Off Limits
 

What are neighbouring rights

If you are a music performer or artist, the fixation (recordings) of your performance is eligible of the neighbouring rights deriving out of it.
The copyright law covering and governing this kind of right is quite complex and fragmented and relies upon the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations (1961).

'Neighbour' to what?
The term "Neighbouring rights" is the english translation of the french words "Droits voisins", and it's considered 'near' to the Musical Work copyright.
These kind of rights are normally called 'related rights' or 'secondary rights', the primary or 'main' rights being the Authors' rights and copyright. These rights relate to the sound recording of a musical work (the particular, singular and unique performance of a musical work, when performed by an artist and recorded on a media).
Nonetheless, this doesn't mean that these rights are lower in amount or "quality", simply they came after the Author's Rights were already in place and are treated in a similar manner.
To give you an idea of the economical importance of these kind of rights from an artist perspective, there are cases in which neighbouring rights royalties overrides the amount an artist receives from record label's royalties.

Whenever there is a commercial exploitation of a recording (e.g. radio and/or tv airplay, backgroundmusic in a commercial activity), the licensee has to pay two types of licenses:
- Authors (composers & lyricist) & Publishers' society fee
- Performers & Master owner's collection society fee

There are different people involved in the production of music: people who invent it (which are the composers, lyricist and publishers), and those who create it (which are the performers, artists and record companies - phonogram producers).
The rights of the inventors of music are collected by organizations such as SIAE, SACEM, PRS, GEMA, BUMA.
The rights of the creators of music are collected by a serie of organizations and there's not really a 'working network' and reciprocity between all of them.
That's why we register the artists locally, giving a limited territorial mandate to every collecting society and providing every society with the artist discography, using their electronic standards.

Ideally and theorically, if your recordings have been broadcasted in a TV or Radio, you should be eligible for these rights.
We write 'ideally' because it all depends on the law in the particular country where your recording has been broadcasted and the period when it's been broadcasted.


How does it work?
Once you provide Off Limits with the mandate to collect on your behalf, we take care of the registration in every single collection society we deal with (almost every country in Europe and North America and most of the existing societies in the rest of the World) and provide them with your discography (once you provided it to Off Limits).
Twice a year, you'll receive a statement from Off Limits reporting and paying to you the collected amounts.
Off Limits has designed and made available a system, which enables you to check in realtime the status of collected payments due to you.
You can see a demo of it here, entering the user 'demo' and password 'demo'.
This system is designed to administrate and provide informations on the collection of neighbouring rights for the artists represented by Off Limits.


If you are an eligible artist (i.e. your recordings have been exploited on national radios) and you want to know more, get in touch and drop an email to rights@offlimits-production.it