It’s no secret that a popular topic on this blog is audio recognition technology as a means to determine royalty payments from public establishments. I wrote about it yesterday. And I wrote about it previously. And previously.
PRS is testing music recognition technology in bars and nightclubs in the United Kingdom. According to Synchtank’s blog, there’s been an unexpected roadblock:
[AEFM’s Greg Marshall] adds that they are speaking to DJ agents to ensure they are getting on board with the moves by clubs and bodies like PRS, specifically addressing the non-record clause some DJs have in their contracts (to ensure their sets are not bootlegged or what they are playing is listed online). […] “We are just starting the process of talking with the bigger agents to see if they can amend their clause so it has an exception for music recognition technology,” explains Marshall.
I could see privacy (eavesdropping) concerns as a complaint against constant monitoring. But we are now allowing smart speakers/listeners in our homes so ¯_(ツ)_/¯. And I imagine the venue’s sound system is directly fed into the monitors, and not a literal microphone hanging out in the club.
I doubt DJs are worried about PRS recordings their sets or that monitoring reveals all their super-secret hottie tracks. The problem is a clause traditionally appearing in most DJs’ contracts that prevents recordings from happening for those reasons. The venues, understandably, want to adhere to the artist contract.
Is audio monitoring technically a recording? Regardless, this is a wild hiccup in the effort to use music recognition tech to determine accurate venue performance royalty distribution. DJs — add an exception in your contracts!
🔗→ Electronic Money: Dance Music and the Protracted Pursuit of Payment