ICI/PRO member Shayne Farquhar sent me this update about the music licensing situation in Australia. If you haven't been following this:
The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), a leading recording industry group, won its bid to replace the previous copyright fee of 94.6 cents per fitness class, after the Copyright Tribunal ruled gyms should pay $15 per class to pay for the use of original music.
The ruling effectively meant that Instructors would be only able to use "approved" or "pre-cleared" music in their classes. This works great for Les Mills RPM programs because they are already using only this type of music.
Thankfully it appears that common sense prevailed and the ruling was overturned... at least for now.
Fitness Australia welcomed the decision and said the previous ruling would have had a detrimental effect on group exercise in the industry.
"If it had been upheld, the claim made by PPCA would have resulted in a typical fitness centre with 1500 members being forced to pay over $80,000 in fees per annum, a massive increase on the $2,000 they currently pay," Fitness Australia chief executive Lauretta Stace said today.
"This decision will ensure that gyms, fitness and recreation centres remain viable and affordable for all Australians, helping them to maintain a healthy lifestyle."
Help me understand this: The PPCA had an existing "use tax" and wanted to raise that tax 15oo%. Did they really believe every club would roll over and say "OK, we will pay the additional $78,000" and that the PPCA would take in additional revenue? I think the PPCA thought that Clubs didn't have a choice but pay the 1500% increase. But Clubs do have a choice and you can see it in action here in the USA with LA Fitness restricting Instructors to only use approved music. The result was clubs refusing to pay anything. So the effect was the PPCA gets less $$$ than their original deal.
The Internet (and iTunes) has changed everything and there's no turning back. Let me know your thoughts.
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