6 Jul 2009

Musicians battle for higher royalties

8:01 pm on 6 July 2009

The group representing musicians has begun its legal battle with the country's two major commercial radio networks to get an increase in royalties.

Phonographic Performances New Zealand licenses the broadcasting of sound recordings on behalf of more than 900 musicians and groups.

Radio stations that play more than 50% music are required to pay 1.75% of their gross income in royalties. The agreement expired in 2007.

Phonographic Performances says the payment has always been too low and is asking the Radio Network and RadioWorks for a 6% increase in payment over time.

Radio Broadcasting Association director David Innes, speaking on behalf of the two networks, says there is nothing to warrant the change.

Mr Innes says the payment has been consistently well ahead of the rate of inflation.

A hearing before the Copyright Tribunal is underway in Auckland.