VGAME’s PRO’s 101: Your Guide to Performing Rights Organizations (PRO’s) and Performing Rights
What is PRO Content?
PRO is simply a shortened version of Performing Rights Organization. PRO content is music by any composer that is a registered member of a recognized Performing Rights Organization. PRO’s encompass most mainstream artists, as well as songwriters, TV and film composers, and independent composers and producers-- like those found at VGAME.
Almost every country around the world has an official PRO (e.g. SOCAN in Canada), and together, these organizations work to manage Performing Rights globally. Composers are generally registered with the PRO of their country of residence. In order to perform PRO music in public, you must have the appropriate license from the artist’s country’s PRO.
What are Performing Rights?
PRO’s are significant because they include a very specific and important part of music copyright known as Performing Rights-- the right to broadcast music publicly (on TV or the radio), play music in a public place (like a grocery store, theatre, restaurant, or salon, etc.), or even stream it publicly online. It is common for broadcasters and venues to cover all the music they perform with a blanket PRO license.
Are There Any Advantages to PRO Content on VGAME.CA?
Glad you asked! There are several benefits to both the customer and the composer by allowing PRO music on VGAME.
PRO members usually tend to be professional composers and songwriters, and this is reflected in their content. By allowing PRO music on VGAME, you are provided with access to a wide variety of high quality professional musical tracks and sound FX for use in your next creative project.
At VGAME, we strive to be as open and transparent with you as possible. By providing you with all the information needed regarding PRO licensing, we ensure that you can confidently select the proper licensing agreement and usage rights for your project, with no hidden surprises along the way.
Support for Artists
Every composer on the VGAME platform is given the choice to register their music with a PRO. When composers decide to register with a PRO, they receive the opportunity to cash in on their fair share of money that is already being paid by broadcasters and venues around the world through blanket licensing-- a paid artist is a happy artist. Not only does this foster the growth of existing composers, but it helps to support the creation of new and exciting music so you can be sure to find a track that’s just right for your project.
When Do I Need to Obtain a PRO’s Performing Rights?
When you license Non-PRO music from VGAME, the performing rights are already included. In fact, most of the tracks in VGAME’s library can be licensed without additional licenses from a PRO.
When you license PRO music, the performing rights are not included with your license. As a recap, PRO licenses are required for any public performance use of music, but you can rest assured that most broadcasters or venues will more than likely already own the blanket performing rights for any content that they play. In cases like this, the result doesn’t really differ whether you use PRO or Non-PRO music.
However, you should be aware that there are still specific situations that involve publicly performing the music yourself, where you do require PRO licensing. Remember that PRO’s differ from country to country and may have different regulations regarding Performance Rights and licensing. If you are uncertain about whether your project and content use would be considered public performance, it is a good idea to contact your local PRO for more information.
How do I Obtain Performing Rights for PRO Content?
If you require public Performance Rights for a specific piece of music, these rights are administered by and licensed directly from the corresponding PRO. Good news for you: PRO licenses are usually blanket licenses, which means that they cover the Performance Rights to any and all PRO music that you may perform or broadcast. What this means is that once you’ve received a Public Performance license from the PRO, you should be able to use any other PRO music on the VGAME platform quite easily.
Most often, you will only need to work with the local PRO(s) in your country. This is because most PRO’s work together by sharing information and managing performance rights globally.
*What is the PRO for your country? Find out here.
Some PRO’s even offer direct licenses. So what is that exactly? A direct license is provided personally by a PRO registered composer, and is useful when you only need to perform or broadcast one specific PRO track from a single author. You can receive a direct license by contacting the author directly regarding the use of performance rights.
Are there any Royalties Involved with PRO’s?
All non-P.R.O. music on VGAME is royalty and performance royalty-free.
PRO music that is performed or broadcast in public is usually protected by a blanket license belonging to the broadcaster or venue-- in the majority of cases, you won’t have to pay any additional performing rights fees. If you are not planning on publicly performing or broadcasting PRO music, then it is considered royalty-free. When you purchase a license to PRO music, this means you can use the music in your project for as long as you need without having to pay royalties to VGAME regarding your usage.
How Can I Find Non-PRO Music?
Finding non-PRO music on VGAME is quick and easy! All you need to do is select the non-PRO checkbox in the search filters section, and you are good to go.
What are Cue Sheets?
A cue sheet is a document that provides information about music tracks--e.g. composer, title, duration, etc.-- that are used in a broadcast or film production. PRO’s use cue sheets as a tool to track music usage and ensure that global PRO earnings are distributed to the correct composer and publisher of any music that is publicly performed or broadcast.
All the information you need for your cue sheets can be found easily on VGAME; simply click on “See item details” and you’ll be taken to a page with more information. If you require additional information not found on the page, don’t be shy to contact the author-- they’ll be quite happy to help you.
You might be wondering why you should even bother with a cue sheet. What it really comes down to is helping VGAME composers receive their fair share of earnings from the PRO’s for the music they have created.
As an added bonus, filing a cue sheet is free. They are typically prepared and filed by the production company through a simple email to the PRO.
How Do I Work with PRO Music?
We’re so glad you asked! Working with PRO music is relatively easy if you’ve done your research and obtained the correct licensing and usage rights. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your next project:
- Always be sure to obtain as many details as possible about the track you are planning to use-- don’t be afraid to get in touch with the composer or publisher!
- Research your local PRO(s) to determine if your use will be considered a public performance.
- Check with broadcasters and venues to find out whether you are covered under a blanket PRO license.
- Double check to see if your local PRO allows direct licensing.
- Help composers receive their fair share by filing cue sheets for any PRO tracks that you use.
Although non-PRO music is not affiliated or registered with a PRO, in some countries you may be required to pay additional performing rights fees for non-PRO music. Fees depend on your local PRO’s regulations, local laws, and your use of the music. As the customer, it is your responsibility to be aware of these laws, and to pay any applicable fees that your country may require.