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Performers' rights

Performers are entitled to various rights in their performances, whether these take place on the stage, during a concert, when making a film, when playing or singing for a sound recording and so on.

In many cases, but not always, the performance may be of a copyright work - literary, dramatic or musical - so the performers' rights will be in addition to the rights of copyright owners with respect to the performance and subsequent exploitation of the performance. The performer has some rights with respect to the live performance and other rights with respect to use of a recording of the performance.

A performer has the right to control the broadcasting of his or her live performance to the public. The permission of a performer must also be sought before a recording of the live performance is made.

Once a recording of the performance has been made, the performer's permission is also needed to make copies of that recording. A performer may be entitled to remuneration in respect of broadcasting, other types of communication to the public by electronic transmission, public performance and rental of those copies.

It will usually be necessary, therefore, to obtain permission from the performers in advance for any activity that would infringe these rights. The Musicians' Union and Equity have a number of trade agreements in relation to recording and broadcasting.

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The intention of this web site is to make available wide-ranging copyright information while offering basic copyright education to our visitors. Many of your questions and queries on the subject of copyright may be answered within this web site or through the recommended links and resources provided on our links page.The information contained within this site is offered as a consideration to visitors and at no time should the information be construed as legal advice; for all legal matters, we encourage our visitors to seek the assistance of an attorney.

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