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Your Malaysian Music Industry 101
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Your Malaysian Music Industry 101

by The Daily SeniSeptember 7, 2014

“Music has a negative image right now. It shouldn’t be tainted this way, music is vital to everything here. Music should be about joy and meaning something positive to people” Recording Performers Malaysia president and singing icon Datuk Sheila Majid

Music that we enjoy are licensed to end-users – distributors, resellers, broadcasters, venues, offices, karaoke joints and the general listening and/or music-buying public – to be accounted for in the interest of the owners/producers of the music: the artists and their representing companies.

In early September, Public Performance Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PPM) issued a statement addressing this recent music licensing “confusion” among its members and key players within the music industry.

The Malaysian music industry, known officially as the Recording Industry of Malaysia (RIM) through two of its main representative arms PPM along with Recording Performers Malaysia (RPM), this week addressed a “music licensing issue” for the benefit of its registered members and the music consuming public.

The main confusion among registered members –  singers, musicians, performers – of the now defunct Performing Rights and Interest Society Malaysia (PRISM) is that outstanding interests i.e. royalties and income generated, professional market rate and licensing representation concerns, are at the time of writing presently in limbo due to a significant number of members’ complaints.

These can be attributed to both procedure on the part of the new RPM (effectively replacing PRISM) and dissemination of vital information to performers registered under PRISM.

Stated RIM and PPM chief executive officer Ramani Ramalingam, the organisation(s) have been made “aware that there are market concerns which appear to stem from the fact that there are (now) two collective licensing bodies officially declared under the Copyright (Licensing Body) Regulations 2012 to represent the same category of rights holders i.e. ‘recording performers’.”

5 Things About RIM

If you’re still asking what the heck the local music industry is about, let alone how it is run, here are five points from a recent internal statement which could help make a bit more sense of it all. All of the mentioned governing music industry agencies are all collectively responsible for royalty collection, protection, compensation/renumeration and general welfare of artists.

For a start, we hope this helps.

Who’s Who and What Do They Do? 

Public Performance Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PPM), which was established in 1988 and has functioned as the sole collective music licensing organisation representing record companies since January 2012.

In short, RPM has effectively been the new PRISM for more than two years now, though the transition has been slow and filled plagued by conflicting royalty and society registration issues which remain unresolved.

“Our industry position remains that there should only be one licensing body representing recording performers, similar to MACP representing songwriters and PPM representing record companies,” said Ramani.

“PPM’s stance in acting for and fully supporting RPM from January 1, 2012 onwards in place of the now-defunct PRISM Sdn Bhd is consistent with this position whilst maintaining performers’ rights market rates which were established and accepted since 2003.”

PPM, chaired by long-time record business worker Adrian Lim, acts as the exclusive licensing agent for its mirror company, Recording Performers Malaysia Bhd (RPM).

Google it: www.ppm.org.my

How PPM Is Different To RPM 

RPM, which is chaired by singing icon Sheila Majid represents recording artists and musicians (known formally as “recording performers”), receives the support of “all major music industry players” including RIM, MACP, PPM and Persatuan Karyawan Malaysia.

RPM replaces the similar organisation PRISM, which had co-existed and functioned in similar capacity for RIM members, and also consists of many former PRISM members.

“Music has a negative image right now. It shouldn’t be tainted this way, music is vital to everything here. Music should be about joy and meaning something positive to people,” said president Datuk Sheila at the recent annual grand meeting for RPM.

“We have to educate ourselves as people who live in this industry (artists and performers). Right now a lot of people who don’t live in the industry are running things and we are letting them. First it affects our solidarity, and after that, our livelihood.”

PPM’s motto meanwhile is ‘Linking Music With Business’, making it the authority on issuing licences and regulating music royalty side as far as all organisations falling under the RIM umbrella.

A number of the members the organisation used to represent are unsure of their status within PRISM, amplified by outstanding monetary entitlements both real and perceived.

This licensing body is in charge of administering the issuance of licenses as well as the distribution of royalties, with regards to the equitable renumeration rights granted for commercial use of recorded performances.

Importantly, PPM/RIM CEO Ramani has stated an appeal made towards MyIPO, the Malaysian Intellectual Property Office to “establish a Joint Music Licensing Body Working Committee” to “address the current situation faced by commercial music users nationwide”.

“We are hopeful that satisfactory solutions will be ultimately achieved for all stakeholders,” he added.

Google it: www.rpm.my | www.myipo.gov.my

What Is RIM And What Is AIM

The Recording Industry Association Of Malaysia (RIM) is the official governing body of the Malaysian music performance and recording industry. It is the parent company of the mentioned subsidiaries PPM and RPM, its two designated branches responsible for the professional performing and recording performance affairs of its registered active members (featured artists and musicians).

RIM was founded in 1978 and today represents more than 300 locally incorporated recording companies and businesses involved in production (writing, recording), manufacturing and distribution of local and international sound, music video and karaoke recordings. According to the latest PPM statement, this covers about 95% of “all legitimate recordings commercially available in the music market of Malaysia”.

The Anugerah Industri Muzik, or AIM, meanwhile, is the annual industry awards ceremony presented by RIM, whose Chairman is Norman Abdul Halim of the famed KRU entertainment brand.

Google it: www.rim.com.my | www.aim.org.my

The (Only) Role Of MACP

The Music Authors’ Copyright Protection Berhad (MACP) is the appointed territorial royalty collection agency which serves to register, track, gather and distribute income from performance and recording royalties owed to registered members (composers, lyricists) and their representing companies (publishers, labels, imprints) each year. In short, its only function is to collect royalties due to registered authors in all territories.

MACP was established in Malaysia in 1989 and has to date represented 3,100 composers, lyricists and publishers with respect to licensing of the public performance and broadcast of their musical works in Malaysia. Through reciprocal agreements with similar organisations worldwide, MACP also licenses internationally these works owned by organisations within Malaysia.

The current Chairperson of MACP is the well-known veteran lyricist Habsah Hassan.

Google it: www.macp.com.my

How Does Karyawan Help?

Persatuan Karyawan is the arts/entertainment workers’ union which acts in the interest of the welfare of artists, performers and creative workers who are registered and entitled to its representation.

The organisation is led by its President, Freddie Fernandez, with Ahmad Abdullah in charge of management and administration.

Karyawan functions in a similar role to Persatuan Seniman Malaysia (Seniman), another established local arts workers’ union.

Google/Facebook it: www.karyawan.com.my | www.facebook.com/persatuansenimanmalaysia

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The Daily Seni
The Daily Seni delivers news on local arts and culture, aiming to provide insight into Malaysia's ever-growing creative community as well as provoke thought and discussion.

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