Call for musicians to claim cash
Irish musicians are losing millions of euro in royalties, according to one of the most respected figures in the industry, Paddy Cole.
"Our backs are against the wall," says the Monaghan clarinettist and chairman of Recorded Artists Actors Performers (RAAP).
"Businesses paying royalties probably imagine the money collected from them is shared broadly between producers and performers.
"They might be surprised to learn that the bulk of the money goes to just three US music labels: Universal, Sony and Warner."
Royalties are collected from radio stations, restaurants, pubs and other outlets which play music via the Phonographic Performance Ireland (PPI).
Cole and Eanna Casey, CEO of RAAP, say of the €11m collected in 2016 only €1.9m was paid to performers. The two organisations are engaged in litigation about the share out of these funds - with Cole claiming that substantial changes were made in the way royalties were shared without proper consultation.
"It's totally unacceptable for performers," says Casey.
Cole describes it as a "hostile act" that now has the two organisations in the High Court.
Cole, who has played all over the world for the last 60 years, is appealing to musicians and performers to attend RAAP's annual general meeting on Thursday, September 21, at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.
"The problem is the money is being withheld from us and unless we get support there will be no Irish performance organisation to challenge the big labels," he says.
"Unless they come out now and we have a show of strength there is a real danger that the Irish organisation will become redundant and Irish performers and producers will have to depend on an offshore organisation for their annual royalty cheque."