Music copyright fees to be collected from piano, guitar schools


Japan’s music copyright management organization plans to collect copyright fees beginning in January 2018 from schools teaching students to play the piano, guitar and other instruments for their use of music to teach.

Some organizations including the Yamaha Music Foundation are studying how to deal with the plan, revealed last Thursday by the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers, out of fear the charges would hinder Japan’s music culture.

JASRAC plans to apply to the Cultural Affairs Agency by July to begin collecting the charge.

In April 2016 it began levying fees on vocal lesson classes, and on musical instrument lessons at culture centers, according to the entity.

Yamaha said, quoting an opinion of its lawyer, “The number of students might decrease if tuitions become higher due to transferring (of copyright fees) on them. It would obstruct the development of music culture.”

Under JASRAC’s plan, music copyright usage fees would be charged on commercial music class operators regularly teaching students. The operators would be able to choose either to pay a set amount or for each usage.

JASRAC is considering setting the rate for the comprehensive fee at 2.5 percent of annual earnings from music lesson tuition fees.

The entity collects copyright fees for the use of music in various events and occasions including television and radio broadcast, concerts and karaoke, distributing the money among copyright holders including composers and lyricists.

It collected 111.6 billion yen ($986 million) in music copyright fees in fiscal 2015.


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