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Press Release: PRS WRITER MEMBER LAUNCHES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST PRS FOR MUSIC ON BEHALF OF OVER 160,000 PRS WRITER MEMBERS

Competition Appeal Tribunal Claim Says PRS Has Been Misallocating ‘Black Box’ Music Royalties Claim Value Could Be Hundreds Of Millions Of Pounds
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Adrian Render
4th April 2024
London [3/4/2024] – on behalf of all Performing Rights Society (‘PRS’) writer members a collective action has been launched against the PRS.

The Claim against PRS will be heard in the Competition Appeal Tribunal and is expected to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Any award would be split among the writer members. The case is expected to be heard in 2027 unless PRS settles before then.

The Claim says that PRS is violating UK and EU competition rules because it unfairly distributes so-called ‘Black Box’ income. ‘Black Box’ income is the name in the music industry for royalties paid to PRS that it has not been able to allocate to the owner to whom it should be paid. Among the reasons why royalties go into the ‘Black Box’, and are not given to the writer, is incorrect data.

The Claim says that most of the ‘Black Box’ income belongs to PRS’s writer members, but distribution of the income is unfairly skewed in favour of publishers who end up receiving a large portion of the income that should be paid to writers. The Claim seeks to recoup the difference between the ‘Black Box’ income that writers should have been paid and what PRS actually paid them.