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AIM - The Association of Independent Music

A trade body and membership organisation whichpromotes and protect music independents on a national and international level. AIM negotiates with the biggest players in the industry and government, andaims to assist the independent sector in relation to the increasingly complex issues which, in their words,"threaten to betray the apparent simplicity of selling good music."

AIM produces aguide to the business for new as well as established music professionals, available in an interactive CD-Rom format. Free to AIM members, or available to order.

Alliance Against Counterfeiting And Piracy

The Alliance Against Counterfeiting And Piracy is a unique coalition of British trade associations and industry enforcement organisations with a combined turnover of over £250 billion.

At a time when losses to the economy and the Exchequer through intellectual property theft are mounting, the Alliance seeks to strengthen and bring consistency to existing laws in the area of intellectual property. The Alliance aims to ensure that legitimate business flourishes, consumers are not put at risk by exposure to shoddy, substandard and potentially dangerous merchandise, and those whose creativity will drive forward the UK economy in the 21st century have sufficient protection to defend their ideas and sufficient incentive to innovate.

Association Of United Recording Artists

The Association Of United Recording Artists was formed to represent and advise the professional recording artist, performers, and studio producers, across the full range of their career. In the same way that the BPI/RIAA represents record companies, or PRS/ASCAP/BMI represents songwriters. AURA primarily looks after the interests of featured artists and studio producers.

AURA membership is exclusive to performers and studio producers who have performed on a commercially released recording. AURA's members join with a mandate of authorisation in order that AURA can maximise the money collected for its members, and to fully represent members' interests with licensing bodies, and users.

Band Register

The Band Register is a non-profit online database of over 340,000 bands, groups, orchestras and recording artistes who have registered their names with the service, thus gaining legal protection which would assist in any future legal dispute over naming rights.

Bemuso is a resource for independent artists, DIY record labels and self-publishers. The resources pages will help you set up your own music web site in the UK. It's complete except for CD duplication, and covers everything except material, performance and publicity.

British Copyright

UK umbrella for organisations that represent creators, rights holders or performers of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.

British Music Rights

BMR is an umbrella organisation representing the interests of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, The Music Publishers Association, The Performing Rights Society, The Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, and that of their members.

It campaigns for the protection of music copyrights at national and European level, particularly in relation to new technologies. Visit the BMR website to keep up to date with the latest news and developments surrounding this issue.

British Phonographic Industry Ltd

The BPI is the British record industry's trade association.

Its membership is comprised of more than 320 companies representing thousands of labels; including all four "major" record companies, associate members - such as manufacturers and distributors - plus hundreds of independent record companies.

Campaign for Digital Rights

The UK-based Campaign for Digital Rights campaigns for “fair and balanced laws for the information society.” They have a special focus on music, video, DVDs & computer games, academic freedom and public library issues.

Guild of International Songwriters and Composers

The Guild of International Songwriters and Composers is a membership organisation offering advice, information and assistance to help members achieve their goals within the music industry. Also offers a copyright protection service to its members.


LA-based lawyer Jodi L. Sax specialises in entertainment and IP, and her informal online blog covers mainly music-industry issues.

Legal Aspects of the Music Industry

By Richard Schulenberg

Updated to reflect the rapid pace of change in the music industry, this new edition includes a focus on group agreements, live performances, free music on the Internet, the effect of the Millennium Copyright Act, ancillary rights, and the independent label. Other key issues covered include the artists' rebellion against record company contracts, litigation by superstars against their labels and by songwriters, and the industry-wide downturn in record sales. It provides stronger focus on music agreements than any other reference.

Legal music downloads - a guide,13368,1127237,00.html

The Guardian's comprehensive list (as of 2004) of recommended sites from which you can download music in a legally-acceptable way. The site also covers the many music labels now offering downloads direct.

MCPS-PRS Alliance

MCPS-PRS Alliance is a UK membership organisation which collects licence fees for the public performance and broadcast of musical works, and collects and distributes 'mechanical' royalties generated from the recording of music onto many different formats.

The site has a host of useful info for musicians, including guides to music copyright, broadcast issues and licensing.

The PRS collects licence fees for the public performance and broadcast of musical works.

The MCPS collects and distributes 'mechanical' royalties generated from the recording of music onto many different formats. This income is distributed to their members - writers and publishers of music.

The MCPS-PRS Alliance manages common activities, services both societies and is jointly owned by them.


US-based, sometimes-controversial news aggregator housing info on MP3, digital rights management and copyright.

Music Business - The Survival Guide

Free Publication 'Music Business - The Survival Guide'

The music team at entertainment and media law firm Davenport Lyons have produced a guide to help aspiring artists pick their way through the legal minefield.

Called 'Music Business - The Survival Guide', the 33-page booklet boils down the complex world of legal relationships into a handy do's and don'ts manual for artists. Covering their relationships with band members, managers, record labels and publishers and useful information on other key areas such as copyright, the collecting societies and the internet.

Click here to order your free copy (whilst stocks last).

Music Publishers' Association

The MPA is a membership trade organisation for music publishers. Acting on behalf of the music publishing business, the MPA takes also part in high-level national and international lobbying and the negotiation of various collective agreements, guidelines and schemes (see their site for more details.)

Their site offers various copyright guides for music publishers, including a guide to copyright licensing in schools.

Musicians’ Union

The Musicians’ Union offers members benefits such as copyright publications, free standard conrtacts and legal advice. The site’s ‘Files’ section has downloadable PDF guides covering licensing, merchandising and other IP info and the FAQ section offers copyright, permissions and publishing advice.

PCAM -Producers and Composers of Applied Music

The UK trade association for producers and composers who work primarily in commissioned music for advertising, television programmes and feature films.

The site contains downloadabe contracts including licensing and copyright. Their helpline can be called by anyone and currently costs 60 pence per minute.

Phonographic Performance Limited

PPL is the UK record industry royalty collection society. It represents over 3,000 record companies and 13,000 labels and licenses the broadcast and public performance of their repertoire and recordings in every genre of music.

PPL collects and distributes revenues from radio stations, pubs, clubs and thousands of users of sound recordings on behalf of member companies as well as some 23,000 performers. The site features info on royalty collection and distribution, and you can also apply for a public performance license online.


Pro-music is an international initiative to promote legitimate online music services and confront the myths surrounding online music piracy.

Alongside information on the growing number of legitimate online music sites, it features a step-by-step guide to the processes in making music and the teams of people involved, a cross-section of viewpoints on the piracy debate, and answers to frequently asked questions about copyright laws for online music.

Royalties Reunited

If you're a session musician, recording artist or backing vocalist, Royalties Reunited is the place for you to find out if you are owed money - and claim it. Registration for claiming this money is completely free.

Phonographic Performance Limited collects the money and distributes it to performers in conjunction with the Performers Forum, made up of representatives from AURA, Equity, MPG, Musicians Union, P@MRA and PPL.

SkIN (Skills Intelligence Network)

A network for East-London-based practitioners of urban music, new media, graphic design, event management and creative writing. Offers opportunities for learning, networking events and 'business therapy'.


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