Article Index


 The Rights Administered by GHAMRO

Section E - Rights



The Rights Administered by GHAMRO


The extent of the rights administered by GHAMRO on behalf of its members is regulated by detailed provisions in GHAMRO's Articles of Association and in special directions issued by the Board of GHAMRO pursuant to the Articles. These definitions are long and somewhat complicated, but their general effect in practice is as follows. Subject to the exceptions explained in the next paragraph, GHAMRO administers the performing right in all its members' musical works; and the term 'performing right' means the right (a) to perform a work in public, (b) to broadcast a work and to cause the work to be transmitted to subscribers to a diffusion service. GHAMRO also administers the film synchronization right in any musical work specially written by a member for a film.


(i) 'Grand Right Works'

The rights administered by GHAMRO exclude what are usually referred to as 'grand rights'. This expression is generally understood to refer to performances of dramatico-musical works and ballets.

In GHAMRO's Articles of Association:

- a dramatico-musical work means "an opera, an operetta, musical play, revue or pantomime, insofar as it consists of words and music written expressly therefor"

- a ballet means "a choreographic work having a story, plot or abstract idea, devised or used for the purpose of interpretation by dancing and/or miming, but does not include country or folk dancing, nor tap dancing, nor precision dance sequences".

However, the performing right in dramatico-musical works and ballets is administered by GHAMRO when these works are performed by means of films which were made primarily for the purpose of exhibition in cinemas (and this control extends also to television broadcasting of such films). GHAMRO also controls performances of these works when given in public by means of radio or television sets (for example in a hotel lounge or a public house).

Television broadcasts of short ballets specially written for television up to a total duration of five minutes or of excerpts from existing ballets are also controlled by GHAMRO.


(ii) Excerpts from dramatico-musical works

The extent to which excerpts from dramatico-musical works are controlled by the individual copyright owners and by GHAMRO respectively can be summarized as follows:-

a) Excerpts performed dramatically are always controlled by the individual copyright owner (except in the circumstances mentioned above in which GHAMRO would control a complete performance of such a work and, at the option of the member who is the owner of the copyright work, GHAMRO may administer the broadcasting right in a dramatic excerpt subject to certain conditions).

b) As regards excerpts performed non-dramatically public performances of these fall within GHAMRO's control provided that they do not exceed 25 minutes duration and neither cover a complete act of the work nor consist of a 'potted' version of it. Non-dramatic excerpts in excess of those limits are controlled by the individual copyright owners. The same rules apply to television broadcasts (except that the maximum duration of excerpts controlled by GHAMRO is 20 minutes), and as regards radio broadcasts, all excerpts, however performed, fall within GHAMRO's control except where they exceed the same limits as apply in the case of public performances (subject however to the additional proviso that the total duration of the excerpt(s) must not exceed 25% of the total length of the work).


(iii) Other exceptions

The rights administered by GHAMRO also specifically exclude public performances (but not broadcasts) of music especially written for son-et-lumière productions and for dramatic productions in theatres, when performed in conjunction with such productions. In certain cases words written specially for commercial advertisements are also excluded from GHAMRO's control.

NB a) All non-dramatically performed excerpts which exceed the above noted durations fall outside GHAMRO's control and must be licensed by the individual copyright owners.

b) All ballet music - complete or in excerpt - is controlled by GHAMRO when not accompanied by a visual representation of ballet.

c) If a dramatico-musical work (of specially written music) begins its performance life as a film, broadcast, record, tape or CD and is later adapted to the stage, GHAMRO does not control the stage performance of such an adaptation. However, pre-existing musical works used in films which are later adapted to the stage are normally controlled by GHAMRO in the first instance.



Full definitions of rights administered

1 Performing Right

The term 'performing right' is defined in GHAMRO's Articles of Association as follows:- 'Performing Right' means, in relation to a musical work, the right to do, or authorize other persons to do, any of the following acts:-
(a) to perform the work in public,

(b) to broadcast the work; and

(c) to cause the work to be transmitted to subscribers to a diffusion service, in so far as such rights subsist under the law in force from time to time relating to copyright in the State, and includes such corresponding or similar rights as subsist under the laws relating to copyright in all other countries in the world as in force from time to time.


2 Musical Work

The term 'musical work' is defined in the Articles as follows:-

'Musical Work', without prejudice to the generality of the expression includes:-

(a) any part of a musical work,

(b) any vocal or instrumental music recorded on the soundtrack of any film,

(c) any musical accompaniment to non-musical plays,

(d) any words or music of monologues having a musical introduction or accompaniment

(e) any other words (or part of words) which are associated with a musical work (even if the musical work itself is not in copyright, or even if the performing rights in the musical work are not administered by the company).


3 Film synchronization right

The term 'film synchronization right' in respect of any musical work means the exclusive right in any part of the world to record the work on the soundtrack of a film and the term 'film' has the same meaning as it has under the Copyright Act 1963, namely

"any sequence of visual images recorded on material of any description (whether translucent or not) so as to be capable, by use of that material -

(a) of being shown as a moving picture, or

(b) of being recorded on other material (whether translucent or not) by the use of which it can be shown;"

NB The assignment to GHAMRO of the film synchronization right by an author member is subject to the express provision that GHAMRO will at any time, at the request of the composer or author of the work, assign or licence the film synchronization right in the work to the film producer or other person who commissioned its composition or writing provided that GHAMRO shall have obtained from the producer of the film on the soundtrack of which the work is to be recorded, an agreement in a form satisfactory to GHAMRO providing for payment to GHAMRO of such fees either by way of a lump sum payment or share of receipts of royalties or otherwise as GHAMRO may require in respect of any exhibition of any film embodying the work in cinemas (motion picture theatres) in the USA.

Go to top
Don't have an account yet? Register Now!

Sign in to your account