The reciprocal agreement between Britain's Phonographic Performance Ltd. (PPL) and its U.S. counterpart, SoundExchange Inc., is viewed as a significant step forward in international cooperation betwee

LONDON -- The reciprocal agreement between Britain's Phonographic Performance Ltd. (PPL) and its U.S. counterpart, SoundExchange Inc., is viewed as a significant step forward in international cooperation between collecting societies.

The societies earlier this month announced a reciprocal agreement benefiting their featured artists. SoundExchange will now collect and distribute PPL's recording royalties to the American artists it represents, while PPL will collect and distribute SoundExchange royalties to its artists.

PPL executive chairman Fran Nevrkla, who in January signed a new three-year contract to remain at the helm of the organization, has made the creation of reciprocal agreements one of his top priorities. He says the deals will lead to the creation of "a single pipeline for collecting overseas royalties."

The SoundExchange deal follows recent similar arrangements PPL has struck with collecting societies in Germany, France, Japan, Italy and other countries.

Says Nevrkla, "After just a few weeks, we now have agreements with the U.S. and Germany, two of the largest markets in the world. We look forward to concluding many more such agreements in the coming months."

Through the terms of the agreements, SoundExchange will send one check to PPL for all digital royalties earned by artists represented by PPL and its affiliated organizations.

"These agreements are extremely significant, as they mark the beginning of a partnership between two of the world's most dynamic music centers," says John L. Simson, executive director of SoundExchange. "So much of the world's repertoire comes from the United Kingdom and the United States, and it's important that we ensure that performers see the benefit when money is collected for the use of their works. This is especially true in America, where the performance right for featured and non-featured performers is still so new and developing."

SoundExchange has made similar reciprocal agreements with SENA in the Netherlands and RAAP in Ireland.

PPL works as a conduit for the collection and the payment of overseas royalties on behalf of several organizations representing British artists. Last December, PPL struck a major collaborative agreement with several U.K. performers' organizations -- the Assn. of United Recording Artists, Music Producers Guild, Musicians' Union and Performing Artists' Media Rights Assn.

Nevrkla's aim is to build PPL into a one-stop shop for collection and payment of royalties to performers and labels.