Britain's authors' rights body MCPS-PRS Alliance has launched a breakthrough trial license for podcasting. Through the initiative, podcasters can obtain authorized access to the 10 million-odd works r

Britain's authors' rights body MCPS-PRS Alliance has launched a breakthrough trial license for podcasting.

Through the initiative, podcasters can obtain authorized access to the 10 million-odd works represented by the joint-alliance.

The royalty rate applied under the Alliance Music Podcast Scheme will be the greater of either 12% of gross revenue or the minimum fee per track downloaded as part of the podcast. Fees applicable to the latter are 1.5p per full track, or 0.75p for a half-track (defined as less than 50% by duration).

"Podcasting has really exploded into life over the past six months," comments MCPS-PRS Alliance managing director Steve Porter in a statement. "We are introducing this license as quickly as possible to enable music podcasters to trade legitimately over the next year."

The license is being made available until Dec. 31, after which a more complete system is planned to roll out.

British independent labels trade body the Assn. of Independent Music has applauded the project.

"We welcome this move by the Alliance, ensuring that podcasters are able to operate with ease and with legitimate licenses in place," says AIM chair/CEO Alison Wenham in a statement.

At the end of 2005, AIM made its members' copyrighted works available for use in podcasts as part of a global six-month trial license campaign. Wenham says take-up of that scheme has "attracted great interest."

The MCPS-PRS Alliance is a jointly-owned operational venture between Britain's Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society and Performing Right Society.

The PRS administers the performing right in the musical works of its 40,000-plus composer, songwriter and music publisher members. Its sister company MCPS administers the mechanical right in the musical works of its 16,000 members.