What is a Performance Rights Organisation (PRO)?

Also available as a video

Performance rights organisation is a type of collective management organisation (CMO), managing only performance rights.

I guess we need to explain performance rights first. Basically, whenever a musical work is performed in public, aired, etc, authors are entitled to compensation.

There are also mechanical rights and synchronisation rights. In some countries, a CMO manages both performance and mechanical, and in some cases even sync. In others, specialised organisation type exists only for performance.

Extreme separation is present in the United States and other countries, while in some, like the United Kingdom and Netherlands, it is almost gone, especially from the perspective of music publishers.

In France, Italy, Germany and most of the countries, such a separation does not exist.

This text is part of our Music Metadata Basics series. We already released a more general text about CMOs. All of it applies to PROs as well.