Dean Francis
Dean Francis

Downtown Launches Neighbouring Rights Division

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LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — Downtown Music Holdings, the parent company of Downtown Music Publishing, announced the launch of a new, standalone neighboring rights division.

Downtown Neighbouring Rights expands Downtown’s current neighboring rights capabilities, which it offers to its music publishing and label clients through FUGA, which it acquired earlier this year.

FUGA’s existing neighbouring rights capabilities will be folded into Downtown’s new unit throughout the remainder of 2020, the company said.

“With revenue from touring and live performance dramatically reduced, artists and record labels are bringing added scrutiny and focus to important income sources like neighbouring rights,” said Andrew Sparkler, Executive Vice President of Global Business Development for Downtown. “By centralizing the neighbouring rights expertise from across Downtown-owned companies into a single business unit, and with oversight by an executive with deep industry knowledge of the space, we can more efficiently support our clients who want the same kind of professional management and transparency available through other Downtown companies.”

Neighouring rights veteran Dean Francis has been tapped to lead the new division as General Manager and will be based on Downtown’s London offices.

Since joining in 2018, Francis has led neighbouring rights collections for Downtown’s music publishing division. Prior to Downtown, he spent more than a decade with the U.K.-based neighbouring rights collection society PPL.

“Neighbouring rights” is the standard term for the income rights that relate to public performances of commercially available sound recordings. The royalties generated by this usage are equally split and paid to the rights owner, which is typically a record label, and its potentially its performers .

Neighbouring rights differ from music publishing copyrights in that the latter compensate the publishers, composers and writers of a song, as opposed to its master owners and performers.

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