Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Radio indies can keep copyright

In a ground-breaking deal the BBC has handed independent radio production companies the copyright to their own programmes in new terms of trade.

Until now the BBC has owned programmes commissioned from independents - such as Somethin' Else and Unique - outright. But in a reversal of its terms of trade the BBC will now license programmes for 10 years.

The companies got together to form a trade body - the Radio Independents Group - specifically to renegotiate terms of trade with the BBC, in a bid to get on a equal footing with the television sector.

RIG was unable to negotiate the five-year licence period the BBC has in place for TV indies - although there will be a break clause after five years if the BBC does not intend to use programmes for any public service use.

The trade body said the 10-year-deal was "fair" and "very exciting". It took six months to negotiate.

The BBC deal will only cover the UK so radio independents will be able to sell their programmes and formats abroad, creating new revenue streams.
More from Julia Day on Media Guardian (free registration required)

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