Gilbert + Tobin has successfully convinced the Copyright Tribunal that recording artists' music has, for some time, been undervalued in the context of fitness classes.
In a decision made in favour of Gilbert + Tobin's client, the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), the ruling represents a significant victory for the music industry.
Essentially, the Copyright Tribunal determined that a substantial increase in license fees was warranted for the use of recorded music played in fitness classes.
Prior to the decision, the fitness industry only paid 96.8 cents per class, and payment was capped at $2,654 per year.
The new rate resulting from the decision will mean gyms have the option of paying $1 per fitness class participant, or $15 for each class in which PPCA music is used.
Following an examination of the use of music in fitness classes, the Copyright Tribunal found that: "recorded music is an essential accompaniment to such classes. Without it the classes would not function in the manner in which they are presently conducted and which fitness class attendees have come to expect."
The decision will also have important flow-on effects for recording artists in that they will likely receive a fair return in royalty payments for the use of their music in fitness classes.
According to Gilbert + Tobin, the decision is the most recent in a string of Copyright Tribunal decisions in which the firm has successfully argued for a review - and substantial increase - of the public performance tariffs to be applied to the use of music.
The team at Gilbert + Tobin was led by IP partner Siabon Seet and associate Irene So.