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Japan Music Body Seeks Rights Fee Hike for Foreign Films

JASRAC, the industry body that collects and distributes music royalties in Japan, has called for a change in the system used for calculating fees for music in foreign films. The move could dramatically change the economics of some films and exhibitors.

Under JASRAC’s current contract with the Japan Association of Theater Owners, distributors of foreign films pay a flat fee of JPY180,000 (USD1,600) per theatrical title. JASRAC is demanding a system similar to that used in Europe in which the fee payment is 1% to 2% of total domestic box office.

In some cases, the result would be in a huge jump in payment. For “Frozen,” whose box office totaled $225 million in 2014, the JASRAC payment would leap to $2.25-$4.5 million.

JATO has issued a statement opposing the JACRAC proposal, saying it would cause “great disruption” to theater owners.

The JASRAC proposal is backed by collection agency umbrella body Asia-Pacific Music Creators Alliance.

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