A piper’s dream: streaming Glenfiddich

Published: October 31, 2012
(Page 1 of 1)

In moderation, at least, a fountain of single malt wouldn’t be all bad, and perhaps the next best thing will come pipers’ way when the Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championships will be streamed live from Blair Castle over the Internet on October 27th for the first time. The service is part of Glasgow’s National Piping Centre’s funding from the UK’s Nesta, “an independent charity with a mission to help people and organizations bring great ideas to life.”

Considered by most as the pinnacle of solo piping competition, the Glenfiddich invites contestants based results from prestigious qualifying competitions set throughout the year. The 2012 Glenfiddich Championships have lined up Callum Beaumont, Murray Henderson, Finlay Johnston, Jack Lee, Stuart Liddell, Euan MacCrimmon, Willie McCallum, Roddy MacLeod, Iain Speirs and Gordon Walker, all of whom excelled at contests around the UK like the Northern Meeting and the Argyllshire Gathering.

The live streaming is a continuation of the Nesta grant that began in August at Piping Live! when the festival broadcast several events over the net. The objectives, according to National Piping Centre spokesperson Abi Allsopp, are to “expand audience reach and engagement” and to “explore new business models.”

The Internet broadcast will start at 10 am (GMT) via the National Piping Centre’s website.

Performing rights organizations around the world have been actively working with governmental copyright and intellectual property boards to set tariffs for music streaming over the Internet, with collected fees distributed back to performers and composers as the law provides. The UK’s largest performing rights organization is PRS for Music, and live streaming of high profile piping and drumming events can be a revenue source for composers, pipers and pipe bands – but only if they register their music.

The most successful live streaming of a piping and drumming event so far has been the World Pipe Band Championships, which is managed by BBC Scotland.

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  1. Stig

    How does performing rights actually work in this case, where over 95% of the material either being traditional or public domain?

  2. BillPeters

    I just hope this will broadcast outside of the UK. The BBC capped other Glenfiddich coverage on their site so only UK taxpayers got the benefit of watching it without extra software. This is a great leap forward for the solo piping community to see the modern day greats in action. Two thumbs up to the National Piping Centre for their efforts here!

  3. AndrewBerthoff

    Stig – true enough, but any living composer or composer dead fewer than 50 years receive royalties, as do performers for their performances. Need to register with both performing and performer rights societies, which costs nothing. The World’s broadcasts, DVD and CDs are rich with original compositions. The Glenfiddich and World’s and every competition are legally required to report content played at the festival/concert and pay fees legislated in each country. This is not insignificant money.

  4. BillLivingstone

    Andrew….any suggestion that the BBC and the WPBC deal fairly with composers is patent nonsense…my stuff has been played at the WPBC many times….so far as I can tell, I haven’t received 1 pence in royalties for these uses of my copyright material….I did recently receive a very nice payment from PRS/SOCAN….but that was for Northern Man, a CD which has nothing to do with the BBC or WPBC…and my stuff is all registered….seek input from Bruce Gandy and Mike Grey on this….if I’m wrong, I’ll admit it, but so far the system for paying composers for their copyright material on these broadcasts (did I hear world wide?) is not working for the creators of music.

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