Rights Agency Limited (RAL) was widely acknowledged as the UK's first ever neighbouring rights operation when founded by Damian Pulle in 1988. The firm now counts artists as high profile as Sir Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and Phil Collins amongst its clients.
RAL has entered into a strategic business investment agreement with Fintage House - a TV/Film and music rights collection business and publisher, whose clients include The Elvis Presley estate, Britney Spears and Jason Mraz and which recently picked up an Ivor Novello alongside Cutting Edge for Best Film Score for movie The First Grader.
The duo have teamed up after hearing increasing requests from artists to claw back rights management from labels - inclusive of neighbouring, masters and publishing rights.
Pulle told Music Week that RAL's clients will now be welcome to discuss signing a master rights deal with Fintage House.
"Over the last year, many of my artist clients have asked me to look after the label side of their neighboring rights," he explained. "Traditionally, record companies, licensees and distributors have collected their 50% share acrewing to a label while the artist receives the balance (50%) of the pot. But with the way things have been changing, more artists are now putting out their own recordings. They question why they should give a distributor or licensee overseas the rights to collect money [derived from these]."
According to co-CEO of Fintage House Niels Teves, the company has invested in RAL "because together we can achieve more and more for our clients on a global scale".
He added: "The other services we provide - publishing and master rights - will be on offer to Damian's clients. We won't be pushing hard, but we're open for business. We expect that will grow and that together we bring strength to break down more barriers and raise more income for our existing clients [in neighbouring rights] from collection societies across the world."
Pulle said that teaming with Fintage would not only bring technological benefits to his clients - including online accountancy and access to 24-hour statements - but also give RAL more leverage when battling collection societies for due payments abroad.
"I have been quite tough in my approach to collection societies - that's probably why I've experienced success," he said. "There are still so many other territories I could go to and so many other sources of revenue that need researching, but I need strength at my elbow; that's what Fintage gives me. I've been making contact in China, South-East Asia, Australia and - through partners - even in Latin America. We still hit brick walls but we're also knocking them down."