Planet Fitness Coffs Harbour’s Jason Laurence and Scott Lambert are shocked at a ruling that will see them pay 1500 per cent more to use music in their classes.
Planet Fitness Coffs Harbour’s Jason Laurence and Scott Lambert are shocked at a ruling that will see them pay 1500 per cent more to use music in their classes. TREVOR VEALE

Music to cost 1500% more

DOING the grapevine to your favourite song at the gym just got a whole lot more expensive.

Local gym owners are disappointed and frustrated after a copyright tribunal in Sydney ruled gyms have not been paying musicians enough to play their songs in fitness classes.

The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) on Monday won its case to have gyms pay $15 per class or $1 per class member to pay for the use of original music instead of the current fee of 96.8 cents per class – a whopping 1500 per cent mark up on the previous cost.

Owner of Planet Fitness Coffs Harbour Jason Laurence said it was “extremely disappointing”.

“The fitness industry is one of the few industries that actually put our hand in our pocket to pay to use music – we don’t download our songs, every CD is original.

“Initially it’s going to be a case of wait and see but in the long run I don’t see a way we can get around this – we’ll have to pay.”

Fitness Australia said the ruling would increase the average annual cost from $1510 to $23,400.

Mr Laurence said music in the gym was highly motivational and something that couldn’t be done away with, leaving gyms stuck between a rock and a hard place.

“We are looking at different ways to deal with this.

“It may be something that, as an industry, we can absorb but in the long run I don’t see how membership fees wouldn’t increase.”

The Copyright Tribunal ruling stated “amount currently being paid does not reflect this essential nature of music in classes”.

“The tribunal believes that it is appropriate that users of recordings in fitness classes should pay an amount that reflects the value of music to such classes.”

PPCA chief executive Stephen Peach said the judgment showed the previous fee structure had undervalued the importance of music to the fitness industry.

Fitness Australia is now considering whether there are grounds to appeal the decision.



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