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(UPDATED) PRS For Music has released its overall numbers for 2013. The U.K. Performing Rights Organization increased their annual revenue by collecting £596 million in 2013 to distribute to its collective estimated 100,000 members. Public performance royalties were the highest for the PRO with a total of £162.3 million. The majority of this was from U.K. television and radio broadcasts. A new law was also passed this week within the U.K. Government to ensure that U.K. collection societies comply with a regulated “Codes of Practice” when negotiating performance licenses with businesses. MORE: Diane Warren received International Music Industry Person of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2014 at hypebot
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Doug Morris will receive the Hitmaker Award from The Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame. Morris began his career in music in the mid 1960’s as a songwriter and producer for the publisher Robert Mellin and Laurie Records. During this time he wrote hits for The Chiffon and Brownsville Station. Later, in the 1970’s Morris moved to the business side of the industry and started the label Big Tree Records which was eventually acquired by Atlantic Records. Following this, he served executive roles at Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment. Morris was also the founder and former chairman... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at hypebot
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Martin Bandier, CEO of Sony/ATV has written a public letter of complaint to the Academy of Motion Pictures. After the controversial elimination of the song “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the nominations for Best Original Song, the Academy failed to replace the song with the next runner up. This was due to an apparent rulein the Oscar rulebook that says a nominated song that is disqualified will not be replaced. In Bandier's letter, he calls for a formal petition to change the rule while also explaining how important a role music has played in the film industry over the years.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2014 at hypebot
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The Songwriter Equity Act was introduced to Congress by Representative Douglas Collins on Tuesday, February 25th. The purpose of the bill is to update Section 114 and 115 of the Copyright Act that was written in 1909. This would allow songwriters, composers and publishers to receive fair compensation for their works in today's market place. An estimated two-thirds of a songwriter’s income today is heavily regulated by copyright law and consent decrees. This bill will help today’s songwriters and publishers get their fair share of mechanical and performance royalties. ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and NMPA have all publicly praised this new... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2014 at hypebot
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This year’s Super Bowl featured more current hits in commercials than any Super Bowl in recent history. Advertising executives at top music publishers credit their label partners’ role in making more master recordings available this year. The use of newer music also meant higher synch revenue for artists, many of whom signed one-year broadcast-plus-online deals and charged as much as low-six figures apiece for both publishing and master fees. Downtown Music Publishing is opening a Nashville office and has hired industry veteran Steven Markland as Vice President of A&R to help launch. Led by Founder/President Justin Kalifowitz, New York City... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2014 at hypebot
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BMI publishers are exploring their options following last December's rate court ruling stating publishers that withdrew their catalog solely for digital licensing on Jan. 1, 2013 are no longer part of any licensing deals that expire as of Jan. 1 2014. They are faced with two options: stay with BMI and hope the DOJ is willing to amend its consent decree or negotiate voluntary licenses at a market rate with music services. While the first option isn't a solution to below-market royalty rates, the second option will drastically change the face of music licensing, which has traditionally been done via... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2014 at hypebot
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BMI prevailed over Pandora in a rate court ruling stating that the Internet radio service’s blanket license does not include compositions controlled by publishers that have withdrawn digital rights from BMI. In other words, unless Pandora removes songs from massive publishers including UMPG, BMG and Kobalt or negotiates direct deals by January 1, it will be in copyright violation. This BMI/Pandora ruling has the exact opposite consequences of September’s ASCAP/Pandora ruling. The DOJ’s Ethan Glass had said prior to the BMI rate court’s conclusion that if the two rulings applied different sets of rules to each PRO, the competitive imbalance... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2013 at hypebot
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Nominations for the 56th Grammy Nominations were announced on Sunday. Nominees for Song of the Year include Just Give Me A Reason, Locked Out Of Heaven, Roar, Royals and Same Love. You can find the songwriters and publishers nominated for their respective songs here. Winners of this year's American Country Awards were announced Tuesday Night. Songwriters Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Brad Warren and Brett Warren took home Song of the Year honors for Highway Don’t Care. You can find the full list of winners here. Nominations for the 2014 Golden Globes Awards were announced Thursday morning. The nominees for Best... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2013 at hypebot
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The NMPA has agreed to temporarily shelve its takedown actions toward popular lyric annotation site Rap Genius. Last week, the NMPA sent take-down notices to Rap Genius and 49 other unlicensed lyric sites. However, in light of the site’s announcement of a licensing arrangement with Sony/ATV, both sides have agreed to meet for a productive and mutually beneficial agreement, rather than taking legal action. MORE: Sony’s Playstation 4, which hit American and Canadian stores last Friday, sold over 1 million consoles in 24 hours. Each PS4 has the capability to let gamers replace a game’s music with their own music... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2013 at hypebot
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Nashville celebrated country music this week with four major awards shows - the CMA, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC awards. SESAC’s Nashville Music Awards honored Keifer Thompson as Songwriter of the Year, Jesse Rice’s “Cruise” as Song of the Year, and Magic Mustang Music as Publisher of the Year. A full list of the night’s winners can be found here. MORE: ASCAP’s 51st Annual Country Awards honored Josh Kear as Songwriter of the Year, both Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins’ “Drunk On You” and Neil Thrasher’s “How Country Feels” as Songs of the Year, and Warner/Chappell as Publisher of the Year.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2013 at hypebot
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Google’s YouTube is expected to launch a freemium, on-demand music streaming service before the year’s end. Sources report the service, which is designed with mobile usage in mind, will be similar to Spotify, but with video. Google already acquired most of the licenses required to launch the service in preparation for its Google Play Music All Access launch earlier this year. YouTube’s new streaming service is expected to launch before Beats Music, which may not launch until early 2014. STIM, Sweden’s PRO, has inked a deal with YouTube to pay Swedish artists, songwriters and rightsholders a percentage of ad revenue... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2013 at hypebot
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is currently reviewing APRA’s virtual monopoly status in the field of performing rights acquisition and licensing. For APRA to continue its current statutory protection from court action under the competition provisions set forth in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the ACCC must determine that APRA’s current arrangement contributes more to public benefit than public detriment. In order to satisfy the public benefit test, the ACCC has decided APRA must make improvements and add transparency to its dispute resolution process, licensing schemes and ‘license back’ and ‘opt out’ facilities for direct licensing arrangements.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2013 at hypebot
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BMI has released their latest fiscal report, which includes record-high revenue figures for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013. Its $944 million in revenue and $814 million in royalty distributions are up 5% and 9%, respectively, from the previous year. BMI credits much of its positive growth to a 65% increase in new media revenues coming from Netflix, Hulu and others. International revenues constituted $297 million, over 30% of its total revenue. - More Music Publishing News: Apple’s iTunes Radio managed to reach 11 million users in less than one week. Apple’s big first step toward Pandora’s 72 million... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2013 at hypebot
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Michael Jackson's back catalog is moving from Warner/Chappell Music to Sony/ATV. Jackson's Mijac Music catalog, which also includes some of funk and soul's biggest hits, will now be under worldwide administration of the company he famously founded and his estate still co-owns. MORE: After last week's cease-and-desist by Silversun Pickups to Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is settling with songwriters of Eye Of The Tiger for using their hit during campaign rallies. Producers Marco Rodriquez and Andrews Correa have appeared in a court claiming Young Money, founded by Lil Wayne, has refused to pay mechanical royalties and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2012 at hypebot
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Paul McCartney - and his holding company MPL Communications - is walking away from EMI Music Publishing. This week, Sir McCartney announced that Kobalt will henceforth handle administration and licensing of MPL Communications' catalog outside the US, Britain, and Ireland. As Universal looks at ways to push through its purchase of EMI, there's talk that iconic record label Parlophone - home to The Beatles and Coldplay - could be put on the table for sale. Bertelsmann AG - who have a joint venture for BMG Rights Management - has emerged as a potential suitor. Controversial UK rocker Pete Doherty has... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2012 at hypebot
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Music publisher BMG has removed from YouTube a Mitt Romney campaign advertisement citing copyright infringement - the video features President Obama singing Let's Stay Together, a song by Al Green controlled by BMG. Despite the takedown, duplicate versions of the ad have surfaced on YouTube. MORE: The PRS for Music - the UK's equivalent to Performing Rights Organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC - has responded to claims about incorrect accounting of royalties. A judge in Virginia has awarded SESAC $276,000 after a classic rock station denied playing songs in SESAC's repertoire. The Harry Fox Agency and lyrics search... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2012 at hypebot
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The European Union is planning to introduce law to modernize the 250 collection societies on the continent to help the digital music industry. Sounds good on paper, but not everyone is pleased: artists such as Pink Floyd's Nick Mason and Radiohead's Ed O'Brien are "deeply disappointed by [the European Commission's] choice to defend the interests of a minority of managers and stakeholders". As part of a review on 'fair dealing', the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that previews of online streams - such as those in the iTunes Store - will no longer generate royalties for songwriters and publishers.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2012 at hypebot
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In the wake of last year's historic agreement between the NMPA and YouTube, the streaming video giant has now reached terms with major publishers to further monetize user-generated content featuring songs represented by those publishers. In theory, music by artists like Iggy Pop (BMG Rights Management) could now be available for hobby videographers to include in their works without infringement concerns. MORE: Clear Channel has signed a deal with Big Machine Label Group - home of Taylor Swift - to pay artist royalties (on the masters side) from terrestrial radio for the first time. Unlike publishers who collect performance royalties... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2012 at hypebot
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Cash Money Records and Young Money Entertainment - home to Lil Wayne - has settled out-of-court with producer David Kirkwood for an undisclosed amount following a suit relating to royalties from Wayne's 2008 track Love Me or Hate Me. MORE: Allan Caswell, an Australian singer-songwriter, is suing his own music publisher for failing to collect royalties from a song he believes to be in copyright violation. Caswell alleges country band Alabama lifted his original composition for TV show Prisoner with their 1982 hit Christmas In Dixie. Convicted sex offender Gary Glitter is set for a royalty windfall after the BBC... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2012 at hypebot
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In a landmark ruling, former lead singer of the Village People, Victor Willis, has won the right to reacquire and administer works such as Y.M.C.A. Willis invoked a provision of copyright law called “termination rights, which allow songwriters to reclaim signed-away copyrights after 35 years. MORE: EMI Music Publishing could likewise lose its right to The Pink Panther Theme, as the iconic song's publishing company, Northridge Music Inc. filed a claim seeking more than $1.35 million in unpaid "net profits". With the music industry still mourning Adam 'MCA' Yauch, the Beastie Boys have been hit with a lawsuit for copyright... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2012 at hypebot
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After his first US #1 with Somebody That I Used To Know, Australian artist Gotye leads the nominations for APRA Song Of The Year. New Zealand chanteuse Kimbra, who also features on the smash hit, this week topped the International Songwriting Competition with her song Cameo Love. MORE: The record industry is back on the war front with radio broadcasters. Unlike music publishers, record labels are paid no performance right from plays on terrestrial radio. That is, songwriters get paid - artists do not. In Brazil, 15 directors of local Performance Rights Organizations have been indicted for fraud. As part... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2012 at hypebot
Not at all, Jay! Thanks for the questions. HFA is a liaison between record labels and third parties that release copyrighted material from publishers. If your material was not being released commercially by a label or another third party – there would be no need for HFA to step in and collect mechanicals. For example, if you were to self-release an album of your original songs, as your own record label, you would have to pay mechanical license fees to your publishing company (or dba) to reproduce those songs in album form. In theory, you’d be paying yourself. HFA wouldn’t been involved. HFA will not deny your royalties, however they only work with and represent publishers. So, if you have a track on an album that was commercially released – and you'd like to handle collection yourself - we’d highly recommend creating a publishing company (or dba) and affiliating with HFA so you can collect those royalties. As an OP, Songtrust (and all publishing companies for that matter) are entitled to claim and collect the publisher’s share on behalf of their writers. This capacity doesn’t automatically grant the publisher the right hold on to that money or keep it. The true legality of ownership in publishing comes down to the agreements between the publishers and individual writers. In all of Songtrust’s agreements, we pay 100% of all performance and mechanical royalties that are collected back to the songwriters and/or their individual publishing companies. Ultimately, Songtrust has been built to make life easier for songwriters. We're cutting down on the time and effort required to collect royalties with our one-stop service.
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Harry Fox only works with publishing companies. Songwriters cannot affiliate with HFA unless it's through a publishing company or dba. That said, to affiliate with HFA, your publishing company must have had at least one song commercially released by a third party within the last twelve months. For many independent songwriters - such as Daniel Snyder - they do not meet these requirements. Songtrust acts as a publishing administrator for independent songwriters, giving them the ability to register all their songs with HFA.
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No matter how diligent you are, as a d.i.y. artist some things are going to fall through the cracks. Others seem nearly impossible. After all, it's only been a couple of years that many areas of the music industry have even begun to become more d.y.i friendly. Such was the case for indie songwriter Daniel Snyder. Snyder recently won the Songtrust / Indaba Songwriter Development Day opportunity with his original track "Ain't That Beautiful" featuring Beaux Saunders. The prize included flights to NYC, meetings with industry experts - Justin Kalifowitz (Co-Founder, Songtrust), J.J. Rosen (CEO, Indaba Music), Jeremy Yohai (Director... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2012 at hypebot
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Guest post by Ryan Brodhead, Manager of Performance Rights Administration for Songtrust, where he oversees song registration and royalty collection. Each April at Songtrust, we anticipate reviewing our writers' royalty statements - not only to see where the income is coming from, but how much and in what ratio to other sources. In speaking to many songwriters, artists and bands, I've come to realize that there is quite a disconnect found in their expected royalties as opposed to their actual royalties. Here are four great sources - based exclusively on royalty statements from Songtrust's clientele - that you may not... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2012 at hypebot