licensing notes from leisa korn for 2/14/2011

My favorite winter activity is my annual trip to Europe for meetings with the Megatrax subpublishers at Midem.  Every January, I pack my warmest sweaters, hats and gloves and head first to London where I am greeted warmly by our EMI subpublishers from around the world. I then travel to the warmer south to Cannes for Midem and meetings with the rest of the world. It is always fascinating and enlightening to hear what is taking place in production music outside the US.

For our composers, all the trends you’ve been concerned about in the US are happening all over the world and I will touch on a few: The concept of copyright is under attack with a constant cry for “music should be free.”  Of course the music industry is responding everywhere with a resounding “NO it should not!”  With that being said, take a good look at your international statements and you will see how significant foreign royalties can be! And be aware of this…if you choose to sign non-exclusive publishing deals and retitle, this income stream could come to a screeching halt as many subpublishers and foreign copyright societies do not accept music that is not exclusive.  Fingerprinting is alive and well all over the world and your royalties will not be paid if only one publisher cannot be identified and tied to your works.

There are other issues at the various performing rights societies.  Changes are being made in the way they determine payouts and royalties. You will see this most significantly with your JASAC royalties. But what also concerns us, is publishers who are ignoring the requirements of their local PROs and directly licensing their music to clients. And along with this of course, is licensing music with no synchronization fees at all. Megatrax and its subpublishers are working diligently to make sure this trend does not continue, but it is a difficult battle.

I couldn’t possibly list all the various ways that the foreign societies determine the types of performances they pay royalties on …some pay for commercials and promos and some do not. Trailers garner a performance fee in foreign theaters but as you know, not from the US. Some PROs take the attitude that commercials and promos are “incidental” while others such as SACEM take the position that they are the very lifeblood of a broadcaster and therefore worthy of payment. Check the websites of the foreign societies for more information on their fee structures.

A big thank you to all the Megatrax subpublishers who made that long walk down the Croissette from the Palais to meet with me during Midem. I hope you enjoyed our visit and exchange of information and ideas as much as I did. See you all next year!

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Megatrax Megatrax Production Music is the leading independent music source. Megatrax is dedicated to creating, licensing and delivering the finest quality production and custom music and best customer service in the industry. At Megatrax, our philosophy has always been to stay ahead of technology and to create exceptional quality music. Our commitment to excellence is evident in both the music we produce and the carefully selected catalogs that we represent. Our staff is dedicated to serving you in every way possible and our service team is focused on your specific production requirements. We have a list of products and services that are unmatched in the production music industry and are constantly evolving with your changing needs.

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