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billythrilly7th
02-28-2007, 04:22 AM
Can someone please explain what these organizations do and why you must belong to them.

And do you need to belong to both or just one?

Thank you.

JRH
02-28-2007, 07:57 AM
Hi Billy,

ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are Performance Rights Organization that all perform a similar task but in slightly different ways. (SOCAN is a Performance Rights Organization for Canada). Essentially, they all perform the duty of collecting royalties for non-dramatic performances of intellectual property. In simpler terms, they collect the income from radio stations, TV stations, programming companies, Internet marketers and any other entity where music and related intellectual property is used. These royalties are then, in turn, paid to the various publishers and authors associated with a particular recording or performance.

Artists depend on these performance rights organizations to do the hunting and collecting for them—a small price to pay for a piece of a much, much bigger pie and are a necessary and helpful tool for musicians and publishers. The toughest decision is choosing which ONE you want to align yourself with.

Further information can be found by checking out the following BBB article at: http://www.bbb.org/Alerts/article.asp?ID=451

Hope this helps.

Jim Hoye (JRH)

billythrilly7th
03-01-2007, 02:48 AM
It does help. Thanks.

So, most songwriters will choose either BMI or ASCAP and not belong to both, correct?

JRH
03-01-2007, 06:52 AM
Correct, although not all Publishing houses offer both options, but if they do, the songwriter has to make a choice.

The reason is simple. These organizations collect the monies due to the copyright holder, (usually, by contract, shared by the Publisher and the Songwriter), and belonging to more than one of the groups would constitute double dipping, (getting paid twice for the same song).

I do believe that the choice can be changed over time if the Publisher/Songwriter becomes disenchanted with their chosen PRO or SESAC chooses THEM as someone they would want to represent, (and that would be worth considering because they have the best reputation among the PROS).

Hope this helps,

JRH