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Topic: Do you have an Agent or Entertainment Laywer?

  1. #1

    Do you have an Agent or Entertainment Laywer?

    Just wondering if any of you have an agent or deal with an entertainment lawyer on a regular basis. (I know these are tow different types of services)

    I have a situation where a composition of mine is going to be played in a million dollar Christmas Display in Canada. The people (mall management) would also like to use the music for radio and TV spots. I was told by SOCAN that they do not collect royalties for these situations. Apparently in Canada a commerical under 60 seconds does not apply. We have not yet discussed a flat fee for the music. Should this be my option?

    This whole scenario has confused me. I thought that all radio and TV played generated royalties. Does anyone have an opinion on this? Should I consult an entertainment lawyer? Any insight would be very appreciated.

    All the very best,

    "Every time you play a wrong note God kills a kitten."

  2. #2

    Re: Do you have an Agent or Entertainment Laywer?

    Hi Darren,

    Different countries' PRO's have different reporting requirements, and unfortunately a lot of smaller countries don't sample or survey certain media. For example, if you score a show that airs on Discovery here in the U.S., you will get paid performance royalties via ASCAP or BMI for every single broadcast in the U.S. because Discovery in the U.S. is what's called a "census" survey: 24/7 broadcasts pay out performance royalties. But if that same show airs on Discovery in the UK (which is a random sampling model) it may not pay out any royalties at all unless it falls into the 1 week per quarter that gets sampled and paid out.

    ASCAP and BMI both have different rules about what they'll pay. For example, if you have music airing in a TV commercial on MSNBC and CNN, ASCAP will only pay you if they happen to random-sample the commercials from those networks and your commercial turns up in the random sample. BMI doesn't pay out on commercials that air on those channels at all. In much the same way, each foreign PRO has its own rules about what stations they monitor and what uses they will pay a performance royalty on. If SOCAN doesn't pay a royalty for commercials, unfortunately there's no way for ASCAP/BMI to collect money on your behalf. Your best bet would be to contact the International department at your PRO, or even call SOCAN member services directly to see what their rules are about commercials. Their website may contain the info as well - but you normally have to dig pretty deep to figure out what they will and won't pay a performance royalty on.

    Best of luck,


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