Another Royalty Ripoff!

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  • #34203 Reply
    Renzi
    Participant

    Admittedly I didn’t read all the replies to arts situation as posted here, but wouldn’t the library have something to say about this situation? That is aren’t they sharing in the revenue stream? Sorry if I’m overstepping bounds here but I’m new with this site, And music library’s.

    #34204 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    but wouldn’t the library have something to say about this situation?

    Not really, they would be following the same path I am. This library doesn’t even have a Numerator/Competitrack account which is a must to effectively collect your royalties from BMI. I have have collected royalties from many commercials using Competitrack Ad Codes (A requirement with BMI).

    #34205 Reply
    Music1234
    Participant

    Art, I do think you will be paid if you keep the pressure on high. My goodness, the spot has aired 8500 times in just one month. That is a massive media buy, so far, and some big money is being spent promoting single care. This can be a spot that hit’s 15,000 air dates in Q1, 2020 alone.

    Martin Sheen probably does not work on this unless he’s getting big bucks.

    You’ll get paid. Just keep sending BMI the evidence you have. It may end up in Numerator’s database. Maybe bribe Numerator to get it in there? LOL!

    #34206 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    You’ll get paid. Just keep sending BMI the evidence you have. It may end up in Numerator’s database. Maybe bribe Numerator to get it in there? LOL!

    Thanks Music1234 I will keep pushing away.

    Talked to Chris at Tunesat and he suggested a royalty recovery service which I am already doing with ManageAdMusic. Will keep the pressure up!

    #34212 Reply
    jdt9517
    Participant

    @chuckdallas- I wouldn’t mind looking this over from a legal perspective. I do believe that we’d have to have registered copyrights to have clout. If I remember right, the copyright needs to be registered within 90 days after the violation. I will look into this a little more. Maybe Art can create a sidebar for this discussion.

    #34213 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    I wouldn’t mind looking this over from a legal perspective. I do believe that we’d have to have registered copyrights to have clout. If I remember right, the copyright needs to be registered within 90 days after the violation. I will look into this a little more. Maybe Art can create a sidebar for this discussion.

    I just submitted to copyright office so should be good there. If you want to start a separate discussion jdt9517 just start a new topic.

    Thank you for your interest!

    #34214 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Hi Art and jdt9517,
    Timing of registration is critical. The 90-day window is limited. From the Copyright Office Circular 1: https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf

    A copyright owner may be entitled to claim statutory damages and attorneys’ fees in an infringement lawsuit if the work was registered before the infringement began or within three months after the first publication of that work.

    In order to have potential access to statutory damages and legal fees you would have had to register the copyright before the alleged infringement, which you did not in this case. In the alternative, you would have had to register the copyright within three months of publication, which would be within three months of the date that you first published the track by offering it for sale or license to the public.

    Additionally, in a recent court case, Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com , SCOTUS unanimously held that a copyright registration must have “received final action” from the Copyright Office before a claimant can bring a copyright lawsuit. In other words, under this holding, you cannot initiate a lawsuit based on having filed a registration. The work must be registered.

    #34215 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Timing of registration is critical. The 90-day window is limited.

    Thanks MichaelL. At this point I’m trying to cover all bases and can’t hurt.

    #34217 Reply
    jdt9517
    Participant

    @Michaell- Thanks for the insight about the Fourth Estate case. Like you, I thought that taking longer than 90 days to register would bar the suit. However, the Supreme Court seems to question that such a suit is barred:

    Fourth Estate raises the specter that a copyright owner may lose the ability to enforce her rights if the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations runs out before the Copyright Office acts on her application for registration. Brief for Petitioner 41. Fourth Estate’s fear is overstated, as the average processing time for registration applications is currently seven months, leaving ample time to sue after the Register’s decision, even for infringement that began before submission of an application.

    If the Supremes think that a claimant can sue for a pre-application infringement after a seven month wait for the registration, there must be some kind of tolling of the ninety day period. Am I missing something there?

    Maybe registration “relates back” to the date of application?

    #34221 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Hi @jdt9517,
    We’re giving everyone a glimpse at lawyers’ thought process! I agree that a suit may not be time barred. What I am addressing is whether litigation would be economically practical, given the timing of the registration.

    Many composers do not bother to register works. They just upload to libraries as soon as the track is complete. If infringement occurs more than 90 days after publication and the work has not been registered that claimant most likely loses access to statutory damages and legal fees. Of course, they can still sue for actual damages, the infringer’s profits and an injunction to stop the infringer’s activity. In a case like this, even with thousands of broadcast performances, it could easily cost more to litigate than would be recovered.

    Given that the track was legitimately licensed, and that BMI is not infringing on Art’s work, it seems the issue is a failure of BMI to perform its obligations to Art under his writer agreement. Thus, there is a potential breach of contract claim. Without looking at BMI’s writer agreement, I would be very surprised if there are not choice of forum/venue clauses that might limit any action to arbitration.

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