BMI and PRS

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Music1234 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #31152 Reply

    SLEEPTLKER
    Participant

    I’ve been with BMI for a few years and I’ve started branching out into writing for UK libraries. I’ve gotten tracks with a few different music libraries who have registered my tracks through PRS. Unfortunately these tracks haven’t shown up in my Works Catalog. BMI hasn’t been too helpful and PRS has told me they can’t really deal with me because I’m signed up through BMI worldwide.

    Have any American writers with BMI dealt with something similar? Do I need to sign up with PRS? Is there someone I’m not getting through to with BMI?

    I appreciate all the insight and help this site/community have provided me.

    #31153 Reply

    Kubed
    Participant

    I have some tracks with UK libraries that registered my tracks through PRS but haven’t shown up in my BMI Works Catalog too. Still,i got some placements (and payments from BMI) for some of these tracks.I’m not in US but i don’t think it matters regarding this issue.

    #31154 Reply

    SLEEPTLKER
    Participant

    Did you sign up for PRS while still being with BMI?

    #31155 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    It’s interesting how many publishers do not have their knowledge base in order when it comes to dealing with foreign writers. I am dealing with a Canadian publisher who registered all titles at SOCAN, but I informed them that all of my 2016 and 2017 releases (on their site for their TV partners) have not been registered at BMI. It turns out that they do not even have a BMI publishing entity set up.

    They also sub contracted the registration services. It’s my understanding that we only get paid on registered titles. Needless to say I am quite disappointed but this company is moving to get the tracks registered. I just can only worry how many TV placements may have been missed or royalties held back because titles on cue sheets were not registered at BMI.

    Canadian and UK Publishers nowadays should not get into this business unless they know how to work on a world wide playing field. They certainly should know what they are doing if they represent USA writers working with USA PRO’s and ideally have publishing entities set up at all 3 to collect faster.

    #31157 Reply

    Kubed
    Participant

    @sleeptlker No,i didn’t sign up for PRS. Joining 2 PRO’s sound a bit confusing to me and i’m not sure it’s a good idea.

    #31156 Reply

    Kiwi

    I’ve been round the bend with this… I’m a US writer with several UK libraries. The normal course of events is for the US sub-publisher to register the tracks with BMI after they’ve been registered by the UK library with PRS. After lengthy periods of not seeing registrations show up in my BMI account I had a conversation with my BMI contact and he said that the BMI registration would be necessary for my to get paid performance royalties. The UK library owners in question assured me that the tracks would eventually be registered but that it really didn’t matter because the PRS registration would suffice. Of course this conflicted with what my BMI contact had told me. So, I had another conversation with him and after coming at it from different angles he finally said something to the effect of “Well, yeah, the PRS registrations will probably trigger a registration in your account if the track isn’t already registered but you really ought to get the US sub-publisher to register it.” (I can’t remember his exact words)

    My take away from all this is that BMI people are in a position where they have to tell you to register your tracks “the right way” but that the reality is that the reciprocal agreement will probably take care of it if there’s no US sub-pub or the tracks are slow to get registered. That’s the impression I get from the UK library owners who assure me that their US writers are being taken care of.

    I’ve been getting paid performance royalties from UK library tracks for a while. It was only the last couple of years that I’ve seen registration problems and, ironically, most of those were with large US sub-pubs who are just slow. I do have a few tracks with a UK library that is currently without a US sub-pub so I’m keeping an eye on this and am very interested in any other comments here.

    #31165 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    The moment a publisher says “Everything will be ok even if your titles are not registered” is the exact moment you should be VERY CONCERNED and dial up the pressure for them to get the titles registered at BMI or threaten to pull the catalog. These people are full of sheet! It always is much cleaner, more clear, and more responsible when the titles are registered with the Writers PRO. Publishers train of thinking is “cool…we have these tunes, WE registered them at OUR pro, so we are set. The writer…hmmm…well gee that is some confusing work for us to get those registered at BMI and aside from that we don’t collect from BMI so what do we care?”

    I really believe that. Personally next week I will dial up the pressure to 10/ very high for the Canadian/ SOCAN publisher to make sure my 2016 and 2017 releases are registered at BMI just as the 2014 and 2015 cues were registered. I will also tell them to look for missing royalty payments. Sorry, but I am not convinced that “I will be paid anyway even if the cues are not registered.”

    Folks, this is a publishers job and is exactly why they are taking 50% of the pie for TV syncs. Additionally, we want to see what titles are getting used on statements. If titles are not registered but royalties flow in as ” UK TV PROGRAM CUES” what good does that do any of us? Publishers need to register our cues or go into another business. It’s just laziness and carelessness.

    #31167 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    I didn’t even know there were publishers that didn’t have BMI, ASCAP and SESAC publishing companies in the US.

    #31170 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    @LA Writer we’re all here comparing notes for situations where we are USA writers but supplying cues to a foreign library in Canada or Europe. Yes typically a PMA library would publish and register our cues, then distribute to various territories (UK, France, Japan, Australia, Brazil and so on) in a sub publishing context. When we do business direct with companies in Canada and UK (As first original publisher of titles) or really anywhere else outside the USA, We really need to keep our eyes on registrations.

    Otherwise, we probably are more protected just using library services right here in the USA where they register, then sub publish overseas. For me, I am just surprised that a neighboring company in Canada would not be wise to set up publishing entities at all 3 American PRO’s in addition to SOCAN. For now the excuse is that their “service” they sub contract called fast track.

    “Your cues are registered at SOCAN, which has reciprocal agreements with nearly every P.R.O. in the world. As such, you should not miss out on payments (unless BMI for some reason is not keeping up with their end of the reciprocal agreement.) I’m working to find out why your cues weren’t ingested yet at BMI. They were registered using a different system than the previous ones. With this different system (FAST TRACK), BMI may be waiting to ingest until there are associated payments to send you. I’m also confirming that your untitled A/V cues are being paid to you properly and nothing is missing. I’ll have an answer for you very soon.”
    Moral of the story:
    It’s important that we not stay asleep at the wheel with the various publishers we deal with. We need to insist on timely registrations, perhaps even put that in the contracts, and then look at our PRO accounts regularly to make sure the works are registered.

    In 2018 moving forward, I am not a fan of companies registering titles under their silly “code like” systems. I have dozens retitled like this: CCAK_500023_CUE
    This tells me nothing on a statement. I can not put the title to the tune. Moving forward, I will try to avoid these scenarios with new tracks.

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