BMI Missing Royalty Correction?

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  • #29622 Reply

    I’m looking for advice on getting royalty corrections through BMI.

    I’m pretty sure I have missing royalties. The show is Wives With Knives on Investigation Discovery. It first appeared as a cue entry in my BMI catalog, which disappeared once the library officially registered the cue. I got paid a small royalty for it Q1 2017 when the show first aired.

    But it wasn’t on my Q2, and today is not on my Q3 statement either. It seems like there should still be royalties coming from replays, from international, and from Hulu, Amazon, etc.

    I emailed my question to the correct BMI email address. Waited 6 weeks, no response to my email, or my follow-up email, so I called BMI. They looked up my catalog right then and decided, since the title of my cue was not in my statement (yes that looked odd), that the original royalty must have been an error made in my favor.

    I have since confirmed that I actually did have a cue in that show, so what’s happening to the royalties now? Should I try going back through BMI, or would it be better to pursue this through the library?

    It’s likely a small amount of money, but royalties add up, and I hate to lose any.

    Thanks for any advice!

    #29626 Reply
    Happy Ears

    Get a copy of the show and find the spot where your music is used as proof. Then find official listings of airings. Discovery should have it listed somewhere. FInd the airings listing which you haven’t gotten paid for and include screenshot proof that the show is on Hulu and Netflix
    Present that to BMI and try to argue for correction,
    Think like a lawyer presenting a case.
    But personally, I wouldn’t bother because of the time involved.

    #29627 Reply
    Happy Ears

    I would not bother the library with this but that’s just my 2 cent

    #29631 Reply

    I view these things as the cost of doing business in a flawed work environment. When things are all watermarked, you’ll stand a better chance of getting your rightful royalties — but, you’ll no doubt lose payments that were wrongly credited to you that will then be headed back to their rightful owners. 🙂

    I view it as luck of the draw. Win some (that you didn’t deserve to), and loose some (that you should have won.)

    One thing is for sure. If you get bogged down and discouraged because of these things, you’ll end up making less than if you had forged ahead and been positive. Good luck. I know it’s discouraging. I know that I’ve missed out on thousands of placements over my career, and had music stolen (caught a few of them) and been taken advantage of more times than I can count.

    But I leave it behind and move forward, and I’m making a living at least. Best of luck with it. But I agree with Happy Ears. Move on, make more music.

    #29632 Reply
    Art Munson

    FInd the airings listing which you haven’t gotten paid for and include screenshot proof that the show is on Hulu and Netflix

    I actually did this for a show detected on Tunesat where BMI claimed my name wasn’t on the cue sheet. Found it on Netflix, gave them the timings and ultimately got paid for all performances.

    #29644 Reply

    Great advice from all responses!

    If I decide to pursue this, it doesn’t sound too hard because I already have all that information, except “find the airings listing” … I did some searches and can’t find anything like that publicly available on the internet, including the Discovery / ID websites, IMDB, etc. Does anyone know how to find the airings listing, do you have to contact the network?

    #29720 Reply

    Is there some trick to finding ” official listings of airings …” ?

    So far, I haven’t found anything like this on the web.


    #29907 Reply

    So, again, if you have used airing listings to follow up on cues, where did you find your airing listings?

    Plus, a related question … it seems a lot of people use Tunesat to find undetected placements. If Tunesat finds something, then what? Do you bother referring it to your PRO? Will a PRO follow-up using just Tunesat results?

    PS. I’ve not used Tunesat yet

    Thanks again

    #29908 Reply
    Happy Ears

    Here are some suggestions:

    Google “how to find TV airing” and many options will appear. If not call Discovery and ask them. “Google” in creative ways, that’s your best tool. Perhaps look for local stations who air the program and see if they have posted their program schedules somewhere maybe on their websites etc.
    ex DId u check TV guide already? Can you find an old TV guide where it is listed or do they show legacy airings,?

    There is no set way of doing this, just creative researching.

    #29916 Reply

    Thanks Happy Ears, yep I’ve been trying creative searches, just thought I might be missing some better source.

    There are so many Tunesat users I was thinking many of them must be following up on missing royalties

    It appears TV Guide will only search in the future, up to 14 days, which could be helpful for some shows

    I’m trying not to spend a huge amount of time on this, it’s more of a learning experience to see how others do follow-ups, if at all

    BMI hasn’t been much help but I can understand how they must get tons of requests like this and might not have the staff to deal with it all, since so much of it seems to be manual.

    I would think a lot of this type of tracking should be automated, but as I’m learning, it looks like much of it is still manual, or in systems that don’t talk to each other. Ideally, it seems like once a show and cue sheet has been input into “a system” the first time, then all future airings of that show should trigger entries into downstream systems that feed information to the PROS, to IMDB, etc, etc… Sure it’s large, complicated and tons of data. But that’s what computers do : )

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