Cue Sheet Success Stories

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  • #15183 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    That’s because they have to go back and search for, and confirm the performances / airings. Again… cue sheets are only half the battle. Without corresponding performance data, they are meaningless.

    But what you do find, if you can get your hands on the cue sheets, is that you have been underpaid or your co-writer did not get paid. Cue sheets are not entirely meaningless.

    #15184 Reply
    Musicmatters
    Participant

    This kind of administrative work comes difficult for a musician and I guess many folks would prefer to not deal with it. Someone who knows the ropes should offer this as a service in return for a percentage. Might be a good side business. Could any of the seniors enlighten us as to how much they have claimed and gotten back from these proceedings and how much time they have put into it. Many thanks.

    #15185 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Cue sheets are not entirely meaningless.

    Meaningless with respect to that fact the PROS will not pay anything based upon information from cue sheets alone. For that, they rely upon their own information.

    #15186 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Someone who knows the ropes should offer this as a service in return for a percentage.

    That is what publishers do. They administer your publishing, which includes chasing paper.

    #15187 Reply
    dCsoulplusmind
    Participant

    @Art, I’m going through a similar situation. How long has it been for you? BMI was able to put me in touch with someone at the production company but it’s been over a year and still no cue sheets filed. If I’m not mistaken, even if cue sheets were turned in now, I wouldn’t get paid because it’s past the threshold that BMI would pay out for. Or am I mistaken?

    #15189 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Just to shed a little light on the PRO’s perspective, an ASCAP board member once said to me “anybody can fill out a cue sheet.”

    Then he continued, “you might be honest, but there are a lot of people who aren’t. So, we rely on our survey.”

    The bottom-line of the discussion was that cue sheets are viewed as vulnerable to fraud and abuse. So,they are subject to verification by the survey.

    Given the number of mistakes on the filing end, and the number of missed performances on the PRO’s side, there’s little doubt that money falls through the cracks.

    #15190 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    If I’m not mistaken, even if cue sheets were turned in now, I wouldn’t get paid because it’s past the threshold that BMI would pay out for.

    I believe once you open a case your good.

    #15191 Reply
    More Advice
    Guest

    The good thing about cue sheets is that at least they show information and progress being made for writers. In fact, ASCAP shows all of them in our on line accounts. BMI does not, nor does SESAC. How can you guage your success by just waiting for that next statement to arrive? I like seeing the cue sheet count go up each week. It shows that one’s writing efforts pays dividends.

    BMI writers need to ask that BMI display cue sheets in the on line accounts of writers. I personally have not noticed a difference in royalties between ASCAP and BMI when I compare notes with my co-writer.

    Mistakes will get made, but I’d like to hope that 97% of the info is accurate. I just don’t see a better solution than a human being with a stop watch timing every cue after the show is edited and entering the data as to who the writer and publishers are.

    #15192 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    I just don’t see a better solution than a human being with a stop watch timing every cue after the show is edited and entering the data as to who the writer and publishers are.

    The editors on my shows take the timings of the cues from the smpte time code embedded in the edit.

    I haven’t seen, or used, a stop watch in 25 years. 🙂

    In fact Network editors have the catalogs of exclusives, like Megatrax, in their system, searchable with Soundminer software, and cue sheets are generated electronically with Rapid Cue software, which is used by both ASCAP and BMI.

    #15202 Reply
    yzzman1
    Participant

    This is interesting. All of the replies have great feedback in them. However, the question I posed referred to cue sheet “success” stories – situations in which you were “successful” in getting cue sheets filed when they were not filed correctly, on time, etc……and how you went about it. Perhaps the lack of replies indicating success stories on this subject suggests one or more of the following? (based on feedback and other things I’ve read on MLR)

    1. Most of the time it’s a lost cause?
    2. It can be done but it’s too much of a hassle and most composers don’t bother?
    3. Many composers are unaware of many uses of their music and the appearance of the cue sheet/PRO payment is the only way they know their music is being used?
    4. Because certain PRO’s use their own surveys as an equal companion to cue sheets (in order to be paid), composers often feel they don’t get paid so much of the time that they feel defeated before they start hunting down cue sheets – and don’t try because of that?
    5. Payment is often so little that composers sometimes feel it is not worth the trouble? (Although small payments can add up a lot over time)

    Just some thoughts. It seems this is a true uphill battle for one or more reasons.

    For me personally, I have had success hunting down one cue sheet recently…..after TuneSat’s detection and having the deadline pass for my PRO…..I used the library at an intermediary with the production company. The royalty it paid was a grand total of about $14.00. And although the amount was so small – it just felt right to get paid something in the end.

    Granted I’m just starting to get more frequent tv placements now, and I can see where consistently dealing with this could get quite daunting. But it seems if we don’t fight the battle – no one else is going to fight it for us…..not the PRO’s, not the libraries, not music supervisors, not production companies.

    However, I can see where down the road if I continue to keep getting tv placements (very thankful if I could be so lucky to continue doing so)…..the battle could get quite tiresome and take away greatly from the music making. How I feel now may not be how I feel down the road?

    Thanks for everyone’s replies. I really enjoy reading other’s experience.

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