Home › Forums › Commentary › Discovery going way of Scripps?
- This topic has 37 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 4 months ago by Spiker.
It’s really funny: i got an email from a well known music library (SK), saying we have to stick together and fight Discovery’s plans for cutting composers’ income by 90%.
The same library supplies music gratis to Travel Channel,Food Network and several other networks that don’t pay royalties to composers. The library also doesn’t share money with artists from these blanket music deals.
I’ve asked them a couple years ago why do they sign deals with such networks and they told me “if you’re lucky and your Travel Channel placements go international, you might see some royalties!”.
Well, i guess i was unlucky so far but SK kept making money from my music placed in Travel Channel shows.
So,why do SK care about Discovery’s plans if they already support this practice?boinkeee2000Participant
ironically, they just sent a brief for a discovery id show…wonder how many went for it…Mark_PetrieParticipant
I just finished writing this on a FB post:
It seems like the composers in this article, and in other places on line, have been painting this as “young composers, please don’t sign away your royalties with this terrible deal Discovery is offering.”
When maybe what we should be really worried about is:
LIBRARIES DOING BLANKET DIRECT LICENSING DEALS…
Firstly, Discovery could only make a deal like this with a US based composer (most non-US PROs don’t allow for direct licensing, bypassing the PRO). So the pool is already small – that is, adequately skilled US based composers who are willing to give up their royalties. Anyone that’s written for TV and received royalties for it, knows not to do this.
But already we have many libraries signing direct licensing deals with broadcasters – channels like Fox News, CNN, ESPN, HGTV… these all demand the libraries sign direct deals, and the blanket license fees from those deals RARELY get shared with composers.
Sadly, I can easily imagine two or three of the big libraries swooping in to offer Discovery their catalogs, or even custom made catalogs, to cover all their needs.MichaelLParticipant
So,why do SK care about Discovery’s plans if they already support this practice?
It would seem that any library offering gratis deals could end up losing as much money as composers. One would hope that JP, SK, and others are fighting this along with composers.Paul BiondiGuest
So,why do SK care about Discovery’s plans if they already support this practice?
Checking a few royalty statements – I see plenty of Discover Shows that pay writer’s PRO and aren’t gratis. Wouldn’t SK, JP, etc need to have all/most of their composers agree to cease receiving writer’s royalties for Discovery going forward (and possibly retro)?Mark_PetrieParticipant
Major libraries have supplied their entire catalogs to networks like Scripps’ channels, OWN, CNN, Fox News and ESPN with blanket DIRECT LICENSE deals – and often never paying the composers of that music a penny. I have first hand experience with this.
So the threat really isn’t from some army of hungry, desperate young composers willing to give up their royalties. It’s greedy libraries. I can easily see several of them swooping in to offer blanket direct license deals to Discovery right now – heck, negotiations might already be well underway.Paul BiondiGuest
What do composers here see as being a requirement / necessity in a composer contract for a library/publisher to be able to do direct license blanket deals and place a composer’s music without writer royalty (PRO) compensation? “Power of attorney” clause; work for hire? If the music is non-exclusive or exclusive with a reversion clause, then a library wouldn’t be able to place the music and cut-out the writer’s PRO. Yes – no?
One would hope that JP, SK, and others are fighting this along with composers.
They are doing the exact opposite. They are selling direct license blanket deals to SCRIPPS and Certainly now Discovery. This should be illegal to sell direct licenses to major TV networks that PUBLICLY PERFORM PRO registered Music.
So the threat really isn’t from some army of hungry, desperate young composers willing to give up their royalties. It’s greedy libraries.
Always has been the case.
The only way to truly combat this is to rewrite the laws and the rights that must be obtained by a major TV Network broadcasting to the public.ScoreKeepersParticipant
Hey Music1234, this is Taylor from ScoreKeepers. We are absolutely concerned with what Discovery is proposing and we stand with composers in opposition. Additionally, we DO in fact pay composers from any direct license revenue based on tracks used and accounted for on the cue sheets for those shows. We DO NOT enter into gratis direct license deals. We’d be happy to address any of your questions or concerns directly. Please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.orgNY ComposerParticipant
BMI’S thoughts on the Discovery situation:
BMI is very concerned with reports of a policy change at Discovery Networks that would decimate the livelihoods of the composers who create music for their programming.
Discovery’s plan would set a very dangerous precedent for all creators and also take advantage of composers who either don’t fully realize the impact on their future earnings or simply have no other choice but to sign away their rights.
We are surprised to hear that Discovery would take such an aggressive position against creators and urge it to reconsider.
We are absolutely concerned with what Discovery is proposing and we stand with composers in opposition. Additionally, we DO in fact pay composers from any direct license revenue based on tracks used and accounted for on the cue sheets for those shows. We DO NOT enter into gratis direct license deals.
Hi Taylor have lawyers determined whether or not it is in fact even legal to sell “direct licenses” to a major TV network that refuses to sign a deal with ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC? How would Discovery get away with using PRO Registered Music, but not have to pay the PRO’s? How did they build up an internal library of non pro registered music in the first place? Finally if they are threatening to replace PRO registered music with their internal library (which I assume is not pro registered) I do hope SK and others simply say “go ahead and remove the music from those shows.”
I highly doubt they will want to pay music and audio post editors for thousands of hours of labor to re-mix old episodes with new music. There really is nothing individual composers can do except complain on forums. Only music libraries have the leverage to say “No Thanks” to this deal. The composers hired to write original scores can walk away, but most shows are produced with “library music”.
Also has the PMA reached out to lawmakers regarding this proposal? Have the PRO’s threatened to sue Discovery Networks for broadcasting PRO registered music under “direct license” terms ?yzzman1Participant
I believe this to be a very important time in our careers as composers. Scripps has gotten away with this exact scenario – and I do believe that without a legal challenge to overcome, Discovery, and eventually other networks will likely do whatever is in their personal, best financial interest without regard for integrity. This is the time for lawmakers to get involved if we want to save any potential for the future of performance royalties for music on television. Any music creator advocacy group that you can think of – needs to know about this. Hopefully we can make a difference by being heard.ScoreKeepersParticipant
Good questions. We are in the process of getting answers. Re the issue of removing music from previous shows, Discovery told us this week that they will not be doing this after all. Any music in current and past programming will continue to be eligible for royalties for US broadcasts as we have all been accustomed to.Art MunsonKeymaster
Discovery told us this week that they will not be doing this after all.
Thanks Scorekeepers. Good to hear as I do have music on Discovery shows.
Check this out:
Not much I can disagree with in this Man’s presentation. He just posted this yesterday.