“Private Copying” Payment from ASCAP via GEMA

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  • #35013 Reply

    Did anyone else get a nice surprise from ASCAP’s May foreign distribution?
    it was called “Private Copying” paid by GEMA in Germany. I picked up 2K from this “settlement”…but have no idea what the special payment was for. I did some digging about “private copying” and found this info:


    A private copying levy (also known as blank media tax or levy) is a government-mandated scheme in which a special tax or levy (additional to any general sales tax) is charged on purchases of recordable media. Such taxes are in place in various countries and the income is typically allocated to the developers of “content”. (A distinction is sometimes made between “tax” and “levy” based on the recipient of the accumulated funds; taxes are received by a government, while levies are received by a private body, such as a copyright collective.)

    Levy system may operate in principle as a system of collectivisation, partially replacing a property approach of sale of individual units.

    #35014 Reply

    Also ASCAP board members and employees if you are reading the article. Notice how Germany’s GEMA aggressively gets after YOUTUBE/ GOOGLE and APPLE for music usage. Our domestic PRO’s really seem to not have a strategy to shake down youtube for performance royalty monies or streaming royalty monies to distribute to their members. It’s ironic that I am getting paid
    a “private copying” settlement from GEMA.

    Youtube earned 15 Billion in advertising revenue in 2019

    YouTube had $15.15 billion in ad revenue for 2019, up 36% from $11.16 billion the year prior, according to Alphabet. For Q4 2019, YouTube advertising sales were $4.72 billion, a 31% year-over-year increase. YouTube’s ad revenue was $8.15 billion in 2017.

    All this great news about how much profit YOUTUBE makes, but music content creators seem to make $5 a distribution from youtube or .0000000000000000000000000000001 per stream

    Can everyone see the disconnect? YOUTUBE earns more than every TV network each year, yet our statements show $5 a quarter in music royalty earnings for YOUTUBE.

    This is a good read:


    What does ASCAP have to do with YouTube?
    ASCAP represents the public performance right for over 750,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. YouTube pays ASCAP a licensing fee for the right to perform our members’ music in YouTube videos*. We then distribute those fees to ASCAP members as royalties. ASCAP operates on a not-for-profit basis, distributing all licensing fees we collect back to our songwriter, composer and publisher members, less only our operating expenses. We distribute 88 cents of every dollar we collect back to our members as royalties. If you added music that is in our musical repertory of over 11.5 works to your video, then you may get a notice indicating that we’re placing a copyright claim on your video on behalf of our members, so that they can earn their performance royalties.

    *This excludes ASCAP music controlled by entities or individuals who have entered into direct deals with YouTube.

    #35016 Reply

    I DO get BMI payments from Youtube (millions of streams a year), but as you well know, ANY digital streaming performance royalties are incredibly low and obviously far out of balance to even the most casual observer. Coincidence? Everyone can decide for themselves.

    IMO, the whole paradigm of performance royalties as anything other than pennies that might pay for lunch is slipping quickly into the morass as media moves AWAY from traditional broadcasting and towards youtube, Spotify, etc.. All of which employ business models that they claim are not sustainable for themselves, much less for composers. Haha! Right!

    Until the PRO’s get better contracts with the new tech companies, we will be getting less and less and less. I can absolutely quantify it as more and more of my shows move out of cable/network over to streaming. Ridiculous. And BMI? They won’t even return a phone call right now.

    Glad you got a nice payment from Germany!! Maybe overseas will be the piece of the puzzle that holds us together and allows us to live at poverty level instead of going completely bankrupt. 🙂

    #35018 Reply

    LA Writer – USA PRO’s ARE 100% missing the point: Follow the money. Google invoices $15,000,000,000 Billion a year in “advertising sales”. This figure blows away CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, CNN, Discovery.

    I am screaming as loud as I can from this pulpit to the PRO’s “What the Fu__ are you guys doing about this? and Why are you not knocking on their door for hundreds of millions of dollars in licensing fees to increase the royalty pot for your 750,000 members?


    It says the facts: YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK, AMAZON, GOOGLE, NETFLIX are the new ABC, CBS, NBC. That is where the puck is moving, so BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC skate toward the puck. I just do not see them handling this properly.

    The “advertising” money is with these companies. That is where the advertising spend is moving.

    Doesn’t everyone here realize that all the performance royalty money we get ultimately comes from advertising spend??

    Even if a track is a background cue on a tv show, well guess what? The show is supported by advertising spend. McDonald’s supports an NBA broadcast, So does a Beer company, or a financial services firm. The reality is that more ad spend is going to: Google, AMAZON, FACEBOOK, SPOTIFY, SNAP CHAT, INSTAGRAM, NETFLIX, HULU. Yet the PRO’s don’t seem to get this. Our statements should be showing a lot more royalty monies coming from these internet areas.

    If more ad spend is heading to FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, AMAZON, NETFLIX, SPOTIFY, SNAPCHAT, INSTAGRAM, then our PRO statements should reflect that. They Don’t! We often see line its of $2, or $5, $ 12 for facebook and yourtube….but we see big money for traditional broadcast TV. How does this make sense?

    Every Lawyer and Executive working for the 3 PRO’s should be hounding these companies for MORE MONEY to use PRO Registered music on their platforms.

    #35019 Reply

    Of course, you are dead on correct.

    You’ve got people / organizations who push and push and push to try to keep things “like they used to be”. Then you’ve got others who push towards the future – people / organizations who “get it”. The PMA and PRO’s are in the first camp. Aaaannnnnnd….there’s pretty much no one in the second camp – at least no one who can effectuate change. Until the powers that be fall into the second camp (most likely kicking and screaming) the big money will not be flowing to composers.

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