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Filing Cue Sheets


So, I have a big hole in my education when it comes to filing cue sheets. Recently a company in Ireland licensed a piece of music for a commercial to be aired in Ireland. This was through Audiosparx (AS) and AS did send me the track usage info and cue sheet. I know I should file the cue sheet but am a bit in the dark with foreign usage and the proper procedure. I know AS would did this for me but I’m not willing to give up that income for something I can do myself, once I learn.

I also received a cue for a piece sold for Internet broadcast that was sold through Productiontrax and in the dark about filing that cue sheet also.

I know I could go to BMI for this info but thought I would start a thread as I’m sure others could have questions along this line.

10 thoughts on “Filing Cue Sheets”

  1. Does BMI currently accept cue sheets directly from music libraries (i.e., publisher of music created for an infomercial)?

    If not, what about production companies that are also publishers of the songs used in a program? Can they submit cue sheets for programs they produce that contain music owned by the production company?

    • Libraries wouldn’t require an artist to file a cue sheet. Rather, they would require the purchaser of the license (production company) to file a cue sheet, given a broadcast situation. Your task is to make sure you’ve registered the track with ASCAP.

  2. In BMI’s case, their website doesn’t mention this but they won’t accept cue sheets submitted by anyone other than the production company or network. Or rather, they’ll send an auto-response to your submission saying it’s been received, but then they won’t actually process it if you email it to them yourself. I had to learn this the hard way, after one person in the International dept said I should submit myself (the foreign network submitted to TONO, but not BMI) and then months later, I contacted them and asked them what was going on when nothing had appeared in my works catalogue. Since then I’ve added a line to my standard contract that specifies that the production company must submit a cue sheet to my PRO and cc: me. That way if they forget I can mention that it’s in the terms of our agreement — this has been very effective and I recommend it as a way to ensure accountability. A lot of newer producers have no idea about cue sheets, after all. Not their fault for being green, but rather the fault of film schools for not educating them about common IP issues and post-production/pre-distro procedures (and maybe even the PROs, for having FAQs that barely scratch the surface of the cue sheet submission process).

  3. As for ASCAP, they expect the cue sheet to come from the production company, not the writer or publisher. As a writer/publisher I have contacted ASCAP to attempt to correct errors, but they have always asked that I get the production company to re-submit a corrected cue sheet. I understand the reasons of course (to prevent fraudulent claims by writers/publishers), but it is not the easiest thing to get taken care of by a busy prod company.

  4. The best thing for you to do is call BMI/Ascap/Sesac
    and find a contact person who deals with your particular
    placement.You may be able to send them the cue sheet directly.
    I did that for some shows I worked on and found someone within BMI who
    took care of making sure it was registered correctly.Took a few different calls but thats what BMI/pro’s do for their writers. Totally worth the hassle.


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