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Composers – Beware of HGTV, The Cooking Channel, Food Network, DIY, Travel Channel, any Scripps Networks Shows

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Why should you, as a composer care? From what I have learned, and experienced, Scripps demands that all of the music for it’s shows be “direct licensed”. In other words they do NOT pay any performance royalties to composers. How do they get their music? Most likely from libraries that do a blanket license with the shows producers which, in most cases, means that you, as a composer, will not share in any of those blanket license fees. To be fair Scripps is not the only company that refuses to pay PRO monies. I believe ESPN is another company and their are probably more.

How will you know if your music is being used on these shows? You will probably never know unless you happen to be watching and recognize your music or have a Tunesat account. Occasionally these shows will air internationally and you will see some performance monies though it will be miniscule. This makes it more insulting as they do not have to pay in the U.S. but are forced to in other countries.

Music libraries have different points of view on this dilemma. Some refuse to work for any shows that air on Scripps Network. Others feel that because some production companies have shows on both Scripps and non-Scripps networks they they have to take the bad with the good. One library has gone so far as to start paying their composers a small royalty for any Scripps shows that happens to use their music. Certainly a step in the right direction and I applaud them. But really, shouldn’t Scripps be stepping up to the plate? I think the lack of respect for composers and their music is appalling!

Your thoughts?