Monday, October 2, 2017

Music Business/Law Tips - "Register And Get Paid!"

If you are releasing music independently (where you own and/or control the master and/or are a contributing songwriter), you need to make sure you file/join the following to ensure proper payment on that content: 1. Join SoundExchange for digital performance royalties on the master both as a label and performer []. Note related to this is Neighboring Rights income which may apply to some of your masters that are being broadcast or performed outside of the US. You can collect Neighboring Rights income by joining and being repped by an administrator that does that like Kobalt or Wixen (they have divisions just for Neighboring Rights income collection). 2. Get ISRC codes for any master released (including for remixed versions) for digital royalties as income streams attach to each version (same also for each video master). 3. Form a YouTube Channel for uploading and monetization of any videos embodying the masters (and make sure you elect to monetize the videos and any user generated videos that contain your content). 4. Register all the songs you write or co-write that you release with BMI, ASCAP or SESAC (and join one of the PRO’s if you have not). 5. Register all the masters/songs with the US Copyright Office. 6. Join Harry Fox so you can get paid for your share of any mechanical royalties on the songs you write or co-write (I believe they will collect worldwide via their overseas partners and on video mechanical income as well). 7. If you are currently with an aggregator like the Orchard, Tunecore or CD Baby if you do not want to have direct accounts for yourself you can elect to have them collect some/all of the above (and you need them to get up on the Apple, Amazon and Spotify platforms anyway), but of course there is usually some sort of middleman fee or deduction on top of what the source deducts. Make sure at a minimum your aggregator has you up on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify (but preferably up on all digital storefronts and streaming companies). Ben McLane Esq

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