Affiliating with one or more overseas music royalty societies can yield BIG benefits for a qualifying composer. As with many publishers (in fact, ALL of big publishing), it’s possible to establish direct relations with foreign PROs, assigning them particular rights administration even for particular works in specified territories. Or, for all your works worldwide except in the US. It depends on the attractiveness of your catalogue to a foreign PRO and the deal you make.
— you get your overseas money TWO to FIVE years earlier;
— you pay ONE admin fee to the foreign society, not TWO, as when the foreign PRO sends your money to ASCAP;
— possible exemption from “cultural deductions” taken from gross distribution on performances in certain territories;
— default distribution of TWO-THIRDS to composer, ONE-THIRD to publisher from performances in certain territories worldwide, providing your contracts allow for it;
— DIRECT collection of “broadcast mechanical” royalties, which can represent ONE-THIRD of the distributable money depending on the territory. By law, ASCAP nor BMI can touch anything labeled “mechanical,” so in countless cases, US composers NEVER SEE these rightful earnings;
— With sufficient performances, possible qualification for a pension as with SACEM, the performing rights organization of France;
— more complete performance reporting; when, where, and how much. On our ASCAP statements, there’s just a work title, a foreign society, and a dollar amount. It’s a “black hole” of data, devoid of accountability;
— there can be increased insulation from cue sheet fraud perpetrated by unscrupulous sub-publishers and others in foreign territories. A society you join directly is much more likely to notify you about cue sheet modifications. Otherwise, they just don’t do it;
— MUCH greater ease in obtaining copies of cue sheets from overseas territories. All kinds of cues in all kinds of film & TV productions end up with the names of SOMEBODY ELSE else on music you may have composed.
Your blood would boil if you had ANY IDEA of the inaccuracy and outright fraud that goes on with cue sheets worldwide. And it’s been going on for decades.
Unfortunately, ASCAP may throw as many roadblocks in your way as possible to impede your direct affiliation with overseas societies. That includes intimidating you and/or the foreign societies. Why? It’s FREE MONEY to ASCAP and they won’t be able to hold your cash while earning interest on the float and deducting admin fees from your foreign collections. In the aggregate, ASCAP makes a lot of money doing this.
It’s another in a litany of policies that are clearly good for ASCAP, but AGAINST the best interests of American composers.
If any ASCAP executive wishes to debate this statement with me, PLEASE STEP FORWARD.
No one will, of course, because they can’t possibly win the argument. Indeed, reliance on our ignorance as composers is a fundamental element of many ASCAP policies.
As for the good and valuable services that ASCAP provides to composers, songwriters, and publishers, this publication is, of course, properly grateful and appreciative. No kidding.