[Dixielandjazz] Copyright

willc willc at highstream.net
Thu Feb 12 23:26:21 PST 2004

"Robert S. Ringwald" wrote:

A couple of years ago I appeared in a made-for-TV movie with my daughter.  I

> played piano for her and she sang. The song was still owned by ASCAP. . . .

Not quite, Bob.

Neither ASCAP nor BMI own songs. The songs are owned by the composer and
lyricist or anyone to whom they've sold their rights either outright or for
royalties, like a publisher or a record company.  Those owners generally become
members of ASCAP or BMI if they qualify and ASCAP/BMI licenses the use of music
owned by its members and collects money from broadcasters and venues (clubs,
hotels) and pay about 85 percent of what they collects to their members.
Neither ASCAP nor BMI sell licenses for recording or motion pictures. . . .
those are handled by the Harry Fox Agency, which is the collection and
disbursement agency for subscribing music publishers.

Note that musicians don't participate in ASCAP/BMI royalties unless they wrote
the song. Musicians can and do get residuals under various union (AFM, SAG and
AFTRA) agreements and those with hit songs, great promotional skills and sharp
lawyers earn big money under their contracts with movie and record companies
notwithstanding accounting practices in those industries that make the Enrons
look like amateur thieves.

Court supervision of ASCAP was lifted about a year - 18 months ago.

Will Connelly

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