|Headquarters||New York City, U.S.|
|Michael O'Neill (President & CEO)|
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) is a performance rights organisation in the United States. It collects license fees from businesses that use music on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. In FY 2019, BMI collected $1.28 billion in revenues and distributed $1.196 billion in royalties.BMI's repertoire includes over 1.1 million songwriters and 17 million compositions. BMI is the biggest performing rights organization in the United States and is one of the largest such organizations in the world.
BMI songwriters create music in virtually every genre. BMI represents artists such as Patti LaBelle, Selena, Demi Lovato, Lil Wayne, Blueface, Birdman, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Eminem, Rihanna, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Sam Cooke, Willie Nelson, Fats Domino and Dolly Parton; bands as diverse as Maroon 5, Evanescence, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nickelback, Linkin Park, Twenty One Pilots and Fifth Harmony; and composers such as Harry Gregson-Williams, John Williams, and Danny Elfman and Oscar-winning songwriters Richard & Robert Sherman. BMI also represents Michael Jackson's music catalog, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which features the late artist's music as well as the largest repertoire of any catalog in history.
In the 1930s, radio was coming to prominence as a source of musical entertainment that threatened to weaken record sales and opportunities for "live" acts. The Great Depression was already draining artist revenues from recordings and live performances. ASCAP, the pre-eminent royalty/licensing agency for more than two decades, required radio stations to subscribe to "blanket" licenses granting ASCAP a fixed percentage of each station's revenue, regardless of how much music the station played from ASCAP's repertoire. In 1939, ASCAP announced a substantial increase in the revenue share licensees would be required to pay. BMI was founded by the National Association of Broadcasters to provide a lower-cost alternative to ASCAP.As such, BMI created competition in the field of performing rights, providing an alternative source of licensing for all music users.
The vast majority of U.S. radio stations and all three radio networks refused to renew their ASCAP licenses for 1941, choosing to forgo playing ASCAP music entirely and relying on the BMI repertoire. In February 1941, similar to the agreement it had made with ASCAP. the Department of Justice and BMI entered into a consent decree, requiring certain changes to BMI's business model, including giving licensees the option of paying only for the music they actually use instead of buying a blanket license.The U.S. District Court in Milwaukee was chosen by the Justice Department to supervise the decree for both BMI and ASCAP.
Competing against the strongly established ASCAP, BMI sought out artists that ASCAP tended to overlook or ignore. BMI also purchased the rights to numerous catalogs held by independent publishers or whose ASCAP contracts were about to expire. To attract newer writers, BMI proposed to compensate songwriters and publishers on the basis of a fixed fee per performance, as opposed to ASCAP's two-tier system which discriminated against less-established songwriters. Thus, despite its original motivation regarding radio station royalties and its focus on radio station revenues vs artist revenues, BMI became the first performing rights organization in the United States to represent songwriters of blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel (black genres, performers, and writers that ASCAP did not want to represent), country, folk, Latin, and—ultimately—rock and roll. During the 1940s and 1950s, BMI was the primary licensing organization for Country artists and R&B artists, while ASCAP centered on more established Pop artists. Also during this time, BMI expanded its repertoire of classical music, and now represents the majorityof the members of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters and the winners of 31 Pulitzer Prizes for Music. In July 2017, BMI renewed long-term partnership with C3 Presents, the world's largest music festival producers.
BMI's practice of selling only "blanket licenses", rather than licenses for individual artists, led to a major antitrust law dispute between BMI and CBS that resulted in the 1979 case Broadcast Music, Inc. v. CBS, Inc. , in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Sherman Act 's prohibition of "price fixing" was not strictly literal, and should be interpreted in light of economic efficiencies an agreement brings.
BMI issues licenses to users of music, including:
BMI tracks public performances for more than 15 million works, and collects and distributes licensing revenues for those performances as royalties to over one million songwriters, composers, and music publishers it represents.BMI has offices in Atlanta, London, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Austin, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
BMI annually hosts award shows that honor the songwriters, composers and music publishers of the year's most-performed songs in the BMI catalogue. BMI Award shows include the BMI Latin Awards, BMI Pop Awards, BMI Film/TV Awards, BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, BMI London Awards, BMI Country Awards, BMI Christian Awards, and the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is an American not-for-profit performance-rights organization (PRO) that protects its members' musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music, whether via a broadcast or live performance and compensating them accordingly.
Copyrights can either be licensed or assigned by the owner of the copyright. A copyright collective is a non-governmental body created by copyright law or private agreement which licenses copyrighted works on behalf of the authors and engages in collective rights management. Copyright societies track all the events and venues where copyrighted works are used and ensure that the copyright holders listed with the society are remunerated for such usage. The copyright society publishes its own tariff scheme on its websites and collects a nominal administrative fee on every transaction.
A performance rights organisation (PRO), also known as a performing rights society, provides intermediary functions, particularly collection of royalties, between copyright holders and parties who wish to use copyrighted works publicly in locations such as shopping and dining venues. Legal consumer purchase of works, such as buying CDs from a music store, confer private performance rights. PROs usually only collect royalties when use of a work is incidental to an organisation's purpose. Royalties for works essential to an organisation's purpose, such as theaters and radio, are usually negotiated directly with the rights holder.
PRS for Music Limited is a British music copyright collective, made up of two collection societies: the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) and the Performing Right Society (PRS). It undertakes collective rights management for musical works on behalf of its 140,000 members. PRS for Music was formed in 1997 following the MCPS-PRS Alliance. In 2009, PRS and MCPS-PRS Alliance realigned their brands and became PRS for Music.
A royalty is a payment made by one party to another that owns a particular asset, for the right to ongoing use of that asset. Royalties are typically agreed upon as a percentage of gross or net revenues derived from the use of an asset or a fixed price per unit sold of an item of such, but there are also other modes and metrics of compensation. A royalty interest is the right to collect a stream of future royalty payments.
As with any other idea, the idea for a performing arts production is copyrighted as soon as it is created. In order for any of these works to be performed, the proper licenses must be obtained. The only exception to this rule is with the case of works already in the public domain. This includes, for example, the works of William Shakespeare. Whether a work is in the public domain or not depends on the date it was created. If the work is not in the public domain, a license must be obtained to perform it. In many cases, the license for a Broadway production is called an option.
APRA AMCOS consists of Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), both copyright management organisations or copyright collectives which jointly represent over 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in Australia and New Zealand. The two organisations work together to license public performances and administer performance, communication and reproduction rights on behalf of their members, who are creators of musical works, aiming to ensure fair payments to members and to defend their rights under the Australian Copyright Act (1968).
Music licensing is the licensed use of copyrighted music. Music licensing is intended to ensure that the owners of copyrights on musical works are compensated for certain uses of their work. A purchaser has limited rights to use the work without a separate agreement.
SESAC, originally the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers, is a for-profit performance-rights organization in the United States. SESAC was founded in 1930, making it the second-oldest performance-rights organization in the United States. SESAC has 30,000 songwriters and over 1 million compositions in its catalogue.
Music publishing is the business of creating, producing and distributing printed musical scores, parts, and books in various types of music notation, while ensuring that the composer, songwriter and other creators receive credit and royalties or other payment. This article outlines the early history of the industry.
Production music is recorded music that can be licensed to customers for use in film, television, radio and other media. Often, the music is produced and owned by production music libraries.
Music publishing is the publishing of music. Music publishers originally published sheet music. When copyright became legally protected, music publishers started to play a role in the management of the intellectual property of composers.
The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) is a national organisation that administers the performing right in copyright music in Ireland on behalf of its members and on behalf of the songwriters, composers and music publishers of the international overseas societies that are affiliated to it. At present IMRO has approximately 11,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members.
KXMZ is a radio station serving the city of Rapid City, South Dakota and owned by Houston Haugo, through licensee Haugo Broadcasting, Licensed to Box Elder, South Dakota, the station broadcasts a hot adult contemporary format.
Music Reports serves individuals and organizations seeking expertise and solutions in music rights licensing, administration, royalty accounting, and software development and hosting. Music Reports operates the largest registry of worldwide music rights and related business information.
The Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP), is a collecting society in the Philippines. It undertakes collective rights management for public performances and use of songs in television and radio broadcast and movies.
The Composers, Authors and Publishers Association of Canada was a Canadian copyright collective for the right to communicate with the public and publicly perform musical works. CAPAC administered these rights on behalf of its members and those of affiliated international organizations by licensing the use of their music in Canada. Royalties were paid to the music creators after administration costs were deducted to pay for the operation of CAPAC.
The ASCAP boycott was a 1941 boycott of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) by radio broadcasters, due to license fees. From another perspective, it was a boycott of radio broadcasters by ASCAP, "concerned about the unlicensed radio broadcast of its members' material ..."
United States v. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) et al., No. 09-0539, 2010 WL 3749292, was a United States Court of Appeals case involving copyright liability for third-party vendors that provide online music download services. In particular, the Second Circuit ruled that music downloads do not constitute public performances, upholding the district court's decision and consequently preventing ASCAP from claiming higher royalty fees from Yahoo! and RealNetworks for downloaded music. However, the Second Circuit disagreed with the district court's method of fee assessment and remanded the case for further proceedings. ASCAP appealed the decision and requested a writ of certiorari for judicial review in the Supreme Court.