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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
chet w Copyrights 101 (33) RE: Copyrights 101 02 Feb 98

Advice: If you're writing songs that you think somebody might possibly want to make money off of, you should get a publisher, or become your own publisher (doesn't mean you have to publish, as in print, anything) and join either BMI (Broadcast Music International) or ASCAP (meaning of abbreviation unknown). They will collect your royalties for you, and after taking a hefty slice off the top, send you the rest. Otherwise you are on your own when it comes to collecting royalties from around the world. As for performing, it has always been my understanding that the owners (or renters) of the venue are responsible for paying a licensing fee to BMI and ASCAP. If you are recording something that you intend to sell, even at cost, you owe royalties to the copyright owners, if any. Your publisher or BMI or ASCAP should be able to get you in touch with the Harry Fox Agency in New York, who knows the copyright owners of everything. If you are making a recording that you plan to give away, you will owe no royalties, but anyone who uses that recording in a public place, such as in a restaurant or on the radio, will owe royalties to the owners. It gets a lot worse than this.

Good luck, Chet W.

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