For most music content owners, recording artists and songwriters, initial success comes from activity within their respective territory or country. Downloads, digital radio, television, Internet performances, album sales (both physical sales and downloads), sync licenses for songs in films, television, video games, and advertising commercials are the typical applications. All of these methods and channels can generate royalties—sometimes large, as in the case of a hit song, good-selling compilation album or television theme, and other times minimal, as in the case of a webcast performance or small one-time usages.
But what happens when your audio recording or song is licensed by a licensee in a foreign territory—say, in Taiwan, Ireland, South Africa, USA or any other country of the world for that matter? How will royalties be collected, and by whom? What do you have to do to get paid? Those are the questions you need answers to when dealing with any activity in the foreign marketplace. The good news is that DO IT Records partners specializes in Global Sub-Licensing.
Your Complete Distribution Portfolio: Global Sub-Licensing is often ignored, yet it is one of the more important services we offer and helps round out our Complete Label Portfolio. Each territory has its own procedures, policies and laws governing the licensing, performance and sale of music in its territory—and this affects how to license your music abroad. In addition, every country has its own collection societies for the negotiation, collection and distribution of performance and mechanical monies—for both copyright owners and writer and publishing registrants. These foreign collection societies and organizations have payment rules very different from those in your territory or in the U.S.—in addition to sometimes taking significant deductions from royalties of master owners, writers and publishers prior to statements and payments. Some of these societies are very transparent, whereas others are not.
Our Foreign Collection Society Partners: DO IT Records collects on Global Sub-Licensing efforts in two ways: a) Master Use Licensing and b) Performance Royalties. DO IT Records partners negotiate Master Use licenses for the usage of the master sound recording. In addition, we will also register and collect royalties for the public broadcast performances of both your master and your original songs! Though most songwriters receive modest or little royalties for their songs performed outside the U.S., successful writers can make millions of dollars over the life of a song for foreign country performances and sales. To give an example of the type of monies being collected, in 2009 over $600 million was forwarded to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for foreign performances of U.S. works. Most of the money is writer money as many publishers collect their money directly from each foreign collection society. As to individual activity, a major worldwide hit song can generate well over $1,000,000 in foreign radio and television performance monies, with a blockbuster feature film generating in excess of $500,000 composer royalties for foreign theatrical (movie theatre) performances alone during the initial year of activity. Putting these high-end figures aside, it is important to know that tens of thousands of U.S. copyright owners, writers and publishers receive between $1 and $100,000 in foreign royalties each year for performances of their works on radio and television stations, live performances and website transmissions, among many other types of uses.