After 18 years of playing music (12 of which I've been engineering) I'm finally getting around to registering with ascap.
Anyone ever encountered problems during the registration process? I want to avoid any unforeseen obstacles.
Ours in Canada is socan and I believe it's much the same as ascap, SOCAN (SOCIETY OF COMPOSERS, AUTHORS AND MUSIC PUBLISHERS OF CANADA) OY VEY!!!
They are a must for collecting royalties. They sample the radio, bars and other venues where music is played. If your music is being played they send you a chunk.
Is ascap the same?
Yup, that's pretty much the way it works here too. We also have other organizations we can go through instead of ascap. BMI is the only one nearly as big as ascap, and the rest are more like local startups.
Most countries have an ASCAP equivalent. Here in the UK it is the PRS (Performing Rights Society). As I understand it many of these national organisations have an agreement whereby they transfer funds collected on behalf of a foreign composer/performer to their own royalty organistation.
Actually "collecting" is a bit of a misnomer. These societies don't actively check all the music being performed and chase up payments due to the artists. They do a small amount of sampling but pretty much rely on concert promoters/radio stations, etc., to submit playlists and pay the ensuing fees.
This is one of the areas where a publisher comes in. Contrary to popular belief, the major workload of most publishers is not the publishing of music! These days their job is more about the manipulation of international copyright law and representing the interests of their composers. I rely to a certain extent on my publisher keeping track of all the broadcasts of my music and to make sure that nothing falls through the enormous gaps in the methods of collection employed by my royalty collection agency.
You shouldn't have any problems with registration. Both ASCAP and BMI have pretty much the same easy requirements. The following is from the ASCAP website:
"To become a writer member, you must be the writer or co-writer of a musical composition or a song that has been:
-commercially recorded (CD, record, tape, etc.);
-or, performed publicly in any venue licensable by ASCAP (club, live concert, symphonic concert or recital venue, college or university, etc.);
-or, performed in any audio visual or electronic medium (film, television, radio, Internet, cable, pay-per-view, etc.);
-or, published and available for sale or rental."
I've been with BMI for 34 years and have never had a hitch. Whichever you choose, I suggest that you register as a songwriter AND a publisher. That gives you better control over your compositions.
Check out the "sitemaps" on both BMI.com and ASCAP.com. Both sites are very good and informative. Take a look at http://www.nmpa.org/hfa.html for the Harry Fox Agency. They can handle the administrative, publishing stuff for you for a very small percentage.
Yardley Music, BMI
Ok, I followed the directions as well as I could and sent in the app.
This was a few weeks ago. Still waiting for ascap to get back to me. Anyone know offhand how long it takes these guys to process an app?
Should I be getting worried now? Still haven't heard from ASCAP about my app.
hi angelo, man that's a long time... USA is bigger that CA so maybe it just takes longer. Here in Canada we get a responce in 14 days or less.
Waiting is the worst eh.
I suppose I could just make the trip and pound on their door personally.
Got a post card type thingy in the mail, asking me to register my email with them. It didn't say anything about confirmation specifically, but it was addressed "Dear Member", so I'll take that as a "yes".
man that took a long time.