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Affiliation Agreement Info

What members need to know about entering and exiting membership with BMI

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Need help understanding the terms of your BMI affiliation agreement, how to terminate it if you choose to leave BMI, and how those terms will impact your catalog and royalty distributions? Please read on, and if you still have questions, contact your local BMI office.

Initial Affiliation Term and Auto-Renewals

The initial term of BMI’s current standard writer/composer affiliation agreement is two (2) years with automatic renewals after that period unless the agreement is canceled in accordance with the specific conditions of your agreement.

How to review your agreement .

Terminating Your BMI Affiliation Agreement

Notification Requirements

If you want to terminate your BMI affiliation agreement, you must notify BMI as follows:

In most instances, notice must be signed by you and sent to BMI postmarked not more than six (6) months or less than three (3) months prior to the end of your current agreement term. In some older agreements, the notification period may be slightly different, so please refer to your agreement for its specific notification period.

Notice must be sent to BMI by registered, certified, Express mail, or other method that requires the courier to record the date the item is sent (e.g., overnight mail or messenger service). A printable form is available here . Notice by email is not acceptable and will not be processed.

Writers send notice to:
BMI
Attn: Writer Administration
10 Music Square East
Nashville, TN 37203-4399

What to Expect After Terminating Your BMI Writer/Composer Affiliation Agreement

Payment for performances prior to your termination date

BMI will continue to distribute your share of any royalties generated for licensed performances that occurred prior to the end date of your affiliation agreement with BMI. These royalties will be paid on BMI’s normal distribution schedule under the then-current distribution methodology.

Payment for performances after your termination date

Works Published by a BMI Publisher

  • If any of your BMI registered works are published by a BMI publishing company (including one you own), upon termination of your affiliation agreement, BMI will continue to license those works on your behalf for as long as your publisher remains affiliated with BMI and does not remove your works from the BMI repertoire. The royalties earned from these works will continue to be paid to you on BMI’s normal distribution schedule unless you are being paid for those performances by someone else.
  • In addition, you may receive royalties for performances that continue to be licensed under those BMI licenses that were in effect prior to the termination of your BMI publisher’s affiliation agreement or removal of your works from the BMI repertoire, if provided for in that publisher’s affiliation agreement.

Works you control completely

  • If any of the works that were covered by your BMI affiliation agreement are not represented by a separate publisher, that is, where you were collecting both the writer’s share and the publisher’s share of royalties, those works will no longer be licensed by BMI after your termination or removal of your works unless the termination of your affiliation agreement is subject to those BMI licenses that were in effect prior to the end date of your agreement with BMI.
  • You may continue to receive royalties for performances that continue to be licensed under those BMI licenses that were in effect prior to the termination of your affiliation agreement with BMI or removal of your works. The royalties earned from these works will continue to be paid to you on BMI’s normal distribution schedule unless you are being paid for those performances by someone else.

Please be aware that BMI may withhold all or any portion of the above-referenced payments if we identify any issues with respect to the ownership or administration of any of your works. BMI may also withhold all or any portion of the above-referenced payments until we receive satisfactory evidence from you that you are not being paid and/or will not be paid by anyone else for these performances.

Conclusion of your relationship with BMI

After your termination of your affiliation agreement and/or the removal of your works, we will close your account and will make no further royalty payments to you under your affiliation agreement once there are no longer any licenses in effect (as noted above) and BMI has distributed royalties for any works that were covered under your BMI agreement.).

Please note, however, that if you have become a member of a non-U.S. performing rights organization and choose to designate BMI to license your works in the U.S., BMI will continue to license U.S.-based performances and will distribute performance royalties to you under the terms of our agreement with your non-U.S. performing right organization.

Initial Affiliation Term and Auto-Renewals

The initial term of BMI’s current standard publisher affiliation agreement is five (5) years with automatic renewals after that period unless the agreement is canceled in accordance with the specific conditions of your agreement.

How to review your agreement .

Terminating Your BMI Affiliation Agreement

Notification Requirements

If you want to terminate your BMI affiliation agreement, you must notify BMI as follows:

In most instances, notice must be signed by you and sent to BMI postmarked not more than six (6) months or less than three (3) months prior to the end of your current agreement term. In some older agreements, the notification period may be slightly different, so please refer to your agreement for its specific notification period.

Notice must be sent to BMI by registered, certified, Express mail, or other method that requires the courier to record the date the item is sent (e.g., overnight mail or messenger service). A printable form is available here Notice by email is not acceptable and will not be processed.

Publishers send notice to:
BMI
Attn: Publisher Administration
10 Music Square East
Nashville, TN 37203-4399

What to Expect After Terminating Your BMI Publisher Affiliation Agreement

Payment for performances prior to your termination date

BMI will continue to distribute your share of any royalties generated for licensed performances that occurred prior to the end date of your affiliation agreement with BMI. These distributions will be made to you on BMI’s normal distribution schedule under BMI’s then-current distribution methodology.

Payment for performances after your termination date

  • If the termination of your publisher affiliation agreement is subject to those BMI licenses that were in effect prior to the end date of your relationship with BMI, then you will continue to receive royalties from BMI for performances of those works that were covered under your publisher affiliation agreement until those licenses are no longer in effect.
  • If there are works covered under your publisher affiliation agreement that you would like BMI to continue to license after the termination of your publisher affiliation agreement, you will need to move those works to an existing BMI-affiliated publisher account or create a new one.

Please be aware that BMI may withhold all or any portion of the above-referenced payments if we identify any issues with respect to the ownership or administration of any of your works. BMI may also withhold all or any portion of the above-referenced payments until we receive satisfactory evidence from you that you are not being paid and/or will not be paid by anyone else for these performances.

Conclusion of your relationship with BMI

After your termination of your affiliation agreement and/or the removal of your works, we will close your account and will make no further royalty payments to you under your publisher affiliation agreement once there are no longer any licenses in effect (as noted above) and BMI has distributed royalties for any works that were covered under your BMI agreement.

Definition of “Licenses in Effect”

Generally, if BMI has a final license agreement with a music user (licensee) and the license has not yet expired at the time your works are otherwise removed from BMI’s repertoire, BMI retains the right to license your works to that music user for the duration of their license agreement. Once the license agreement ends, the license is no longer in effect, and BMI will no longer license or distribute royalties to you for performances that occur under a subsequent license. For a complete definition of licenses in effect, please review your BMI Affiliation agreement

Review your affiliation agreement for further detail; currently paragraph 10. (b) for Writers/Composers and paragraph 9. B. for Publishers.