Compulsory License Fees

Approximately once a year, BMI receives royalties from the U.S. Copyright Office for BMI music performed on distant-signal broadcast television stations that were carried by cable television systems beyond their local market (e.g., superstation WGN-Chicago when retransmitted to markets outside of Chicago) and for music performed in broadcast television signals retransmitted by satellite carriers outside their local markets. BMI distributes this money to those songwriters, composers and publishers whose music is contained in a select group of these broadcast television signals.

BMI additionally receives a modest amount of royalties from the compulsory copyright royalties paid by manufacturers and distributors of certain digital audio home recording devices and blank recording media (DART royalties). BMI distributes these DART royalties using performance information available to BMI.

For information on compulsory license fees received from National Public Radio and Public Television, please see below.

National Public Radio

The royalty rates paid for performances on National Public Radio (NPR) programs and other noncommercial radio stations are based upon a portion of license fees received by BMI from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), as compared to the total number of monitored performances of BMI works on NPR stations. As a result, the royalty rates change each quarter, as a different number of performances is paid from the amount of fees received.

Public Television (PBS)

BMI receives compulsory license fees for performances of music on public broadcasting television stations and distributes the fees derived from this source to those songwriters, composers and publishers whose music is broadcast on public TV stations. Rates vary from quarter to quarter depending on the amount of the license fee collected and the base value of BMI performances tabulated during a quarter. The value of a performance on a PBS station could be higher or lower than the Local Television Daypart A rates, depending on the factors noted above. The methodology and relative weightings of the Local Television rates are used to begin the calculation.