Dear Songwriters, Composers and Publishers,
We are pleased to provide updates on several issues highlighted last quarter. First and foremost is that BMI has been very active in Washington, D.C., in support of H.R. 4079, the Songwriter Equity Act of 2014. This vital legislation continues to gain momentum with bipartisan support from more than twenty members of the House of Representatives, since the February introduction of the bill in the House by Representative Doug Collins (R-GA). BMI executives also worked diligently with a coalition of industry trade groups and songwriters in Nashville to meet with Senators Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker and Orrin Hatch, who have since introduced companion legislation in the Senate. Both bills support a level playing field for the valuation of your rights, and such Congressional backing will greatly heighten attention to this critical issue.
In addition, I, Michael O’Neill, appeared before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet on June 10, to offer testimony proposing changes intended to modernize BMI’s consent decree. The Subcommittee has been engaged in a comprehensive review of copyright law since late 2012, and is now turning its focus to music licensing. The hearing also included testimony from other music industry leaders and songwriters, including Nashville Songwriters Association International President Lee Thomas Miller, with whom BMI is working to propel legislative action. We will continue to keep you apprised of developments on this front on bmi.com/advocacy.
Your ongoing support of these efforts is very important, so we urge you to visit our website for updates and follow both the House and Senate bills’ co-sponsors via social media in order to strengthen this imperative cause.
We are happy to report that this quarterly royalty payment cycle includes the first payments for iTunes Radio, which launched in September 2013. In addition to BMI payments for the service, BMI has also taken on administration of royalty payments for certain publishers who entered into direct deals with iTunes radio. If applicable, these royalties will be displayed in the Administration Services section of your statement. This distribution also completes all retroactive payments for Hulu and regular quarterly payments for this service will begin in September.
As previously mentioned, upcoming changes in BMI’s September distribution will include royalty payments for Local TV that will be determined using rules similar to how Cable and Network TV are calculated. These new calculations, which will commence with performances on and after January 1, 2014, will utilize Nielsen data to incorporate audience size into the royalty calculation. Please see bmi.com for a full description.
Also coming in September, as previously noted, will be BMI’s paperless statements that can be accessed only through your online services account on bmi.com. In order to make a smooth transition from the paper format, please make sure that you have updated all of your online information, including your email address, to take advantage of these convenient, and “green,” services. To create your online services account, please go to bmi.com/login; if you need assistance, contact your local BMI office. We would also like to again remind you of the convenience of direct deposit. Although we are currently mailing checks to those of you who don’t utilize this function, BMI will be making only direct deposit royalty payments in the near future.
On behalf of the entire BMI team, congratulations to our 2014 BMI Pop Icon Stevie Nicks, Pop Songwriters of the Year Jeff Bhasker, Ben Haggerty, Adam Levine and Ryan Lewis, Pop Publisher of the Year SONY/ATV Music, and Richard Kirk Award winner Mychael Danna, and to all those who received much deserved awards for last year’s most performed pop songs and compositions written for the top films and television programs of the year. Congratulations also go out to the BMI writers who collectively took home nearly 80% of the show’s 2014 ACM Awards, including multiple wins by Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban. We are proud to salute John Luther Adams, the recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
In closing, I, Del Bryant, would like to take this opportunity as I head into my retirement to say farewell and express how honored I have been for the past 42 years to serve and protect your creative endeavors. Thank you for the privilege.
Have a fun, safe and prosperous summer. We’ll be thinking of you.
Chief Executive Officer