Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
It’s been a busy quarter for BMI in Washington, as we continue to advocate on your behalf to create an environment where your creative works are given full and fair value.
We have seen strides on several legislative issues, including the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the PRO consent decrees, the reintroduction of the Songwriter Equity Act in Congress, and support from the U.S. Copyright Office on music licensing reform through the findings of its study, “Copyright and the Music Marketplace,” released last month. In addition, we continue to engage in constructive discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the need to modify our consent decree. The decree, which in 1964 replaced an even older version, was last modified in 1994 and is in dire need of reform. We are optimistic that the positive developments in Washington will shed necessary light on the need to reform the rules that govern our business and our rate-setting proceedings. Please visit bmi.com/advocacy for all legislative updates as they occur.
On the international front, I’m sure you are aware of the economic headwinds abroad, including the downturn in the value of the Euro, which affects all businesses with foreign interests. This development impacts your international royalties included in this quarter, as does the decision by some societies, including the German copyright organization GEMA, to move from yearly to quarterly distributions and, therefore, a shorter reporting period. We are monitoring exchange rates closely and will continue to inform you of any other changes that impact your distribution.
Fortunately, our strategy to diversify our sources of revenue continues to generate new opportunities. We are working on several significant business endeavors that we expect will generate new revenue in the near future. In addition, as you have seen in the press, BMI has just concluded its trial against Pandora in federal court to set the fees that the Internet radio service must pay to stream your songs. As always, BMI continues to fight for the value of your music. We hope to report on these endeavors in upcoming letters, but again, recommend that you look for key developments on bmi.com.
As a reminder, we also encourage you to sign up for direct deposit, if you haven’t already, and take advantage of all of BMI’s online services, which allow you to manage your BMI transactions easily and in one place. To set up your Online Services account, which is secure, quick and green, go to http://www.bmi.com/Paperless and provide the requested information.
On the awards front, our congratulations go to all of our GRAMMY winners, including multiple trophy holders, Sam Smith*, Rosanne Cash, Eminem, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and Jack White. Kudos also to Alexandre Desplat* on his Oscar for Best Original Score for The Grand Budapest Hotel, and to John Legend and Common for “Glory,” which won Best Original Song in the film Selma. We are proud to have celebrated Israel Houghton, LaShun Pace and the Anointed Pace Sisters, our BMI Trailblazers of Gospel, earlier this year, and look forward to honoring Sergio George with our President’s Award later this month at the BMI Latin Awards.
BMI is privileged to represent such an impressive roster of music creators. Thank you all for the important contributions you make to music history.
* Sam Smith (PRS); Alexandre Desplat (SACEM)
President and Chief Executive Officer