Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
Spring is right around the corner and I hope that the warmer weather finds you and your family happy and healthy. As BMI looks ahead, I would like to update you on several issues that are still very much at the forefront of our agenda to protect your rights as music creators.
First off, I would like to thank all of our affiliates who continue to support BMI’s legislative efforts to move forward the Songwriter Equity Act of 2015/HR 1283/S 662. Since our last distribution, more than 400 additional letters have been sent to your state House Representatives and Senators via our online tool at www.bmi.com/advocacy. If passed, this important legislation will provide crucial updates to the copyright law, making it vitally important that members of Congress hear from you, the constituents in their home states. If you have not already lent your name to this effort, please take a moment to do so. It may seem like a small step, but each letter we send brings us closer to getting this bill passed.
In other advocacy news, the Department of Justice continues its review of BMI’s consent decree and the public comments surrounding fractional vs. 100% licensing. I am pleased to report that the U.S. Copyright Office recently announced its support of BMI’s position to maintain the current model of fractional licensing. We optimistically await the DOJ’s final ruling and will keep you updated as developments occur.
Other topics that have received recent press include ESPN’s petition to the rate court to lower its BMI licensing fee. BMI has countered the claim and we look forward to representing our affiliates in this matter. As always, we will keep you posted on further developments. BMI also continues to be very active in responding to misinformation about the state of our industry in general. One response, by BMI’s Senior Vice President Alison Smith, in Nashville’s Tennessean, can be read here. In addition, BMI Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Stuart Rosen, penned a compelling piece entitled “Face the Music: Why Consent Decree Reform Matters,” which was recently featured on political website, The Hill.
With this distribution, we are pleased to include royalty payments from Xbox Music covering the entirety of 2014. Also included are payments from Amazon VOD for the first quarter through the third quarter of 2015. In addition, this distribution pays out royalties for user-generated content on YouTube from the period 2014 through the third quarter of 2015. As a reminder, to receive your royalties more efficiently, sign up for direct deposit at www.bmi.com/paperless.
In closing, I’d like to congratulate all of our GRAMMY winners, including those who earned multiple trophies: Taylor Swift, Alabama Shakes, Mark Ronson and Ed Sheeran*. In addition, applause for Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Rev Run, Linda Ronstadt, Ruth Brown and Fred Foster, who all truly deserved their Special Merit GRAMMYS. On the film side, I’d like to congratulate first time Oscar winner Sam Smith*; as well as powerhouse Adele*, who took home four BRIT Awards, helping BMI garner an impressive 64% of all the BRIT trophies.
Another wonderful BMI event, our Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors, paid tribute to the best in the genre, including honorees BeBe and CeCe Winans and Mary Mary, as well as Ricky Dillard, New G and Tiff Joy, who were awarded Song of the Year for “Amazing.” With such outstanding performances at Trailblazers, we are pleased to be able to report that TV One broadcast the event; some highlights can be viewed here. We are also proud to have celebrated President’s Award recipient Gloria Trevi, Latin Songwriters of the Year, Horacio Palencia and Jesus Tarazon, and Latin Publisher of the Year, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, at the BMI Latin Awards earlier this month.
In addition, congratulations go out to all the BMI composers who had their work featured at Sundance and all who played at SXSW. Now onto Key West and Bonnaroo - I know your performances will be incredible!
*Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Adele (PRS)
President and Chief Executive Officer