Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
I hope you enjoyed your holidays and are having a great start to the new year. We’re coming off a landmark 2018, in which your unmatched creativity and the incredible worldwide popularity of your music drove record-breaking royalties, and BMI’s hard-fought legal win against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) preserved fractional licensing. BMI’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals victory is an historic ruling that protects your creative and financial freedoms for the future. We’re excited to continue to build on those successes throughout 2019 and beyond.
It’s been a busy quarter in Washington, D.C., starting with the unanimous, bipartisan passage of the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA) in both the House and the Senate, and its momentous signing into law in October. This legislation modernizes U.S. copyright law for the digital age and aims to make it easier for you to get paid when your music is streamed on digital services. As a result of the MMA, a new entity called the Music Licensing Collective (MLC) is being established, which is responsible for the licensing and collection of digital mechanicals. Professional songwriter representatives for the Board of Directors of the MLC, as well as the Unclaimed Funds and Dispute Resolution Committees, have been nominated. We will update you with more information as it becomes available. On behalf of the entire BMI team, thank you for standing beside us in our efforts to pass the MMA; we could not have achieved this vital victory for the industry without your powerful support.
Further on the advocacy front, I’m pleased to share that longtime political strategist Michael Collins has joined BMI as Vice President, Government Relations. Michael will lead BMI’s efforts to protect your rights on Capitol Hill, and we’ll be reaching out for your help as we continue to ensure lawmakers understand the value of your music. As you may know, the 2018 mid-term elections resulted in new positions for several key legislators who are in favor of increased copyright protection, including Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the new Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees copyright matters, as well as BMI Champion Award winner Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA), who is now the lead Republican on the Committee.
We’re also excited about the incredible progress we’ve made on the joint database of musical works with ASCAP. This first-of-its-kind solution will break new ground in providing comprehensive information on song ownership, making works data research quicker, more efficient and more transparent, to better meet the needs of the industry. We’ve accomplished so much towards our goal, and we’re entering a significant testing phase to ensure we can launch the database in the near future.
This distribution does not include any notable first time or retro payments. However, please note that ION is no longer licensed under the Local Television agreement and has taken a Network license. As such, royalties related to ION are now being reported under the Network section of your statement. As a reminder, you can receive your royalties securely and conveniently if you sign up for direct deposit.
As always, many congratulations are in order: to our GRAMMY nominees; our CMA Award winners; and our Golden Globe winners, who swept both musical categories, Justin Hurwitz, who took the trophy for Best Original Score for his work in First Man, and Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, who won Best Original Song for “Shallow” from A Star is Born. Kudos also go to BMI’s London Award winners, including BMI Icon Harry Gregson-Williams; Song of the Year, “Shape of You,” written by Johnny McDaid (IMRO), Ed Sheeran (PRS) and Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs; and Dance Award winner, “Stay,” written by Anders Frøen (TONO), Noonie Bao (STIM), Linus “LotusIV” Wiklund (STIM), Sarah Aarons (APRA) and Alessia Cara (SOCAN). We were also proud to name the legendary John Prine as BMI’s Troubadour Award recipient, as well as celebrate our Country Award honorees, including BMI Icon Steve Cropper; Song of the Year, “In Case You Didn’t Know,” written by Tyler Reeve and Trent Tomlinson; Songwriter of the Year, Jesse Frasure; and Publisher of the Year, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
On a final note, building on BMI’s long history with the Texas music community, we’re thrilled to be opening a new office in Austin this spring. This will allow us to work directly with the talented songwriters, composers, publishers and emerging songwriter/artists in that thriving creative community and help enhance their ability to earn a living through their craft.
We appreciate the opportunity to represent you and your music, and we’re ready to make 2019 another fantastic year together.
President and Chief Executive Officer