Arrangements are not eligible for the live classical distribution at BMI. Please register all arrangements as non-classical by selecting “all other genres” at the beginning of the registration process.
Works that are going straight to recorded release without live concert premieres are not registered as classical. Please register instrumental CD tracks as non-classical by selecting “all other genres” at the beginning of the registration process.
At BMI, you need not affiliate a publishing entity in order to receive publishing shares, as we pay all royalties (writer and publisher) to the composer on any self-published works. If you prefer to receive your composer and publisher royalty streams separately, you may affiliate your publishing company by completing the BMI Publisher Application Form. Please note that while composer affiliation is free, there is a one-time fee to affiliate a publishing company with BMI.
Music written in service to a film or television show is not registered as classical at BMI, regardless of instrumentation or how the music sounds. Please register your film cues and credits as non-classical by selecting “all other genres.”
Yes. Although BMI doesn’t license theatrical or dramatic musical presentations, we do pay for radio broadcast of operas, operettas and musicals, as well as excerpts from dramatic works, and those presentations that are unstaged concert versions.
The copyright status of the text depends largely on when it was first published in the US. Currently, anything published before 1923 is probably in the public domain. Works that were published before 1978 are likely in copyright for 95 years. Works published after January 1, 1978 are in copyright for the life of the writer plus 70 years. For a more detailed analysis of copyright status, please see this Cornell resource on Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States.
If the work was never published, permission must be obtained in writing to use the work from the author’s heirs or estate. If the work was published, the publisher is most likely the copyright holder, and permission must be sought from them.
Text found on the internet without an easily attributable author is not necessarily in the public domain. Before you can register this work with BMI, you should contact the website’s administrator to determine the copyright holder. Written permission to use the text is required before you can register the work with BMI.
To add a movement to a work that already appears in your BMI catalog, please send an email to email@example.com with the updated duration of the full work. Please do not register the new movement separately.
If your work is performed as a transcription by someone other than yourself, then you’d still be credited with the performance of the original version of the work. There is no need to update the registration unless you’ve created an official alternate instrumentation for one of the works that already appears in your catalog.
Generally, individual movements should not be registered as separate works; BMI has a system of in-house registrations to accommodate occasional performances of excerpts or movements from larger works. However, if a movement is being performed frequently and exists as an independent work, the classical department will request a registration from you.
The classical department adds your last name to the beginning of classical works so that they are more easily searchable in our database. Your works also appear without your last name to ensure that they are easily matched to performances from other non-classical sources.
Yes, we still accept both the PDF and paper classical work registration forms. They should be sent to us either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to the NY Classical office.
No. Our quarterly radio royalty distribution is based on a statistical sample. BMI uses performance monitoring data, continuously collected on a large percentage of all licensed commercial radio stations, to determine payable performances. We cannot accept performance reports from our writers or publishers for radio broadcasts.
No. BMI Live is intended for non-classical performances. Quarterly royalty payments from BMI Live are completely separate from the annual Live Classical royalty distribution, and BMI Live does not make payments for performances that occurred under a classical license. For more information, please review the Guidelines for Reporting Classical Performances to BMI.
Please send a completed Premiere Report Form, along with a copy of the concert program, to BMI within 30 days following the performance. BMI is able to license the first performance of a work in the United States (U.S. premiere) only if we receive written authorization from you or your publisher. This serves to protect your right to control the circumstances of first performance. For more information, please review our complete Guidelines for Reporting Classical Performances to BMI.
BMI defines a classical work as: an original work written for live classical performance by a classical performer or ensemble and being performed under a classical license. Arrangements are not eligible for the Live Classical distribution at BMI because they are not original works. However, they are eligible for the radio distribution. Therefore, please register all arrangements as non-classical by selecting “all other genres” at the beginning of the work registration process. If the arrangement is found on our statistical sample of radio broadcasts, then it will be included in the quarterly radio distribution.