Working With Simfy: Fighting To Ensure Artists & Songwriters Get Their Money

It is indeed an interesting time in the industry. We don’t know why other entities are not protecting the rights of their customers to ensure artists and songwriters get all the money they are owed. Worse yet, entities that claim to represent their customers learn about news that hurts their artists and songwriters, instead of taking action, they run from the fight.

We should be sticking together for all artists, to change the world for the better. But if we have to do it alone, so be it.

We believe protecting artists and getting them all their money is exactly what you hired TuneCore to do and what sets us apart from the rest.

This is our philosophy and mission. It’s part of the reason we started TuneCore, it’s what drives us. This is not only our passion, but also our job.

Some have asked me what they can do if they discover a music service is not paying out all the royalties owed.

My opinion, you should be screaming from the mountain tops (tweet, blog, etc).  This is your money and these are your rights.  By working together and supporting one another you can change the world.

Artists should tell their fans what stores to support and what stores not to support.  They should also demand answers from the stores if they discover they are not getting paid all their royalties.

But first, know your rights, so you know what is owed to you.  All digital music stores must get the required licenses and make the required payments back to artists and songwriters.

All of “you” are now the new music industry.  TuneCore is simply the megaphone that allows your voice to be heard, and all of you are a damn loud voice.

We know others run from the fight.  We won’t.  We are going to use the power of all of you and do everything we can to ensure all artists and songwriters get paid all their royalties.

From time to time there may be some that stand in the way, but it’s our job to fight on your behalf and we will.

Which makes me very proud to announce the below:

Brooklyn, NY (Feb. 2, 2012) – TuneCore , the world’s largest distributor of music,  today announces a groundbreaking agreement with simfy, one of the top music services in Europe, that ensures TuneCore artists and songwriters will be paid for the use of their music.

The deal is groundbreaking as under the agreement, simfy will obtain the rights to both the recordings and songs (aka the underlying composition) represented by TuneCore and pay both sets of royalties directly to TuneCore, as opposed to paying third party collection agencies that take significant percentages of the money and in some cases years to pay it out.  The deal allows TuneCore to pay its artists and songwriters/publishers more money more quickly with unprecedented transparency than via any other entity in the world.

Says TuneCore CEO and Founder Jeff Price:

“Simfy is a visionary music service for fans.  It is also a music industry leader that pays all royalties for the music in its service. Music fans can now choose to use simfy not only for its great experience with access to over 16 million songs but also because simfy will pay artists and songwriters all their royalties.”

The deal with simfy is one of many direct partnerships that TuneCore’s Global Songwriter Publishing Administration has forged with the leading digital music services.  With the click of a button, any songwriter can have songwriter music publishing administration via TuneCore’s Songwriter Service that collects money, registers copyrights, polices rights globally and issues licenses.

About Simfy
Simfy gives music fans access to over 16 million songs in the cloud. Users can listen to music, create playlists, and share them via social networks. A number of service options are available including free advertising-financed and subscription based premium services. Launched in 2010, simfy has rapidly grown to become one of the leading music streaming providers in Europe.

About TuneCore
TuneCore (www.tunecore.com) is the largest distributor and has one of the highest revenue-generating music catalogs in the world. In the past two years TuneCore Artists have sold over 500 million units and generated over $250 million dollars in gross music sales and songwriter revenue. In fall 2011, TuneCore launched its separate groundbreaking Global Songwriter Publishing Administration Service, providing any songwriter global songwriter publishing administration which registers their copyrights, collects money that is rightfully theirs, protects and polices their copyrights and songs, and issue licenses.

TuneCore is a low, flat fee service that distributes music to iTunes, Spotify, eMusic, AmazonMP3, Nokia and many other major download and streaming sites while taking no rights and no revenue from the sale of the music. Artists are building careers, selling significant volumes of music and generating revenue through TuneCore. Since its launch in 2006, TuneCore has more than 700,000 account holders, including Grammy winners and unsigned artists alike. TuneCore artists include Drake, Beck, Lil’ Wayne, Jay-Z, Aretha Franklin, Keith Richards, Public Enemy, Nine Inch Nails, Ricky Skaggs, Paul Westerberg, The Civil Wars, Willie Nelson, They Might Be Giants, Donna Summer, MGM Studios, Warren G, Bjork, Moby, High School Musical cast members, Girl Talk, Brian Eno, Starbucks and hundreds of thousands more.

  • Applefan1984

    Does iTunes pay ‘both sets of royalties direct to TuneCore as well?

    • Anonymous

      not yet

      jeff

      • Mrevilg

        Can we (as rights holders) contact these digital entities and request payment directly?

        • Anonymous

          @mrevilg

          yes. I will find the right contact information for you and post when i have it
          Remember, the burden of proof is on them, not you

          If they claim they have the rights they need, ask them to provide proof as you are the exclusive rights holder
          They may try to wear you down with a variety of “its complicated and you dont understand” responses. I find if someone cannot explain something to you in a way you can understand, they usually do not know what they are talking about or are intentionally not being honest
          its very simple –

          They need two rights to use your songs in every single store in every country. Having the rights in one country does not mean they have the rights in another
          They need

          Reproduction
          Public Performance

          they need to get the licenses and pay for both.

          jeff

          • Mrevilg

            …thanks Jeff.

             

            Forgive my ignorance, and my apologies if this has already been
            covered elsewhere: Cannot Tunecore (via its various incarnations) offer this as
            part of their service directly?

             

            I fail to see (and I’m aware of the logistical connotations of
            this) why Tunecore cannot offer representation on all of the 6 copyright
            elements…

             

            Perhaps that is a discussion for another time, but judging by
            the overall success of the company, and the ‘jenga-like-tower’ that is the
            current music industry, I feel that only a wholely owned/360 to all rights is
            the only way to give anyone any clout…

             

            (I’m a PRS/MCPS registered composer, setting up a
            Master/Publishing label in the US… I’m still getting my head around it all!)

             

            Keep up the good work jeff!

          • Anonymous

            @Mrevilg

            these are great questions (and thank you for the kind words)!

            There are two copyrights in each recording – one is called the (P) and stands for Phonogram. It’s for the entity that owns the recording of the song (called the “Master”).
            There is then a completely separate second copyright called the (C) and stands for copyright (lyrics and melody of the song).
            Traditionally, record labels controlled and represented the (P) whereas ” music publishers” would control and represent the (C)
            As they are different rights, the services and administration around each one work differently and need their own special services.
            (if its of any help, there is a four and a half minute video we made that may help explain this better – you can view it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMvhjwwzcQg)
            Although these two rights legally stand alone from each other (two separate rights) they work in tandem. Any entity that wants to use either needs to get two separate rights grants from the person or entity that represents them.
            TuneCore distribution works for you around the (P) – that is, as you control the (P), you are hiring TuneCore to send the recordings of your songs to iTunes etc and then collect the money earned from the sale of those recordings. You are NOT granting TuneCore the right to represent the (C) and administer money, issue licenses etc for the lyrics and melody used in the recording.
            I did not want to create an agreement that requires anyone that wants to use TuneCore to grant both rights to TuneCore. I wanted them to be able to opt in at their discretion for either one or the other
            Thats what we have two separate services:

            http://www.tunecore.com for distribution

            and

            http://www.tunecore.com/songwriters for the lyrics and melodies

            and yes, I agree with you that having everything under one roof makes the most sense provided the entity that is working for you is doing so with an equitable deal and transparency

            finally, yes, I agree, this stuff can truly make your head hurt.

            Jeff

          • Petelaw44

            Jeff, I am only withTunecore a few months now, and am learning more, in that short space of time, than I have learned in over forty years as a music professional…Fact is, thanks to you guys in Tunecore, I am being told about stuff that until now, I was told ‘doesn’t concern you’…
            So glad I joined. Thank you…

  • Susan Anway

    This is awesome news! Thanks for this…

  • Applefan1984

    As iTunes don’t pay both sets of royalties to TuneCore will you take them on as well, like you are doing with Amazon and remove your catalogue?

    Surely as Apple are the biggest retailer in the world and you’re the biggest distributor in the world, if they’re not paying artists fairly then you should be fighting them?

    • Anonymous

      @applefan

      the situation with Amazon is specific to Amazon. I cannot yet to speak to what any other digital music service is or is not doing
      But I will say, all digital music services, no matter who they are, are required to follow the law and pay their royalties.
      If they are not, it then creates a choiche – work to get them to pay or turn a blind eye as you do not want to have the fight.
      TuneCore works for all of you, and if you as a group decide you would prefer to have your music available to buy but not get all your royalties as opposed to going through any fight needed to go through to assure you get your money, we should listen
      This is your income, not ours, and we work for you.

      Jeff

  • Applefan1984

    This announcement is great and I don’t wish to steal thunder – but it hinges around Simfy paying both royalties direct to TuneCore via the usual and Songwriter service root. You made a really big deal about that bit so I guess it’s important.

    If iTunes don’t do that then how can you work with them? I’m sure it’s not double-standards but it seems that way.

    Ps. To be honest dude, we’re all losing Amazon sales for your argument with them,

    • Anonymous

      @applefan

      this is not TuneCore’s argument with Amazon, this is all of your decision
      And we honestly leave it up to you – we understand there may be a loss of income for you in the short run. This really is your decision – do you want to allow digital music stores to not pay all your royalties or would you prefer to have them selling your music knowing they are not paying you what they should.
      This is your income, I am ready to fight for you if you want…

      Yes, there is no reason why iTunes or any other store cannot pay us directly for songwriters.
      When this happens you make more money more quickly with transparency and an audit trail than via any other entity on the planet
      There has been over $250,000,000 in songwriter royalties earned over the past 10 years that has not made it back to the songwriters – its your money. You get to decide if you want it or if you would prefer to forgo it
      Jeff

  • Applefan1984

    Jeff, you say it’s our decision but you didn’t ask any of us first and this only came up when we told you (9 days ago) that our music was disappearing.  

    This extra royalty you talk about, it’s 8% (about 10¢) and every online retailer pays it to collection agencies in UK/EU. That is just how it works FOR ALL STORES. There are agencies bands can join for free to collect this royalty for them – that’s how it works in the UK/EU.Facts are:YOU got into a fight with Amazon and WE are the foot soldiers on the front line.  WE are the ones losing money to a fight we didn’t ask forYOU accused Amazon of not paying songwriter royalties in UK/EU – isn’t this a matter for the PRSForMusic? (http://prsformusic.com/aboutus/contact_us/Pages/ContactsforCustomers.aspx)Sorry Jeff, but i can’t reason with a guy who’s hailing himself as the next messiah and sounding more like Gaddafi- so i’ll leave you with one final thought:

    If you want to change the music industry – fine.  Lead that war yourself and don’t force us to be casualties.

    • Anonymous

      @Applefan

      A few things – sadly, there are not organizations you can join to get all your money, thus the reason you do not get your money.
      Below are the facts – you need to make the decision, but at least you have more information to help make that decision.
      There are organizations you can join in your own country for a fee that can get some portion of your money for one or the other right and, in some cases both. But if you live in the UK and your song is downloaded in – lets say – Japan, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain etc you do NOT get the mechanical royalty and cannot just “join” all these other entities to get money they had no right to get in the first place.
      Mechanical royalties do NOT get passed back and forth between organizations, only Public Performance royalties do.
      Here’s another example – if you live in the UK there is an organization called PRS. PRS only represent Public Performance royalties. Therefore, if you are a member of PRS, i is ONLY for the Public Performance royalty NOT for the mechanical royalty
      What PRS will do is collect money from a digital store, split the money between Public Performance and Reproduction and hand the money for Reproduction over to another organization in the UK called MCPS.
      MCPS will then charge you £50 to join and take ~15% of your money to release your mechanical royalties it to you
      NOTE – the digital store had NO RIGHT to pay PRS money your mechanical royalty as PRS only represents public performance. Therefore the digital store does not
      NOTE – PRS had no right to split the money as it does not represent you for Reproduction
      Part of the reason more are not outraged about this is due to the complexity so its hard to know your pockets are being picked and/or that a digital music store does not have the proper licenses.
      In regards to this disute – it is TuneCore’s customers decision. We discovered issues around this topic with Amazon. This is what Amazon did on its own.
      It is your decision. Not mine. I have no reason to fight for you if you dont care that others dont pay you your money.

      Here is why and how it would work:

      TuneCore has a dispute on your behalf with Amazon regarding your royalty payments. The delay in settling this dispute resulted in Amazon stoppping the ability for people to buy your recordings in the Amazon European Union and United Kingdom MP3 store.

      Until this dispute gets resolved (and we are aggressively and activly working on getting the royalty matter settled) your songs will not be available to buy via Amazon in the UK and EU.

      Now heres the other important part – We are in active negotiations at this moment and could just fold up and no longer work to resolve this issue. We could walk away from the issue and your recordings would go back up.

      We understand that you may lose income as we fight on your behalf resolve things with Amazon.

      And as sure as I am typing this, there will be more disputes like this one.

      And that’s the question you need to answer for us. Do you want to us to fight for you? Do you want to allow digital music stores to sell your music and not pay all your royalties or, when they don’t pay all your royalties, have TuneCore fight on your behalf to get them.

      This is your income, these are your rights and this is your decision. If you want things to change and have artists get all their money, there is no other way to do it unless you confront those that are not paying. If you want TunCore to fight for the collective voice of all of you, we will. And we will win – but sometimes it might not be easy and take some time. When these entities are confronted, it is possible they will use every tactic they can to get you to give up.

      We know this is easy for us to say as we are not the ones that may be missing out on sales until things are sorted out. But believe it or not, they need you more than you need them. Without you, the music stops and therefore so does their service.

      Over the past seven years there has been over 250 million dollars earned by songwriters that did not get it.

      But ultimately, this is your money and we recognize that. You get to decide if you want to fight for it or if you forgo it.

      And thats the question to you – get your money and protect your rights or not

      Jeff

    • Anonymous

      @Applefan

      side note – i emailed you directly offering to speak to you via phone. Your email bounced
      jeff

  • Applefan1984

    Jeff. The PRS and MCPS are the same organisation, they joined a few years ago.  

    Their website is here: http://prsformusic.com – its £30 to join and they charge 12% all-in.  

    Call them on +442075805544, they’re open right now.  Fight for our rights.

    You say: ‘And as sure as I am typing this, there will be more disputes like this one’ 

    This scares the hell out of me and should all other artists.  

    • Anonymous

      @applefan

      below is an email sent to one of our customers from PRS about three weeks ago. This customer sold a lot of music in the UK.
      note how the email states that although our customer is already a member of PRS, he must also pay another 50 pounds to join the “other part” of the organization – MCPS (despite our customer already being a member of PRS).
      it also details how PRS splits the money it receives for public performances to include money for rights it does not represent
      It also notes that he has not assigned his rights to PRS for the right of Reproduction (mechanical royalties) thus the reason he needs to pay for another 50 pounds to get money that should not have been paid to them in the first place.
      here is the email:

      ….they’ll (the person at PRS means TuneCore) have to go via us (meaning PRS) first as we look after the digital stores for the whole of Europe. If that’s the case then it would be worth joining MCPS to make sure you don’t miss out on mechanical royalties.
      With each download the 8% songwriter royalties from each download are split 25% Performance (PRS) and 75% Mechanical (MCPS) – currently you get the performance ones direct but we’d need you to join MCPS so we can release the mechanical ones. This is easy to do online – a one-off joining fee of £50, no extra admin deductions and you’re joined for life.
      For broadcasts just make sure you let us know if things don’t come through (it should be automatic) and for live shows you can let us know venues and setlists for gigs you do on our site.
      What I’d do is check with Tunecore on how they see the system working in Europe first, but I’d like to make sure you get those digital service royalties. They won’t go anywhere else but just need to be directed to you..
      Yeah, the disputes concern me as well – and it all wont be easy. It really wont. But if all of you choose, you can use TuneCore as the vehicle to represent all of you and we will win.
      In regards to PRS, my issue is not with them, its with the digital store. its the store that needs to get licenses and make payments.
      Jeff

    • Anonymous

      @applefan

      below is an email sent to one of our customers from PRS about three weeks ago. This customer sold a lot of music in the UK.
      note how the email states that although our customer is already a member of PRS, he must also pay another 50 pounds to join the “other part” of the organization – MCPS (despite our customer already being a member of PRS).
      it also details how PRS splits the money it receives for public performances to include money for rights it does not represent
      It also notes that he has not assigned his rights to PRS for the right of Reproduction (mechanical royalties) thus the reason he needs to pay for another 50 pounds to get money that should not have been paid to them in the first place.
      here is the email:

      ….they’ll (the person at PRS means TuneCore) have to go via us (meaning PRS) first as we look after the digital stores for the whole of Europe. If that’s the case then it would be worth joining MCPS to make sure you don’t miss out on mechanical royalties.
      With each download the 8% songwriter royalties from each download are split 25% Performance (PRS) and 75% Mechanical (MCPS) – currently you get the performance ones direct but we’d need you to join MCPS so we can release the mechanical ones. This is easy to do online – a one-off joining fee of £50, no extra admin deductions and you’re joined for life.
      For broadcasts just make sure you let us know if things don’t come through (it should be automatic) and for live shows you can let us know venues and setlists for gigs you do on our site.
      What I’d do is check with Tunecore on how they see the system working in Europe first, but I’d like to make sure you get those digital service royalties. They won’t go anywhere else but just need to be directed to you..
      Yeah, the disputes concern me as well – and it all wont be easy. It really wont. But if all of you choose, you can use TuneCore as the vehicle to represent all of you and we will win.
      In regards to PRS, my issue is not with them, its with the digital store. its the store that needs to get licenses and make payments.
      Jeff

    • Anonymous

      one other note – I am really grateful for you taking the time to discuss these issues on the blog
      people/artist need to have this information and deserve to have all their questions answered!
      jeff

    • Anonymous

      one other note – I am really grateful for you taking the time to discuss these issues on the blog
      people/artist need to have this information and deserve to have all their questions answered!
      jeff

  • Applefan84

    So to solve all this i just pay you $50?  I’m sold.

    #sarcasm

    • Anonymous

      @applefan

      I wish it was as easy as just paying someone $50 to make things right. If so, I would have done it myself a long time ago.
      Its not. We are going to have to work for it.

      This issue is about all artists and their rights, regardless of if they use TuneCore or not.
      All of them should get all their money. What we do will benefit everyone, not just a select few.
      I understand your anger, this industry can treat musicians and songwriters like garbage – steal their money, provide no transparency, confuse them with arcane laws, use slight of hand to take their money.
      Anything I can do to improve things I will do provided its what the artist wants.
      All that being said, you have thrown some mud at both me personally and TuneCore on our blog.
      With each of your postings I have replied with detailed information regarding the laws with back-up emails and laws that show the money trail.
      I am curious about the background of your anger towards me and TuneCore
      jeff

  • Applefan84

    TuneCore are a good company with a solid reputation, the company has done well since it started in 2006.  Your rants just ruin that Jeff.  For instance the title and opening lines of the blog above.  Just announce it, save the dramatics!

    You twist everything to make yourself look like the saviour of independent music whilst side-stepping all actual issues.  Put down your ego and your thorny crown.

    I don’t have anger towards the music industry, as any artist i want to use it to promote my music and some day make a career.  I have anger towards people that can spend hours writing long meandering posts on this blog instead of running their company.

    As much as this whole issue grates me i really can’t be bothered to keep replying so please feel free to write a long comment to bury this.

    • Anonymous

      @applefan84

      I hear you, and perhaps my passion does get the best of me from time to time.
      I hate the way artists have been treated over the decades. I get emotional and driven as I believe its just wrong
      I personally have no desire for fame or fortune, what makes me tick is doing what is right. I get more pleasure from helping others than just about anything else.
      Same applies to other areas of my life – be it helping someone getting mugged, attacked or other social injustices
      This is who I am. I cant change my DNA and passion – but I do try to channel it in ways that be constructive
      I may piss some off in the process, and that is certainly not my intent, but if I discover someone is stealing from an artist, degrading them, delegitimizing them it infuriates me.
      It should not be this way. Its just wrong. And yes, I get angry. Cant help it.
      But more importantly, I keep my eye on the ball. Strategy is important. And Im going to ask you to have faith and trust that any move we make as a company is done so with a focus on the end goal, not on inflaming the masses. A lot of non public conversations and negotiations always happen. Most you never know about.
      If a digital music service is not paying its royalties and we catch them, the first action is to sort it out with the digital store privately, not bring it to the public.
      Last resorts must be saved as once you go there, there is only one course of action. Until then, we play all the other angles
      jeff

  • http://twitter.com/LDPT Jürgen Söder

    Am I right that this direct payment and your Songwriter Collection Service in general only works if you are NOT in a european Collection Society like GEMA, MCPS/PRS, SACEM etc. or if an author would have limited his transfer of rights to those societies not to include digital? I just think it is important to know if you CAN’T use this service if you have a publisher, a publishing administrator or if you have a standard membership agreement with those societies.
    Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      @jurgen

      The TuneCore songwriter service (part of the Simfy deal) is available to any entity that controls the rights of Reproduction and Public Performance.
      So yes, if you have already done a publishing deal (meaning you transferred administrative control of you copyrights as a songwriter to another entity) you could not sign up for the TuneCore songwriter service.
      All digital music stores must get the two needed rights from the entity or person that controls the rights to the song.
      If you control those rights, and have not assigned them to any other entity, then they would need to get them, and make payments, directly to you (by default you are the “publisher”)
      If you have affiliated with a local collection agency, and assigned the collection agency the right to represent you for both rights, then that entity would represent you in that country.
      If that local collection entity is in a relationship with another entity in another country and it is able to transfer or assign your rights to them (which they do), than the entity would represent you in that other county.
      This means that your money would get hit twice before you got it about 18 months after it was earned (they would take around 17% – 30% of your money)
      Unfortunately, this creates some issues – the most important being that there are no reciprocating rights regarding the royalties due from “Reproduction” (aka “mechanical royalties”).
      That is, if you are a member of – lets say – PRS in the United Kingdom, this is only for the right of Public Performance, not of reproduction.
      Therefore, if you music sells in Germany, PRS might have passed on the right of Public Performance to the German collection agency called GEMA but it did NOT pass on the right of Reproduction.
      Therefore, the digital music store still needs the license to the right of Reproduction (and make payments directly back to the entity that controls it – which is most likely you).
      The TuneCore songwriter service removes all these middlemen taking between 20% – 30% of your money and gets more money back to you more quickly with transparency (you will actually know the royalty rates) and an audit trail (if you use TuneCore for distribution).

      Jeff

      • http://twitter.com/LDPT Jürgen Söder

         Thanks Jeff, I understand the process and I think you should make clearer that with your Songwriter Service you don’t only suggest a model outside of music publishing but outside collection societies. I think you should add to your FAQ that most likely you can’t use this service if you have a standard contract with a collection society (at least in Europe).
        I agree that Collection Societies can be terribly inefficient and that in the digital world their system is a joke – and it really has to change.
        I still think that if every aggregator starts to collect songwriter royalties on behalf of their clients and authors are represented by hundreds of different companies instead of a few Collection Societies in a country, what gets lost is the political power that ensured that those monies have to be paid to songwriters in the first place. The money you are claiming on behalf of your clients

        • Anonymous

          @Jurgen

          You make some good points. There is absolutely strength in numbers.

          It appears over half a billion dollars of songwriters money was never paid to them over the past five to seven years.
          The minute you write a song, you get six legal copyright (you can read about them here) – http://wwww.tunecore.com/copyright
          The songwriter service works for you to represent all six of the copyrights – this includes registration of your songs with collections agencies as well as auditing and collecting from them on you behalf.
          Collection agencies are hired as an outsource solution for one or two of these six rights, not all six rights.
          In cases where collection agencies outside of the US are hired to play this role, an entity is still needed to get all your money as only part of it is passed back to you local collection agency (Public Performance royalties). Mechanical Royalties are not passed back and sit with another collection agency somewhere else in the world.
          For example, if you live in Germany and choose to hire GEMA to work for you and your music downloads in Japan or the UK, GEMA gets you back the royalty from Public Performance, it does not get you the royalty back owed for “Reproduction” (mechanical royalties).
          These mechanical royalties will in Japan and the UK – the collection agency takes about 15% of your money and then, after some period of time passes, they give it to Warner, EMI, Sony and Universal and others based on their market share. The only way to get it is to have someone on your behalf affiliate with the collection agency on to get it.
          For example, if you want to join the collection agency called JASRAC in Japan to get your mechanical royalties, you have to fit their rules which state:
          You must have a business in Japan

          You cannot be a member of any other collection agency

          Therefore, assuming you even knew this money existed for you, you cannot get it on your own.

          The TuneCore songwriter service is able to get this money for you

          there are no reciprocating rights for mechanical royalties, only for public performance royalties

          • http://twitter.com/LDPT Jürgen Söder

            Jeff, if you want to say that eg. as a GEMA member you fundamentally wouldn’t get the mechanicals for downloads in France, the UK or other countries, you got wrong information.
            I also work as a publisher and even in cases I don’t have a subpublisher in other countries, I can collect mechanicals for downloads in those countries through GEMA.  I really think you should correct your statement – it is definitely not true that you have to be a member of all those societies all over the world to get your digital mechanicals at all.

          • Anonymous

            @Jurgen

            Interesting! I have yet to find anyone that indicated their local collection agency had reciprocating rights on Mechanical Royalties.
            To clarify, please tell me if the following is correct:

            if there is a download in Japan, a digital store first checks with JASRAC to assure that JASRAC represent the two rights (Reproduction and Public Performance/Communication) to the underlying composition. Once this is confirmed, JASRAC gets paid the royalty (however the royalty rate is not disclosed)
            JASRAC then arbitrarily splits the money paid by the digital store between Mechanical Royalties and Public Performance (I could not find any basis in copyright law for how the split is determined. It differs from country to country and appears to be based on who sits on the board of directors – if there are more publishers, they split goes more towards Mechanicals, if more songwriters, the split goes in favor of Public Performance.)
            For the mechanicals, JASRAC takes around 15% as an “admin” fee (again, they dont seem to disclose the % they take. If they do, its been tough for me to get the admin fee rate for mechanicals)
            If they do reciprocate to GEMA for the Mechanicals, they most likely pass the money and info back about 9 to 12 months after they get it to GEMA.
            GEMA than takes another % of the money (no idea what that would be as this is the first time I have heard of reciprocating rights via collection agencies but Im guessing around 4%) and then another 6 – 12 months later pays whatever is leftover to you.
            For the Public Performance royalty, JASRAC takes somewhere between 15 -20% of the money as an admin fee (again, not clear as they will not reveal the exact % they take from a particular source) and then about 6 – 12 months later passes it back to GEMA.
            GEMA then takes another 3.7% as its admin fee and then splits the public performance royalty with 66% going to the songwriter and 33% going to the publisher and you get paid the songwriter portion about another 6 – 12 months later.
            For the publisher share, it goes to the publisher who then takes its % (lets say 15%) and after another 2 to 4 months, accounts back to the songwriter (assuming its not a co-pub deal)
            Another interesting point I have discovered is that the entity that controls the underlying composition gets to decide how it wants the money split between Reproduction and Public Performance, not the collection agency – I’m interested to learn if this is consistent with what you know as well
            Please do let me know if what I have written lines up with what you know or if I have gotten something wrong. I would really appreciate it!

            jeff

          • Anonymous

            Update – there are reciprocating rights on Mechanicals via those collection agencies that are part of the BIEM collective (http://www.biem.org/)
            However, most of the world’s collection agencies are not members of BIEM, but many European (and some Asian) collection agencies are
            Jeff

  • Wesleymccants

    I released two songs at Tunecore over a year ago. I didn’t make a red cent. In all the distribution outlets Tunecore is affiliated with one would believe confidently that one individual from the whole of the worldwide web would have bought a copy of one of the two inexpensive released songs: at least. Not so. Zilch. This smells of manipulation or favoritism on the part of Tunecore and whoever else is involved. I plan to elicit the succor of the U.S. Justice Department about the moral integrity of this online service for songwriters and musicians. I don’t believe Tunecore is as forthright as it boasts itself to be. In contrast, it doesn’t appear in the forefront to be shady, but when one plus one doesn’t equal two, as the Principia Mathematica teaches us, then one needs to check at the backdoor to find out what’s going on.

    Wesley McCants

    • Anonymous

      @wesleymccants

      i am truly sorry your music did not sell, believe me, I wish it did

      But these sort of accusations are just nuts.

      You can certainly contact the digital stores and ask them to send you copies of any sales statements.
      Lets publicly post what they send you on this blog

      jeff

      • Carteroy

         @34fefcc368c9f661a8d74997bc1b86e2:disqus

        I can see from your post that you are a total beginner and haven’t really understood how selling music on the internet works. And that’s ok, so that’s why I will help you:

        Once upon a time, distribution was the bottleneck of the business of selling recorded music: that’s what the major labels controlled, but they understood how important that was to generate significant and concentrated sales numbers.

        In other words, if you were fortunate enough to have your recorded music in a store, eventually somebody “in the whole wide world” would buy it. Because it was in the store and somebody would stumble upon it. And there was no other way to have recorded music at home than going to a record store.

        That’s why you needed a contract with a major label, or else you could not play. And that’s why the labels could ask you to give up all your rights. And you would, because otherwise they would not let you play … you simply would never et into the store.

        Now, this has completely changed. And that’s why the labels are screaming “piracy” and “theft” all the time now. What they mean is that they have lost control over distribution.

        That’s why you can have global distribution now, through tunecore or others.

        But it also means that most songs that are distributed sell zero units per year. Think about this: Who “from the whole of the worldwide web” has ever heard about your music? And if they find it, what is the reason they have to buy it?

        You have bought distribution, but you have to do the marketing yourself. You have to tell people that you exist, and why they should care. Not Jeff. He’s just helping you with making your stuff available.

        I hope this helps 😉

        • Wesley McCants

          Thanks for your sarcasm. However it was not needed since I am a professional songwriter and BMI member for over 15 years. I will not be renewing my account with amateurs. Why should I? All I have to do is call song publishers, members of BMI too, in order to pitch my songs.

          You will soon begin to have problems with your customer base because you are dishonest and deceptive. Corruption always casts a shadow eventually….

  • Carteroy

    Simple, quick question: When will we be able to send our songs to simfy?