Posted Tue Sep 8, 2009 11:20AM
The audio forums have seen many questions about PROs, the purpose of this thread is to inform you the contributor and you the buyer about the world of audio royalties, specifically Performance royalties.
While this thread is locked, please do not hesitate to site-mail me if your questions are not answered or if this thread produces more questions. We will be sure to update this thread as new information becomes available.
Just for clarification - What is a PRO? PRO stands for performance royalty organization, these organizations are sometimes referred to as Performance royalty societies.
Posted Tue Sep 8, 2009 11:22AM
No contributors of iStock standard audio are permitted to be a part of a PRO/PRS anywhere in the world. This includes musicians that perform, write or produce part of a track.
The talent release makes a legal claim that NO persons involved on a track are part of a PRO anywhere in the world.
Posted Tue Sep 8, 2009 11:23AM
There is only one way that a person can belong to a PRO (including PUMP) and sell RF worldwide. That would be if the individual contacted every PRO worldwide and asked if they could have their music be exempt from Royalties. PRO's do have this option called direct licensing but this contract needs to be made with each individual PRO with each individual artist.
We know of cases (within the Getty family) where an American ASCAP artist has stated they do not want royalties for a particular track. Then when that track is purchased in another country that country has stated that royalties will be collected on ANY artist that is a member of a PRO unless they sign a direct license contract with their PRO. Even though ASCAP states that direct licensing a composition will prevent royalties from being collected on a track, many PRO's will not honor a foreign direct license contract.
What does this mean for us? it means that the Performance royalty system is complicated and plagued with inconsistencies. Therefore the only way a PRO member can submit to istock is to contact every known PRO and sign a contract that prevents each PRO from collecting on your music. We can not do this for you, it is something that each individual needs to do on their own. After this is done proof of contracts with all of these PROs should be submitted to iStock.
One more thing to note is that what we are doing here at iStock is very new, and there are many people (including some entertainment lawyers) who believe that it is possible to direct license world wide. Please trust us when we say that it is IMPOSSIBLE to direct license worldwide, without going throughout the above procedure. We have first hand experience, and have legal representatives in many countries that have been working on this problem for a significant amount of time.
Posted Tue Sep 8, 2009 11:24AM
Why not PUMP - It is important to note that every song Pump accepts into their collection is given to a PRO to track (I believe ASCAP). By doing this Pump associates the artist with a PRO and any artist associated with a PRO will have royalties collected on their works in any country outside of the USA. Why does Pump do this? Pump does this because in the agreement that you make with them they will be considered co-publishers of your audio. Performance royalties have two parts - 1 part that is paid to the artist and 1 part that is paid to the Publisher. Pump collects 50% of the Publishers feel and the remaining 50% goes to the artist (a bonus for most artists). It therefore is in Pumps interest to ensure that their members music is collected on by a PRO. Due to this relationship may PRO's will assume that the artist is a member of the PRO, even if that member did not sign a contract.
What if I have been accepted to Pump already - If you have, Submitted your application, had your application approved, or already have tracks for sale by Pump then you are safe - you can continue with your Pump relationship. The reason why this is okay is that you the artist are not signing a contract with ASCAP but have a relationship with them through Pump alone. Legally this should not make your iStock tracks subject to collection by a PRO, but the simple association will provoke some countries to collect. While we can deal with a few PRO battles it is impossible for us to deal with the prospect of every European customer being wrongly collected on, and then having to protect each of our buyers and contributors for every sale. While we would love to do this for every user the problem is that it would cost many more dollars to defend our position than the tracks would be able to generate.
Posted Tue Sep 8, 2009 11:28AM
PRO members can contribute Sound Effects to iStockaudio, provided that they sign a SFX addendum contract which will enable the contributor to only upload SFX files. If you are interested in this please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Tue Sep 8, 2009 11:28AM
Posted Tue Feb 17 11:20AM
I am a member of a PRO and have a SFX only contract.
I have been uploading sound effects and have been very conservative in choosing them... car sounds, voice, etc.
But I have been wondering where the line is as to what is a musical work... Could I upload straight drum loops since in general they are used as part of something else after? Or would they be considered musical?
And what about another loop (like a bass line)?
Just want to make sure I'm not refraining from uploading things I could be putting up there because I'm too careful haha
Posted Tue Feb 17 12:05PM
Unfortunately anything with a recognized note or rhythm structure can not be uploaded, by SFX only contributors.