Business Matters: Inside SoundExchange's 2010 and 2011 Numbers
Business Matters: Inside SoundExchange's 2010 and 2011 Numbers

SoundExchange, an organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties in the U.S., has signed two groups of reciprocal agreements with foreign collecting societies.

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This week, SoundExchange signed multilateral reciprocal agreements with foreign artist societies in Germany (GVL), Japan (CPRA/Geidankyo), Sweden (SAMI) and Cyprus (ASTERAS). The deals -- made in conjunction with the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and the AFM and AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund -- relate to collection of sound recording royalties for digital performances.

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In plain English: performing artists will get royalties when their songs are played on digital services in Germany, Japan, Sweden and Cyprus. (Reciprocal deals with foreign societies allow U.S. artists to receive royalties when their songs are played in other countries.) These new agreements will allow SoundExchange to collect digital performance royalties for feature performing artists in those four countries.

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SoundExchange -- which collects U.S. digital performance royalties on behalf of sound recording owners, recording artists and performers featured on the recordings -- will be able to collect foreign royalties whether or not the featured performer is currently a member of SoundExchange.

Earlier this month, SoundExchange signed reciprocal deals with record label collecting societies in France, Spain, Sweden, Ireland and Jamaica. Concurrent with those deals was the announcement of a new policy not to charge an administrative rate on royalties collected by foreign societies. In effect, the policy will prevent labels' and artists' royalties from being charged administrative fees by both the foreign society and SoundExchange.