AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Fund distributing record $ 70 million in royalties – Deadline

Some 50,000 session musicians and background singers will share more than $ 70 million in royalties collected by the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund – the largest distribution in the fund’s history. The average payout is around $ 1,500, but some artists receive well above that amount. The checks started going out on April 30.

The nonprofit collects and distributes royalties to unrepresented artists on sound recordings of songs broadcast on satellite radio, non-interactive streaming and other digital formats at home and abroad. As digital platforms have developed, the fund’s collections and distributions have increased. Since its inception in 2008, the fund has distributed over $ 500 million to participants and their beneficiaries. It distributed over $ 62 million last year and $ 60 million in 2019.

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“Each year we have been able to raise more income on behalf of our participants,” said Sidney Kibodeaux White, COO of the fund. “Considering the huge impact the pandemic has had on the earning capacity of both instrumentalists and singers, we are delighted to be able to help unrepresented artists by collecting and distributing royalties that they do not. may not know they are entitled to receive. . Unlike other rights collectives, there is no membership or registration requirement to qualify – as long as a musician participates as a non-featured artist in a covered sound recording, that musician is considered as a “ participant ” for distribution purposes. “

White also encouraged those who think they are owed money to visit the fund website for more information.

“Although the music industry is slowly recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, its repercussions will be felt for years to come,” the fund said in a statement. “As artists seek other sources of income in the face of economic uncertainty, the fund offers union and non-union musicians and session singers a sense of relief.

Singer Kudisan Kai said, “As an artist I have had the chance to work with Elton John, Mary J. Blige, Joe Cocker and many others. I also sing in movies, TV shows, and commercials, so when I started receiving royalties from an organization with this long, funny name, I was pleasantly surprised.

Grammy-winning artist Alvin Chea of ​​the a cappella group Take 6: “If you have worked as a singer or musician, the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Fund may have funds for you. I know I’ve worked on a lot of big projects with artists like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Elton John, as well as smaller projects – and they find them all. They blessed me and have many pleasant surprises in store for me in my mailbox.

Although initially formed by the American Federation of Musicians and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the fund is an independent entity whose purpose is to collect and distribute royalties from various foreign jurisdictions and established royalties. by government law under United States copyright law. US copyright law, which originally covered performing rights only for publishers and authors, underwent significant changes in the 1990s. The most important of these were the home audio recording of 1992, the Digital Performing Right Act on Sound Recordings of 1995, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. These laws amended the original copyright law to provide services (webcasting, home recording) to copyright owners, unrepresented performers, such as session musicians and singers.

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