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bigtunamusic says

Greetings all,

There appears to be a general level of confusion pertaining to the issue of public performance royalties for tracks sold on AudioJungle and I too have been baffled by this somewhat complex issue.

I have read all the terms and conditions at Envato (which are very thorough) as well as the help pages and support centre articles. I have also read (most) of the threads here in the forum. I cannot see anywhere a set of comprehensive explanations of PPR policy nor do I find any guidance for both buyers and sellers in terms of what they should do with cue sheets etc.

If you are a seller and are confused already then let me explain..

If a TV company wishes to buy a track on AudioJungle (or any other site for that matter) and then broadcast it, it ‘should’ fill in a cue sheet with the relevant public performance organisation for their particular country. For me it is the PRS (performing rights society) in the UK. The PRS then distribute royalties to the author of that track, the amount depending on the duration, channel and number of needle drops etc. If the cue sheet is not filled in the PRS retain the funds in a collective ‘pot’ which is distributed evenly amongst all members. It is important for composers, therefore, to ensure that this is done otherwise they won’t receive their royalties!

It should be noted that it is not the producer of the work that pays this royalty. It is the broadcaster. For example Sky TV would pay this if a track was picked up for an advertising campaign on one of their channels. I think much of the confusion is about buyers on Envato worrying that they will have to pay royalties when they would not have to.

Please could you (AudioJungle) assist all of us here by actioning the following requests:

1. Reassure sellers that they only waive their MCPS /Sync income from ‘royalty fee’ sites such as AudioJungle and that they are all entitled to receive public performance royalties (or PPR ’s) from the various public performance organisations (or PRO ’s).

2. Reassure buyers that they only have to pay once for a track (limited to one application of course) but on a perpetual basis and that they don’t have to pay performance royalties

3. Take more of an active role in explaining the cue sheet process (IE registering of tracks with PRO ’s). Even though it is not directly part of the remit of Envato to do this it would be very useful in both asserting the rights of sellers and clarifying the legal position for broadcasters.

One way Envato could do this is to consider putting a message up on the site, aimed at commercial buyers, requesting and/or informing them that if the audio is going to be broadcast that they correctly identify the author of the track on the PRO cue sheets. Whereas I’m sure most responsible producers would do just this, I’m sure some forget or simply don’t know the correct procedure. As there is no legal requirement for them to do so it might be nice to ensure that writers are receiving their performance royalties.

I hope this helps!

Howie D

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FxProSound says

As far as I know you can not put here music registered at any PRO , that’s the idea of Royalty Free – pay once and use without any additional fees. There are stocksites accepting PRO music but not AJ.

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pinkzebra says

Man, I really hope Envato takes notice of this lost income for AJ authors and allows PRO registered tracks on AJ.

It – is – a – HUGE – deal.

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bigtunamusic says

Hi there fx,

well done for being the first respondent!

Yes that is one of the views I have noted in this forum. I have also seen contradictory advice (even from staff) going into the detail of registering tracks etc. so this is the main purpose of this thread.

I’m afraid that you may have fallen into the trap of ambiguity (i hate saying misconception) as to the term ‘royalty free’.

” that’s the idea of Royalty Free – pay once and use without any additional fees. ”

This is absolutely correct for you, or any other buyer on this site (so buyers should not be concerned). You only pay once even if your work is ultimately broadcast or performed publicly. It is the broadcaster that pays this royalty not the producer, i.e. you.

  You do not pay additional fees.  

unless I’m mistaken.. :0)

I think part of the general confusion is derived from the term ‘Royalty Free’ itself. I read here (somewhere) someone suggesting a more appropriate term being ‘Sync Free’. Perhaps another one could be ‘MCPS free’ as it is the mechanical and not the performance rights that are free.

;0)

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bigtunamusic says

Man, I really hope Envato takes notice of this lost income for AJ authors and allows PRO registered tracks on AJ. It – is – a – HUGE – deal.

Hey Pink (cool name!),

I have spoken to the PRS (uk) and I’m not absolutely sure that microstock agencies can legally enforce such a policy, if that is indeed the case here, in any case making PRO exclusion a requisite as part of terms and conditions would be a major oversight of Envato, not to mention a serious concern to authors.

I am keen to get clarification from Envato on this (please!?). There is certainly nothing I have read contractually on the site..

;0)

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FxProSound says
BigTuna :) You’re right that for many broadcasters it does not matter if they use royalty free or not. Many of them pays flat PRO commisions and ‘your’ money for public performance of royalty free music piece is shared between others or waits for your registering at PRO . But PROs are different. Some allows you to have non-PRO music, but some does not. Some of them take you with all your music or none. Many of them want to collect fees from radio station but also from marketplaces, websites, services points, pubs. They have no option: collecting fees from broadcasters only. Many big marketplaces in my country buys RF music to avoid these PRO fees – sometimes I’m shopping and listening my fellow artists not radio or greatest hits. So they won’t buy PRO music for sure.

Anyway this case can be complicated in each country so being non-PRO is safest option for stocksites. Allowing PRO music must be clear and well visible for buyers

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SonicCube says

Hello Tuna

I think i do understand your explanation about the royalties for airing some RF stated tracks. What i don’t get is the fact, that how should the PRO identify the creator of the track, if it has not been registered there ? Does that mean, we the authors would have to register our tracks at the local PRO to get that process working ? BUT then again, it would not be a RF anymore, and AJ would reject the contribution.

Could you explain this a bit further for us please ?

Thanks a lot for that thread mate.

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tacoMusic says

Man, I really hope Envato takes notice of this lost income for AJ authors and allows PRO registered tracks on AJ. It – is – a – HUGE – deal.

+1 This is a very important issue for all authours. I’d happily provide all the details necessary for PRO / PRS registrations with any uploaded music so it’s as easy as possible for buyers to enlist our tracks on a cue sheet and get broadcasters paying out royalties. It would be useful to hear why Envato don’t allow PRO -registered tracks on here, seems like they don’t lose out either way right?

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bigtunamusic says

BigTuna :) You’re right that for many broadcasters it does not matter if they use royalty free or not. Many of them pays flat PRO commisions and ‘your’ money for public performance of royalty free music piece is shared between others or waits for your registering at PRO . But PROs are different. Some allows you to have non-PRO music, but some does not. Some of them take you with all your music or none. Many of them want to collect fees from radio station but also from marketplaces, websites, services points, pubs. They have no option: collecting fees from broadcasters only. Many big marketplaces in my country buys RF music to avoid these PRO fees – sometimes I’m shopping and listening my fellow artists not radio or greatest hits. So they won’t buy PRO music for sure.

Anyway this case can be complicated in each country so being non-PRO is safest option for stocksites. Allowing PRO music must be clear and well visible for buyers

Hey FX,

Sure- yet it is not broadcasters that purchase tracks on AJ it is producers. Broadcasters have to have a PRO license by law, well they do in the UK anyhow, so it is no skin off their backs. The only problem for authors (which has always been the case) is getting the broadcaster to correctly fill in their cue sheets. All broadcasters fill in cue sheets (as it is a legal requirement) but they only have to fill in the name of the track. The PRO in question will locate the correct tune code for that track. But if the broadcaster doesn’t fill in the details of the writers then the PRO will not be able to pass those royalties to the writer.

I wil say that most stock sites globally not only allow for tracks to be PRO registered but indeed go on to explain how this should be done. Needless to say it would be a strange state of affairs for an author to sacrifice their performance royalties on a stock site.

I still haven’t heard from anyone from AudioJungle on this?

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FxProSound says

Hey FX,

Sure- yet it is not broadcasters that purchase tracks on AJ it is producers. Broadcasters have to have a PRO license by law, well they do in the UK anyhow, so it is no skin off their backs. The only problem for authors (which has always been the case) is getting the broadcaster to correctly fill in their cue sheets. All broadcasters fill in cue sheets (as it is a legal requirement) but they only have to fill in the name of the track. The PRO in question will locate the correct tune code for that track. But if the broadcaster doesn’t fill in the details of the writers then the PRO will not be able to pass those royalties to the writer.

I wil say that most stock sites globally not only allow for tracks to be PRO registered but indeed go on to explain how this should be done. Needless to say it would be a strange state of affairs for an author to sacrifice their performance royalties on a stock site.

I still haven’t heard from anyone from AudioJungle on this?
The model you’re describing not exists in each country. I wish there was it so simple. When you’re member of my national PRO they collect fees from everyone who uses registered music or perform this, not only broadcasters. I pay it when I play loops on concert, when DJ use it at club, when I play it for clients in waiting room. They are everywhere. If you’re member of this PRO they do not allow you to make music they do not protect. It’s serious limitation, because it excludes me from royalty-free market. People here wants royalty free to avoid being hounded by sad PRO taxman. BTW there’s no codes here – still paper sheets and people waits over a year for their royalties.
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