What are the advantages to using Media & Entertainment Royalty Services?

MERS will take the raw sales data, contract and licensor information, we will then upload the information into our software system and produce copyright/royalty statements for our clients. The statements can then be sent either directly to AMCOS, the royalty licensors or back to the client. There will also be on-going reporting available for each company.

What are the financial benefits of hiring Media & Entertainment Royalty Services?

Outsourcing has proven to be cost effective business model and you only pay for the services you require.

How safe is my information?

MERS has a standard Non-Disclosure Agreement and Confidentiality Agreement which is available on request. MERS has also signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement with the software
supplier so that all information is protected. The information is also backed up on a daily basis.

How often are royalties payable?

Copyright or mechanical royalties are payable 60 days after the end of each quarter,  Artist recording royalties can be paid, monthly, quarterly or six monthly depending on the type of contract or agreement.

How many types of rights and royalties are there?

Licenses and their corresponding royalties fall into five general categories: –

Mechanical licenses and royalties – A mechanical license refers to permissions granted to mechanically reproduce music onto some type of media (e.g., cassette tape, CD, vinyl, digital) for public distribution. The music publisher grants permission for the musical composition to be reproduced. The mechanical royalty is paid to the recording
artist, songwriter, and publisher based on the number of recordings sold.

Unlike other forms of intellectual property, music royalties have a strong linkage to individuals – composers (score), songwriters (lyrics) and writers of musical plays – in that they can own the exclusive copyright to created music and can license it for performance independent of corporates. Recording companies and the performing artists that create a
“sound recording” of the music enjoy a separate set of copyrights and royalties from the sale of recordings and from their digital transmission (depending on national laws).

Digital Royalties – With the advent of the internet, an additional set of royalties has come into play: the digital rights from simulcasting, webcasting, streaming, downloading, and online “on-demand service”.

Performance rights and royalties – A performance-rights license allows music to be
performed live or broadcast. These licenses typically come in the form of a “blanket license,” which gives the licensee the right to play a particular PRO’s (performance rights owner) entire collection in exchange for aset fee. Licenses for use of individual recordings are also available. All-talk radio stations, for example, wouldn’t have the need for a blanket license to play the PRO’s entire collection. The performance royalty is paid to the songwriter and publisher when a song is performed live or on the radio.

Synchronization rights and royalties – A synchronization license is needed for a song to be reproduced onto a television program, film, video, commercial, radio, or even an 0800 number phone message. It is called this because you are “synchronizing” the composition, as it is performed on the audio recording, to a film, TV commercial, or spoken voice-over. If a specific recorded version of a composition is used, you must also get permission from the record company in the form of a “master use” license. The synchronization royalty is paid to songwriters and publishers for use of a song used as
background music for a movie, TV show, or commercial.

Print rights and royalties – This is a royalty paid to songwriters and publishers based on sales of printed sheet music.

Should I register my tracks with Apra/AMCOS?

If you are not signed to a publisher or paid directly than it is a good idea to register your music with your local copyright society, this does makes it easier for the copyright owner to collect outstanding copyright royalties and/or license your tracks for synchronization. All unclaimed track income sits in the copyright control account until a claim is filed.

Should I register my tracks with PPNZ (New Zealand Music Licensing Ltd)?

The RAP (Recording Artist and Producer) Fund is an innovative scheme designed to support New Zealand artists by ensuring that their portion of licence fees and royalties collected by PPNZ are distributed directly to them as soon as possible. Featured performers (i.e. not session musicians/contract musicians) are entitled to register in the RAP Fund if they are both a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and the sound recording copyright ownership originates in New Zealand. Artists and producers of recordings registered with the RAP Fund get 50% each of the income payable. “Producers” in this context means the owner of the master tape. Artists in a group need to declare a “nominated claimant” for their share. If a person is both the artist performing on
the recording and owns the master recording, that person would receive 100% of
the income payable.

Both the Artist and the Producer need to register with the RAP Fund. If New Zealand based artists choose not to register with the RAP Fund then all income received by PPNZ will be paid to the relevant copyright holder – often the record label/distributor. Any distribution from the label to the artist would then be determined by the terms of individual contracts between the parties.

The RAP Fund is free and easy to join. You can either apply online, or
complete the PDF hardcopies and post or email to Dean Cameron at [email protected].

What is an ISRC Code?

The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording which can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments.

Each ISRC number is unique and contains twelve characters in a combination of
letters and numbers. For example: NZ MER 1101001. PLEASE NOTE: ISRC numbers
only relate to individual tracks.

The ISRC system is the key to royalty collection for recordings in the digital age and is a unique and reliable international identification system.

ISRC provides a unique tool for the purpose of rights administration.

ISRC coding is readable by hardware already used in the recording industry.

The ISRC is used for reporting single track downloads to sources such as radioscope who compile the chart

What happens if I see my music played on TV?

If your music played is “incidental or background” music on a major Television or Radio station then it is covered under a “blanket agreement” with AMCOS and PPNZ, if your music is registered with a publisher, AMCOS or PPNZ then you will receive the income from the “blanket agreement” either directly, from your publisher or through your record company or label. If your music is used in a promo or commercial then the artist recording and music publishing rights should have been licensed either directly from you or via your record label, distributor and/or publisher (depending on your type of contract).