Wednesday, April 16, 2008

US Copyright Office Experiences Processing Delays in Processing Applications

The Copyright Office is modernizing its operations by moving from a paper-based to a Web-based processing environment. This change will allow the Office to better meet the needs of its customers through more online services and faster processing times. However, the transition has caused a temporary backlog of paper applications. The time lag for receiving a registration certificate is currently up to 8 months. The Office is working diligently to improve the processing time and apologizes for this inconvenience. For full story click here

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What does a Copyright & Royalty Administrator Do?

People often ask me ‘What does a copyright & royalty administrator do?’  Before I get into what a copyright and royalty administrator does, I think it would be a good idea to provide some background where the term ‘administrator’ (which comes from the term ‘administration’) started.  In the music publishing industry ‘administration’ is a term that is associated with some of the duties that a music publisher perform on behalf of a songwriter/composer. A music publisher obtains songs from songwriters/composers and tries to find ways to earn money from their songs. They try to get a song recorded with a recording artist, placed in films, commercials, video games and more.  When someone wants to use their song, the music publisher will issue a license giving the person permission to use the song.  The license will contain terms of payment or royalties, when they are to paid, royalty rate and more.  Before the song is licensed however, the music publisher will make sure it is registered with the US Copyright Office.  Once the song is licensed, the music publisher would then go ahead and register the song with the performance rights society (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) so when the song is played on radio, or TV, in music halls etc. the song will earn performance royalties. Once the royalties come in; the music publisher will analyze the royalty statement for accuracy and if they find any error, they will contact the licensee to resolve the inaccuracy. The music publisher would then account to the writer/composer for their royalty share of the song based on their publishing agreement.  Usually when an writer/composer signs with a music publisher, the writer/composer also assigns his/her copyright (or a portion thereof) to the music publisher.  Some writers/composers however are able to retain 100% of their copyright and not assign or share their copyright with a music publisher. This kind of arrangement is considered an ‘administration deal’. The music publisher will still perform much of the same duties as above but without sharing in the copyright. The issuance of licenses, analyzing the royalty statements, registering the copyrights with the US copyright & the performance rights office, disbursing the royalty checks when they come in and more are considered the administration functions of a music publisher.  The person whom performs these duties are titled an ‘Administrator’.

Crystal Clear Music, Inc. provides copyright and royalty administration on behalf of our clients.  We do not share in the copyrights of our writers/composers. We guide our clients in understanding copyrights and royalties along with performing the necessary administrating tasks for the copyrights our clients own.  We provide copyright registration to the US copyright office and performance rights societies, royalty accounting, royalty audits, royalty collections, sample/music clearance, issue licenses and more.  Under our independent record label service, we ensure that all songs listed on an album are properly administered according to copyright law for sound recording, authors and publishers.  We register the sound recording copyrights with the US copyright office and Sound Exchange. We obtain licenses and provide sample clearance if needed.  We provide royalty accounting for artists, producers, licensees/songwriters according to their recording/licensed agreements.  We simply become in-house copyright and royalty departments on behalf of our clients.