Overnight ASCAP, BMI and SESAC have released statements expressing 'alarm' and 'concern' over Discovery Networks new policy to engage in"direct source licenses" which will enable them to bypass Performing Rights Organisations (PROs) like ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The Production Music Association, which represents hundreds of music libraries also has come out strongly against moves by Discovery and others to upend the 100 year old system where composers are compensated for use of their music in broadcast media across television, radio, clubs, pubs and more.
Here are part of their statements:
"Back end royalties for composers who write for TV, cable and streaming shows are critical to their being able to sustain a livelihood. ASCAP is very alarmed by the reports of Discovery Networks new policy toward composers which would have a devastating impact on their royalty streams and make it near impossible for them to make a living from their creative work." - read more
"BMI is very concerned with reports of a policy change at Discovery Networks that would decimate the livelihoods of the composers who create music for their programming. Discovery’s plan would set a very dangerous precedent for all creators and also take advantage of composers who either don’t fully realize the impact on their future earnings or simply have no other choice but to sign away their rights." - read more
"SESAC stands with songwriters and composers who make unique and irreplaceable contributions to film and television. They deserve to be paid fairly for their work. Discovery’s threat to their livelihood undermines the very fabric of the creative community... We urge Discovery to keep faith with its viewers and the quality they expect and reconsider this short-sighted, penny-wise, pound foolish approach." - read more
"This shortsighted effort by Discovery circumvents the 100-year-old system whereby composers are compensated for the use of their music in broadcast media and undermines the ecosystem of world-class writers, musicians, mixers, assistants and others who rely on these revenue streams to be able to continue to supply the music that has enriched worldwide television programming since TV’s earliest days. These changes take advantage of libraries and composers who either don’t know better or who have no choice, they create a dangerous precedent and they have the potential to decimate composer livelihoods, potentially reducing revenue from Discovery programs by upwards of 80-90% " - read more
Go to Your Music, Your Future for more information. We applaud them for their efforts