As a musician or songwriter, you have probably heard of ASCAP and the benefits that come with membership. However, it is essential to understand the ASCAP Membership Agreement before signing up to become a member. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of your membership and the royalties you can earn from your music.
The ASCAP Membership Agreement is a legal contract between the songwriter or publisher and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). The agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties regarding the use of the songwriter or publisher`s music.
One of the most important aspects of the agreement is the royalty split. ASCAP collects royalties from users who use your music, such as radio stations, TV networks, and streaming services. According to the agreement, ASCAP will split these royalties with the songwriter or publisher. The split varies based on factors such as the type of use, the territory, and the type of license.
To illustrate, let`s say your song is played on the radio in the United States. ASCAP will collect the royalties on your behalf, and then split them with you according to the agreement. If the split is 50/50, you will receive 50% of the royalties collected, and ASCAP will retain the rest.
It is essential to note that the ASCAP Membership Agreement is not an exclusive agreement. This means that you can still join other performance rights organizations (PROs) like BMI and SESAC. However, it is essential to inform ASCAP of any other PRO affiliations to prevent any conflict.
The agreement also outlines the responsibilities of the songwriter or publisher regarding the registration of their music. ASCAP requires that members register all of their work with the organization to ensure proper royalty collection. This means that you must provide a list of all your songs and their contributing writers and publishers.
In summary, joining ASCAP as a songwriter or publisher is an excellent opportunity to earn royalties from your music. However, it is crucial to understand the ASCAP Membership Agreement before joining to ensure that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities. If you have any questions or concerns about the agreement, it is always best to seek legal advice before signing up.