ASCAP screws up as it does very often
The decision of Judge William C. Connor in the federal court in New York on April 25, 2007, essentially declaring that there is no public performance in the download of music on the internet (whether just the music or as part of the download of a motion picture or TV show, for example) may seem like a financial disaster for PRO members (especially members of ASCAP which had, principally sought an order having the opposite declared) and a substantial failure on the part of ASCAP's legal team which could cost PRO members billions of dollars in royalties now and in the future, if not more, is not, in fact, the end of the line for PRO members, especially writer members who work, principally, scoring motion pictures, TV shows and the like and whose work is generally subject to standard "work-made-for-hire" contracts or other standard music industry agreements.
The so-called "writer's share" was principally a creation of the relationship between a PRO and its publisher member in the WFH setting by virtue of which writers were third party beneficiaries, as well as a standard contractual term in composer agreements (principally, WFH contracts) which granted such a share of public performance royalties can be obtained in a much more comprehensive contractual term or provision to be drafted and negotiated by the legal representative (attorney, preferably) of the composer-creator on the deal.
At the request of publisher Mark Northam, I have drafted a comprehensive specimen contract term provision which creates a writer's share in virtually every "use" of the composer's music which was composed for a motion picture, TV show or other "photoplay" which solves, in a more extensive and thorough way, the problem for the writer. In addition, I have drafted a simpler contractual term specimen for such contracts which, essentially, grants the composer 1/2 ownership, in all respects, of the music that he or she has created for the movie or TV show which solves the problem as well.
Either of these proposed terms allows the writer, composer, songwriter, or lyricist to protect their rights privately in the music they created since ASCAP failed to do so in the public arena.
Consulting with me directly will permit the composer-writer-creator to protect their rights in ways ASCAP cannot and will not and confirms that an attorney is the best professional to protect your music career. ASCAP proved that it is not competent to protect its members and such members need to look to their own private resources to do that. It also recognizes that California is the best place under which to legally protect composer-writer-creators who work in the film and TV industries which are primarily produced in Los Angeles, California.
BRIAN LEE CORBER
CORBERLAW@aol.com; www.corberlaw.com; www.briancorber.com