Not all radio broadcasts here or overseas will be paid a royalty. For overseas broadcasts, it will depend whether there is copyright law in the country, whether there is a collecting society like APRA, whether there are licences in place and also on the distribution rules and policies of the society in question.
Radio performances may be analysed for payment on a census (full) or sample basis, or some stations - not at all. If your song was broadcast on a radio station that is sampled, the performance would need to fall within the sample in order to be paid. APRA can query the appropriate society on your behalf. In order to query a radio performance in a foreign territory we need to provide the society with the relevant details.
Please ensure first of all that the work has been registered with APRA. The foreign society will need to know as much detail as possible about the broadcast - date and time, name of the radio station, call sign, the location of the station (city, country) and the name of the program on which the song was played.
Provided there are functioning societies in the relevant countries, once you have submitted your Overseas Live Performance Return, APRA will contact our affiliated societies with your claim. Depending on their distribution policies, certain performances may be payable and others not. Once the society has verified the performances, any relevant payments will be made in their next available distribution back to APRA. Payment time-frames can vary, depending on how frequently the society distributes. Please refer to the payment schedule.
Cable stations are often paid at a lower rate than free-to-air television. Some stations may not be licensed or analysed for distribution under the overseas society’s policies. Please contact your local APRA|AMCOS office with all relevant broadcast details and we will make an enquiry to the relevant societies on your behalf.
There is always a time lag between performances overseas and receipt of foreign payments. This depends on the frequency with which the society makes their distributions and, in some rare cases, can be up to two years after the performance took place. Societies are however obliged to account to APRA within 90 days of paying their own members. We also make “mini” distributions to writer members for overseas royalties each month between our regular distributions. Please refer to the payment schedule or contact member services for more information.
A payment from overseas may be for a different share to your APRA registration because the other society may have different information about the work. If you have signed a publishing agreement, here or in any other country, you must advise us of the details. Note also that some publishing agreements may provide for a different percentage for overseas performances than here. We want to ensure that we are claiming shares correctly for you. In some cases too, publishing agreements may allow local language versions of your song to be made and a small deduction to be allowed for the translator. If you believe you have been underpaid, please contact your local APRA|AMCOS office and we will query the relevant society and seek an adjustment for missing shares.
Works protected under Australian and New Zealand copyright will be protected in most countries of the world – ie those that are members of the International Copyright Conventions and the World Trade Organisation. APRA|AMCOS have entered into reciprocal agreements with collecting societies most of these countries around the world, to ensure that your copyright is protected and royalties are paid on your performances and recordings, according to the distribution rules and practices in each country.
Each affiliated collecting society has different practices regarding the identification and collection of performance data and the distribution of royalties. Some societies pay APRA once a year, some twice and some every quarter. If a payment took place at the beginning of the year in a territory that pays once a year, it may be up to two years before we receive the payment, verify its accuracy and forward it on to our member. When APRA receives payments for your works from foreign territories, the distributions are processed as quickly as possible to ensure you receive payment promptly.
AMCOS is affiliated with numerous mechanical collecting societies around the world. They are able to collect royalties on behalf of AMCOS members.
In the first instance you should assess whether the service can do what it is claiming to do. It is impossible for you to check whether or not these reported performances have occurred.
If you are paying significant amounts of money for this service, you should be particularly wary. If you receive detailed information about overseas airplay, we can send this information over to the relevant sister society and ask them whether the stations are included in their sample. If they can verify the broadcasts and the station is within their sample we may be able to secure payment for you. If we do not receive an answer or it is negative, then it will be unlikely.
Note that ASCAP in the US has instituted an “International Award Scheme” for verified performances which fall outside of their sample survey. However, the payments under this scheme are very modest.
Please contact your local APRA|AMCOS office for more information.
APRA monitors all the major commercial airplay charts for the US and for Australasian content. We then check this against royalties we receive from the relevant territories to ensure the payment is commensurate to the chart success. Most of the APRA works that appear on these charts are commercial hits.
APRA also monitors the larger TV and cable channels in our major markets around the world. We use this information to send off cue sheets detailing the use of APRA music and also check the relevant incoming distributions to ensure you have been paid. Where we have not been paid we follow this up with a claim to the society in question together with the relevant documentation and broadcast details. If you are aware of the use of your work overseas, please contact your local APRA|AMCOS office with all relevant information
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