ASCAP licensing

Once a year, I pull together all of my programs for the past year, make a nice spreadsheet detailing their contents, and send the package off to ASCAP.  ASCAP is a music licensing agency that collects performance royalties for their members. They don’t generally learn about performances on their own, though — at least not for college-level ensembles — so it’s up to the composer or publisher (in this case, I’m both) to tell them what was performed when so they can pay me the performance licensing fee associated with each performance.

I hate doing this, as it’s time-consuming to do it right. First, I go through the printed programs that I’ve received, highlighting my piece (literally, with a highlighter) in each one. My rental agreements state that each ensemble has to send me three copies of the concert program when they return the rented parts, but that often doesn’t happen. So, next I go through my signed rental agreements and find contracts for those missing performances. Then I make copies of those rental agreements, retaining the originals (although really, I don’t need them at this point), and include those with the mailing to ASCAP.

The spreadsheet that I send along with it ends up looking like this excerpt…

It all takes a few hours, but it’s only once a year. I think I do quite a bit more than is necessary (I used to just throw programs in an envelope and mail them to ASCAP), but if it means getting paid for one additional performance, it’s worth it.

Last year, I submitted documentation for 59 domestic performances. This year, that number climbed to 75, so at least I’m not on a downswing yet.

On Friday, it was cold and rainy here in LA, so AEJ and I baked cookies — some incredible oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, with a recipe courtesy of Rick Clary’s daughter, Emily. Lordy McJesus, these were delicious. I would have taken a picture of the finished product, but I was too busy eating.


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