P.R.O and Royalties


#1

Hi everyone :slight_smile:
I’m an italian composer, member of italian P.R.O. called SIAE. On the AudioJungle’s homepage I read “Royalty free Music & Audio tracks” but when I tried to upload a track I had to declare if I am a member of a P.R.O. or not. Does it mean that I will earn royalties from SIAE when my music will be used?


#2

Yes, this is a trick )) AJ is royalty free stock and at the same time it’s not royalty free))) So if you are member of PRO you’ll earn your royalties from your PRO.


#3

Thank you :slight_smile:
And can I see who bought my music and/or how many times and where it was been reproduced?


#4

It’s not a “trick” actually. “Royalty free” is referring to the licensing fees, which is a flat fee with no future royalties due. However if something is licensed for broadcast, as long as cue sheets are filled out by the buyer, you can collect PRO royalties – in almost every case this will also not affect the buyer as broadcasters pay blanket fees to the societies.


#5

But if buyer is broadcaster at the same time in one face?
In this case the whole concept “royalty free” here is just a words, right?


#6

No. In this completely hypothetical situation, as a broadcaster, they would already be paying the blanket fees to PROs so they would still not have to pay anything additional to envato or the author. It still has no bearing on the term “Royalty free” as it applies to the license fee. You’re confusing two separate issues, which is understandable because the word “Royalty” probably shouldn’t be used in regards to the license fee at all. It’s just too bad the adopted term is “Royalty free.” It should be something more like “one time fee.” Not as sexy, but more accurate.


#7

Yes it is as it is. May be this words “royalty free” is not appropriate in this case. But still it is as it is. And it is not “royalty free” for broadcasters )) they still have to pay to P.R.O. May be better to call it “one time Envato fee” but not “royalty free”.


#8

This is not unique to Audiojungle. I can’t think of one royalty free music market that doesn’t allow PRO music. There has been a lot of threads discussing this and in my opinion they usually just ends up confusing both buyers and new and unexperienced authors.
Videoproducers have bought PRO registered royalty free music for years on other market places, lets not give someone the impression that the music on AJ suddenly isn’t royalty free anymore.


#9

It is not already about AJ only. It is about whole concept “royalty free” after accepting P.R.O registered music over “royalty free” marketplaces.


#10

Yes, we can agree the term is not ideal. But the confusion you’re trying to create is unnecessary and will not lead to non-PRO music being more attractive. So to answer the OP, yes, this is a royalty-free market (one license fee, no additional monies or royalties to pay for licensing down the road). And like most other RF markets, yes, it allows PRO registration.


#11

So I will earn money from my PRO only if there will be a broadcaster in addition to the buyer?


#12

Yes, right. Only from broadcaster/public performer


#13

Royalties are not paid by broadcasters only. I know it makes a lot of people more comfortable thinking that, but it is not true. Performance royalties are to be paid for all public performances.


#14

Maybe I’m not thinking of it, so can you give a realistic situation where something is publicly played where a PRO would get involved, that doesn’t involve any kind of broadcaster or public venue? Something where the responsibility is shifted to an individual to pay royalties?


#15

Well, in any case, it would have to involve some sort of public venue, since we’re talking about public performances. However, public venues may take different forms, and not all of them pay blanket fees and some of them may be direct buyers.

I have two examples I already exposed in the forums. Now, I’m starting to sound like a grandpa rambling about the same old story, but here goes:

I have a member of my family who’s an orphanage director. Every year he produce an end-of-year show involving the kids of the orphanage and horses. For his first show, he used music from famous movies such as Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven. He didn’t know better.

A few days after a received a letter from SACEM and he had to pay a fine of around 500€, which burned through the following year’s budget. As he couldn’t afford to pay for what SACEM was asking (don’t remember how much it was, less than the fine but not by much), I advised him to go to AJ where he could find all the epic music he needed and wouldn’t have to worry about royalties. He had been doing this for the last few years. Now if he were to use a PRO registered track from AJ, SACEM would once again come a-knocking.

Second example, I used to work with a semi-professional theater troup with their own theater. They were much more author’s rights savvy than the family member in the first example, and were used to deal with SACEM. Nonetheless, they didn’t have blanket fees, what they had to pay would depend entirely on the content of the plays. So each year they had to review how much music they could use so that they didn’t go over budget. I told them about RF and AJ to complete their music needs without having to worry about their royalties budget. Now were they to use a PRO registered track, their budget would directly be affected.

Now, I realize these examples are very specific, but the thing is, they do exist. They are direct buyers explicitly looking for RF music and they would have to pay royalties were they to pick PRO registered tracks.


#16

thanks for the response. sorry to make you repeat yourself as i don’t spend tons of time on the forum and must have missed that thread. obviously i understand that any public performance counts. i think the 2nd situation is not surprising - anyone that owns their own theater (semi-pro or not) has to learn to deal with many situations/taxes/rules that they may not be aware of when they are starting up a dream. i do find the 1st example surprising, mostly because, how did SACEM even become aware of them? not that i am encouraging people not to alert PROs of music uses, but for instance, here in the states, my daughter competes in gymnastics meets in public venues and i always have the thought that none of the girls’ background music is licensed (or even created properly for that matter, just mostly cheap instrumental covers of popular songs). but it would take someone actually reporting it. is this what happened? that seems rather nasty to do to someone running a show for an orphanage. (incidentally, my daughter asked me to compose her music, so she uses that for her floor routine. i have not reported her yet.)

most people who are licensing aj stuff are using it on youtube, or internal corporate vids, etc, and bickering about the improper or proper use of the word “royalty” causes confusion and perhaps unneeded fear that will drive away buyers, ironically to other RF sites that have had PRO implementation for much longer. instead of confusing people, we should be educating them. for instance, there is another thread where someone was getting nervous about using the music in a powerpoint presentation for personal use. thankfully, no one in that thread started splitting hairs about the meaning of the word “royalty” or told them to filter out all PRO music in the search - they were just reassured that unless they were broadcasting it publicly it was no worry. this buyer was ready to shift all their purchases to another site we all know well, where PRO has been allowed for much longer and they would have ended up with the same questions.

again my point is that the “royalty” part of “royalty free” was never referring to PRO royalties, as many other RF sites have always had PRO implementation. it is confusing at first, since it is the same word (an unfortunate choice), but we should be making the distinction as clear as possible, not muddying the waters.


#17

The point of my second example was not about the theater troup having to learn about royalties and such. It was about them having a set budget for music rights and no blanket deal with SACEM, and thus having to make sure not to go over.

As for my first example, I too was really surprised SACEM had heard of it, as it was a really small event lost in the middle of nowhere in rural Normandy. And I can’t imagine anyone reporting this event. And yet SACEM did find out. The event was advertised in a local newspaper, this is the only thing I can think of. But wether it was due to sheer bad luck, employee malevolence or advanced surveillance system, the end result was the same.

It is not my intention to split hairs or to muddy up the already murky waters. It is indeed unfortunate that royalty-free may mean different things (as it is unfortunate royalty-free has “free” in it, making a fair number of Youtubers think it’s free music, but that’s another matter).

I just think that overlooking these cases doesn’t help us. As you’ve seen how the other thread you’ve mentioned developed, PRO could indeed affect the buyer.

What I’m saying is that telling buyers there is absolutely no consequence whatsoever to using PRO registered music no matter the specifics of the intended uses, may be misleading.

Now, I realize my position may be perceived as anti-PRO. I can assure you it’s not. I think AJ finally allowing PRO tracks is the best thing that could happen to us authors. The previous situation was ridiculously unfair.

However we do have to make sure we pass on the correct information, simple as that.


#18

Totally agree.