Got a email from Gilbert Vierich saying he has a publishing company that specialises in unpaid PRO royalties in the UK. Here is his message:
"Hey, sorry for the random message. I run a music publishing company Suntown Publishing that specialises in unpaid PRO royalties and I have come across some unpaid amounts for some of your works here in the UK. Let me know if you are interested in discussing, we are already working with many large AJ authors. best - Gilbert Vierich"
I googled him, and it seems legit.
He also is the keyboard player in the band called CRYSTAL FIGHTERS
Just wondering if any of you has been contacted by him for the same reason ? He claims he is working with many AJ authors.
A friend of mine was contacted by them, although I was not.
I was contacted by a different company, and they were very specific as to how much I was owed, for what tracks, and for what usage. They were very helpful.
If you would like to get in contact with them, feel free to DM me.
In short: If they can provide detailed information, then they are more likely to be legit.
I am always wary of people contacting me out of the blue - of course that does not mean they are not legitimate, but it is best to err on the side of caution with whomever, and make sure that their interests are not self motivated or that you end up paying a company to do something you could perhaps do yourself.
I’d never allow a third party to claim my royalties for me, even if they’re totally legit, it would still mean them taking a cut of my earnings.
In this case it was quite useful though, as they pointed out several tracks I was unaware had outstanding royalties. So I promptly visited the PRS website and claimed them myself. It only took a few minutes.
I’m just trying to make a clear checklist to cover all aspects of royalties over seas and Content ID … across the world … and the galaxy! lol
Things I have already done : 1- I have my music in a Canadian P.R.O (Socan) and is affiliated with US-(ASCAP) 2- Identifyy is collecting content ID from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram 3- my music is distributed by Diistro on all major platforms (spotify, apple music, YT music, amazon music,…) 4- a pdf is available in all my AJ soundtrack zip files with a notice to customers who are using a broadcast license to fill out a cue sheet. Click here for template .
So what is the next step?
-Should I join all foreign PRO platforms? or am I double dipping?
-Is it even possible for me to join other PROs?
-Can I join “PRS” and “PPL” even if I’m from Canada?
I’m also considering “Soundexchange”, and “Songtrust” wich is also in my interest because it gets the “foreign mechanical royalties”
I found this video that explains and might be helpful:
What are they collecting from TikTok? Is this beyond what Diistro collects? Have you seen anything?
This is one area where I still don’t have full clarity. Normally, you can only be with one PRO as a writer, but as a PUBLISHER, it’s different.
My PRO tells me everything should come in as expected, but in real life, that doesn’t seem to be the case…
I had P5 as publishing admin for a while, and they found LOTS of royalties that previously did not go to the right place. Years back.
Same thing with that PRS publisher I talked about a couple of years back. Substantial money that just did not go to the right place…
I left P5 publ. admin, because I thought I could do it myself (and they only do US), but I’m starting to suspect it’s not that easy.
Still unclear, and my PRO can’t answer my questions… The system is not built for the anynomous licensing we do. It’s built for direct contact between production companies and publishers that make sure everything gets paid, and know every broadcast project…
What’s really sad is that OUR money is paid out to other people.
My points for clarification here would be as follows:
Beware of emails being sent to you from random gmail addresses - I could setup a 1000 gmail accounts, and send anyone an email claiming to be representing a business;
If you cannot find the business online, then the chances are that someone has used point number one.
You can use reputable agencies such as:
Yes there are costs involved:
But at least you are then dealing with a recognised business, that won’t charge you and then con you then rip you off all in one go!
I do not represent this organisation, but I think that would be your best option.
I’m from Canada, can I still open a PRS account without being a member so I can check for myself?
EDIT: Just finished a call with a SOCAN P.R.O. assistant and they can check with PRS in the UK to see if I have unclaimed royalties but they need to know the name of the works music titles an the approx date they where broadcast or streamed. I sent them the info I had on the pics above with my music info. (will be posting here when I get more details)
Listen it is so easy for anyone to screenshot or design a table, and pop in details of whatever they want you to believe.
In my opinion this is probably a scam or feels not quite right. I say this simply because of the opening lines in the email you first got:
“Hey, sorry for the random message.” -
to me that very first sentence screams out scam so if you want to go ahead and believe this email that is up to you.
Do you know how to check the headers in an email?
Just because the email says Hi I am Suntown Publishing, and my name is Gilbert whatever, does not mean it even originated from that actual person
Wake up and smell the BS
Headers are the things that cannot be hidden easily - they will show you lots of information about where the email came from etc.