Hundreds of millions of dollars that have been backlogged or pending since the late 1990’s will finally begin to be paid out from record labels to publishers, due to the recently settled NMPA Late Fee agreement. The NMPA (National Music Publishers’ Association) has successfully requested to the CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) that music publishers and foreign societies be entitled to collect an annual 18% late fee from record companies and other distributors that are delinquent in payments and royalties.
It has been estimated that a total of over $275 million in pending and backlogged royalties have not been paid to thousands of publishers over the past 10+ years. In order to fairly and properly disperse this backlogged money, an independent firm is calculating the amount each publisher should be paid based on a market share formula. After publishers receive their resulting calculations, they can then decide whether or not they would like to opt-in to the agreement and receive their funds.
Record labels are already taking major steps in order to prevent such a massive backlog of payments in the future. Labels are now making digital payments even if there are physical product disputes, and royalties are being paid on each cleared track rather than waiting until the entire album is cleared.
Helen Yu says of the matter, “I am extremely pleased to hear that publishers around the world will now finally be receiving the tens of millions of dollars they are owed.”
For more information:
National Music Publisher’s Association – “The Note” – Spring 2010