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Amber
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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Youtube series I worked on sold to TV channel

So last year I did about 10 two to three min pieces of music for a good client of mine for a youtube doc series. I was paid to produce/compose the music with the idea that I could use the music in the future for whatever I wanted as well.

My client has sold or licensed the series (made into a 60 min doc as it was split into parts on Youtube) to a european channel.

I'm not feeling screwed over as I don't think my client knows the ins and outs of cue sheets etc as he generates income from Youtube and DVDs. However, am I losing much money from this? Could I be getting some money from PRS if there was a cue sheet?

This client provides me with a lot of work so I'm not looking to get anyone in trouble, just looking to see if this can be adjusted so I get anything I'm entitled to and maybe how to approach my client about this being done properly in the future.

I don't sign any contracts with this client, our working relationship is very straight forward, great direction of what music he needs and I get paid quickly.
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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Your contract should have a clause that states that appropriate cue sheets must be filed, and filed accurately. If not, you have dropped the ball on this, and can only hope for their compliance.

I'm not sure about the EU, but in the US, cue sheets MUST be filed for any program that is broadcast, so the producer would have to get it done. Normally they would reach out to the composer if there is/was not a dedicated music editor involved.

Now, all that said, cue sheets get screwed up all the time, and sometimes not even filed and the show still airs, but that is the exception, not the rule. Generally cue sheets get filed.

Of note : If your producer does not have your ownership spec's, composers full name, publisher & PRO, they can't possibly do a cue sheet - even if they wanted to.
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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I'm sure I can sort it out with my client who produced the doc.

Can I do the cue sheet with my client or does the TV station have to send it themselves to their countries PRO? Also, by the time I get this done, the doc will have aired 4 times, is it worth trying to get the cue sheet done if it's already aired?

Also, do PROs just believe all cue sheet info is correct or do they check? Surely it could be abused and have more music listed on the cue sheet (and PRS for example having to pay out more money) since it doesn't matter to the network what is on the cue sheet (as long as it's be licensed/synced) as they only pay a lump sum annually.
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
I'm sure I can sort it out with my client who produced the doc.

Can I do the cue sheet with my client or does the TV station have to send it themselves to their countries PRO? Also, by the time I get this done, the doc will have aired 4 times, is it worth trying to get the cue sheet done if it's already aired?

Also, do PROs just believe all cue sheet info is correct or do they check? Surely it could be abused and have more music listed on the cue sheet (and PRS for example having to pay out more money) since it doesn't matter to the network what is on the cue sheet (as long as it's be licensed/synced) as they only pay a lump sum annually.
I suppose all PRO's operate with different constraints, and I can only comment on the US ones, so keep that in mind.

YES. You should still complete a cue sheet although it's the network's responsibility to send to the pro. I would also ask the producer to get it done and tie it to all future broadcasts of the show(s). Honestly, I can't believe it was broadcast WITHOUT a cue sheet attached. I thought the EU was more progressive than that. That gets a big from me.

If you can get the network name, show name / episode #, and air dates, submit the cue sheet with above info to your PRO as well. That happens all the time - composers making sure they get filed, as things "slip thru the cracks" often.

In my experience, PRO's do NOT check cue sheets unless there is a dispute. And even at that point, the money is usually already disseminated, and it's difficult to "reel back in" - unless you have huge clout with the PRO in question. And yes, it can absolutely be abused. And often is. But better something than nothing.

Good luck getting your cue sheets filled in and filed. Your career pretty much depends on it at this point. Most composers I know of live off performance royalties, not their up front production fees which seem to shrink every year. Or even every quarter.
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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I was curious about it being abused and having a music sup buddy or producer buddy put a loads of you music on the cue sheet for royalties. Couldn't someone just send a load of cue sheets for shows they've not even had music on to their PRO and lie and get paid? Seems like a strange business model (not profit one I guess) that can be abused so easily.

I know when it's being broadcast etc (it's on their site)
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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Yes definitely file, it's fine to file late quite some time after airing. Not sure about the UK, but here in the US I often will file directly with ASCAP (especially if I control most or all of the publishing share as well) - nobody else cares as much as I do about the cue sheets being accurate.

One should never, ever cheat on a cue sheet. The PROs are our best allies in a world where musicians have few. Once you're on their bad side you have lost one of your most important friends - I'm sure they have a cue sheet cheat sh*tlist... They do spot-check when the occasions arises. And they do this all day long, so they can smell a rat. Not like they can't make a quick call to the production company - and then your ass is grass. Not sure what the repercussions are, but since it's a relatively hard-to-detect offense, logic dictates the repercussions are most likely pretty severe. And I'd be the first one cheering at your execution...
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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It's not something I'd abuse, like you said, they're our allies and when I've spoken to PRS on the phone, it's been a pleasant experience compared to other call centres in the UK!

I just find it odd when I come across something like that which can be abused, especially with how sleazy the music biz can be.

I just want to get what I'm owed and learn as much as possible about cue sheets so it becomes normal practice.

If I can send it to PRS myself, I'll do that once I confirm the music wasn't moved around or changed (I have the final edit on my hard drive so I can check times etc)
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
I can send it to PRS myself, I'll do that once I confirm the music wasn't moved around or changed (I have the final edit on my hard drive so I can check times etc)
Keep in mind that filling out cue sheets is a big deal from a lot of angles and in a sense is a "contract". Usually the production company is the "responsible" party and open to litigation, etc. if the cue sheet is not properly filled out. This includes the "type" of useage (VI, BI, BV, MT, ET, VV, etc.), composers, publishers, PRO's, length of play, production company name, series name, etc. Make sure you do it "right". Especially if they used any music other than yours.
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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Okay, the producer did use music other than mine. Some production library music I believe.

Is there a defined list of what type of usage is right? I pretty much did the main theme as well and I believe the credits outro music was mine as well.

If I fill out MY info and have him do the rest, and have him give a cue sheet to the TV station, can I then use that same cue sheet to send to PRS or am I liable if anything is wrong since I'd be submitting it? Or could I just submit my own cue sheet with music I'm aware of (mine)?
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
Okay, the producer did use music other than mine. Some production library music I believe.

Is there a defined list of what type of usage is right? I pretty much did the main theme as well and I believe the credits outro music was mine as well.

If I fill out MY info and have him do the rest, and have him give a cue sheet to the TV station, can I then use that same cue sheet to send to PRS or am I liable if anything is wrong since I'd be submitting it? Or could I just submit my own cue sheet with music I'm aware of (mine)?
Do NOT submit different cue sheets for the same show. Give him YOUR details and let the producer finish the cue sheet. Check it when they are done for accuracy - at least as far as your cues are concerned, and YOUR side of things, and then submit to your PRO. They should get another that matches perfectly from the TV network.
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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If the producer does the cue sheet but and passes it to the TV network, but they don't submit it but I submit the same to my PRO, is that okay?

The fact the network hasn't even asked for it makes me worry they couldn't care less to bother. This is the second time this has happened to me and the first company who wanted to buy the rights to distribute a film I scored ended up asking me to sign a contract saying I wouldn't sue them. Nothing happened in the end (I don't think, although the film is listed on their site, but no TV listings I've found)
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
If the producer does the cue sheet but and passes it to the TV network, but they don't submit it but I submit the same to my PRO, is that okay?

The fact the network hasn't even asked for it makes me worry they couldn't care less to bother. This is the second time this has happened to me and the first company who wanted to buy the rights to distribute a film I scored ended up asking me to sign a contract saying I wouldn't sue them. Nothing happened in the end (I don't think, although the film is listed on their site, but no TV listings I've found)
Yes, OK for you as the composer to pass it on. Best to submit with air dates, full series name, episode name, producer, network airing on, etc..

As for the network...... I have no idea how they get away with that. The PRO's should be crucifying them.
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to help me.
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to help me.
No problem. Good luck.
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15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Yes, OK for you as the composer to pass it on. Best to submit with air dates, full series name, episode name, producer, network airing on, etc..

As for the network...... I have no idea how they get away with that. The PRO's should be crucifying them.
It could be that the fledgling filmmaker, when asked for the Cue, filled out that s/he owned the rights to the entire lot (not knowing any different). I dunno, but definitely make sure the Cue is filled and correct.
Amber; It's not a bad idea to write in your future contracts (and do HAVE future contracts, even if you're buddy-buddy) that you stipulate a copy of the cue as part of the contract. I've caught several errors in this fashion. Like a poster mentioned above "- nobody else cares as much as I do about the cue sheets being accurate."
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15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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If a part of a track is looped over and over (lets say a 30 second portion edited to seem like a super long part) do I enter in the full amount of time the music is played for or the time of the section that was looped?

Also, many of my tracks are repeated as they are themes in the background. Do I list each time it's used?
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15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
If a part of a track is looped over and over (lets say a 30 second portion edited to seem like a super long part) do I enter in the full amount of time the music is played for or the time of the section that was looped?

Also, many of my tracks are repeated as they are themes in the background. Do I list each time it's used?
Yes and yes. Exact timings. In order of appearance.

1m1 MT (1:15)
1m2 - theme 1 (1:37)
1m3 - source (2:11)

2m1 theme 2 (:45)
2m2 theme 1 (:54) (Note: This is a repeat)

etc.
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19th February 2013
Old 19th February 2013
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Okay, so if I'm dealing with a european company, do I need to fill out a specific cue sheet from that PRO's site to hand over to the TV station for THEM to submit? (if they even do it!) or can I just use the PRS one?

The producer is working with me to put the cue sheet together. I have about 30 mins of music in the doc and it's already been played 4 times so it's in my interest to help like you mentioned.

Also, is it okay to hand write the cue sheet? It's a pain to enter text into a PDF file. I can't actually find a cue sheet from PRS that is standalone (gotta figure out how to remove a page from a PDF)

Any idea what I can be looking to expect from PRS? Right now it's been shown in Italy. I'd love to see a nice check but have a feeling it might cost me more to get the bus to the bank than the check will be worth
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Okay so this morning I check the TV station site and realise another doc/film I scored is on there (by different production company) with 4 showings lined up this week.

There's about 45 mins of music all by me, I've contacted them about the cue sheet as well, they're happy to help (long term client who wasn't aware). They've also said they did a deal not long ago with another station in Poland and it's already been broadcast so hopefully I can get some details about this.

Working on filling in the cue sheets today, have converted the PRS cue sheet to a Word doc but damn, it's a pain in the ass to fill in and can't seem to find a decent spreadsheet online.
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Quote:
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Working on filling in the cue sheets today, have converted the PRS cue sheet to a Word doc but damn, it's a pain in the ass to fill in and can't seem to find a decent spreadsheet online.
Best free program- same as or better than MS Excel- is OpenOffice by Apache.
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#21
20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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The cue sheet on the PRS site is a word doc, but I'll make my own spreadsheet to make this easier in the future.
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20th February 2013
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Is the video clip duration section for when part of a music video clip is broadcast or is it for the duration of a piece of footage used? I don't really understand what that part means.
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20th February 2013
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Is the video clip duration section for when part of a music video clip is broadcast or is it for the duration of a piece of footage used? I don't really understand what that part means.
They should just need the duration of the music. Check this page out as it explains things fairly well:
CUE & A: Everything You Need To Know About Cue Sheets
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Yeah it doesn't mention anything about it on Ascap but it's a mandatory field on the PRS cue sheet. Infact the sample sheet for Ascap is different to the PRS one.

I've called PRS and they don't know themselves
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Yeah it doesn't mention anything about it on Ascap but it's a mandatory field on the PRS cue sheet. Infact the sample sheet for Ascap is different to the PRS one.

I've called PRS and they don't know themselves
Well, there you go. I could ask our guys in London to see what they say. They've already gone home for the day, though.
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26th February 2013
Old 26th February 2013
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Just an update on this.

Cue sheet is done for one doc I did. About 48 mins of music in it and it's been played 8 times already and will be played another 8 times in March. Have spoken with station and sent them cue sheet and say they will submit it at end of month but I'm going to submit it to PRS as well (if they get back to me on where to send it!)

This station isn't listed on PRS TV station list with all the £ per minute amounts. Looking at the list, it's strange. All the general Playboy channels pay around £1 a min but Playboy Lesbian pays £14 a minute!?

Anyway, still sorting out the cue sheet that has music that isn't mine as well.

I'll let you know in a year or two what I get in the mail
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