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Self-publishing with ASCAP?
Old 2nd September 2019
  #1
Self-publishing with ASCAP?

Hi there. I should really know this by now... but... i don't

I’ve been registering my tracks on ASCAP for many years, and never signed with a proper publisher. A few labels over the years took publishing before I really understood what that meant… not great, surely. But yeah that’s over.

I’d like to self-publish, so do I need to set up a second entity as publisher and enter that as the remaining 50% in track registrations? If so, once I set up an ASCAP publishing account, does this mean that I can retroactively amend all tracks without a proper publisher? Further, does this involve reclamation of unclaimed royalties as well? I have been receiving checks over the years as an Artist already, of course.

Bit confused even after all these years, unfortunately. I know I’m not alone. I tried writing to ASCAP but they aren't great at responding to me.

Thanks in advance for any time spent in helping a dude out ::

Alland


EDIT: FWIW I'm an electronic music producer, not writing sung songs or covers. Just straight up producing individual tracks.
Old 2nd September 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Call them, they’re quite nice and responsive.

I don’t know how much you can retroactively collect, but it’ll double your money going forward.
Old 3rd September 2019
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Call them, they’re quite nice and responsive.

I don’t know how much you can retroactively collect, but it’ll double your money going forward.
Thanks so much! I've heard wildly mixed things about retroactive claims, but not sure if that was as artist or whatever else. Anyway, thanks I'll definitely give them a call. Need to sync up some time zone action

Appreciate your time and answer
a
Old 6th September 2019
  #4
Gear Addict
 

If haven't done so already you should set up a legal entity in your state first by registering your 'publishing' company as a DBA (Joe Blow 'Does Business As' Joe Blow Publishing) - Search the ASCAP database and then the local state DBA database to make sure the name of your publishing company is unique before registering.

If you don't register with the state someone else can start using your publishing name while being registered with BMI/SESAC etc.
Old 10th September 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Good View Post
If haven't done so already you should set up a legal entity in your state first by registering your 'publishing' company as a DBA (Joe Blow 'Does Business As' Joe Blow Publishing) - Search the ASCAP database and then the local state DBA database to make sure the name of your publishing company is unique before registering.

If you don't register with the state someone else can start using your publishing name while being registered with BMI/SESAC etc.
Good shout, however for ease I was going to just use my real name for both artist AND publishing as both are available. I was logged in as myself, and the option to do so checked out (name approved)... I guess I should contact them first by phone to make sure i'm not screwing myself with that in some weird way.

Oh and fwiw my name is unique. I know for sure there would be no conflicts with that. lol
Old 11th September 2019
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Good View Post
If haven't done so already you should set up a legal entity in your state first by registering your 'publishing' company as a DBA (Joe Blow 'Does Business As' Joe Blow Publishing) - Search the ASCAP database and then the local state DBA database to make sure the name of your publishing company is unique before registering.

If you don't register with the state someone else can start using your publishing name while being registered with BMI/SESAC etc.
Well even if your publishing company has the same name of another, the IPI/CAE number will be unique.
Old 11th September 2019
  #7
Here for the gear
 

I took this course a while back (the free option) and it was super helpful for me to learn more about legal rights as a composer. https://www.edx.org/course/introduct...sic-business-3
Old 13th September 2019
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desire Inspires View Post
Well even if your publishing company has the same name of another, the IPI/CAE number will be unique.
That still would not give you the legal option to use your company name in your state if someone else has already registered it as DBA and uses it in the same field. Not a major issue if you just want to collect checks but it would limit your options on using your name in commerce.
Old 13th September 2019
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Good View Post
That still would not give you the legal option to use your company name in your state if someone else has already registered it as DBA and uses it in the same field. Not a major issue if you just want to collect checks but it would limit your options on using your name in commerce.
True.

Just pick a unique name for your state and you are set.
Old 13th September 2019
  #10
thanks everybody!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
FYI I was able to find a time to call. I might try to call again to get confirmation of accuracy, but the answers were:

1. it's possible to use the same name as artist/writer but not advised, if only because people reporting plays etc may get confused and omit the info. BUT it's possible. He said the major major players at ASCAP know that this is a bad move, so a fictitious name is their move/ideal. ALSO you can still get paid without the DBA registration just fine, so long as your name is in the billing address they don't really care. this latter part is why i want to double check the info.

2. going back through registered titles and adding the new publisher info will only get 2 quarters of retroactive royalty pay. i also want to double check this.

anyway just thought i'd share for anybody that happens to need it.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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s wave's Avatar
With ASCAP you should register also/or as a 'vanity' label. Do not leave the 50% on the table. (I believe if you just register a song - as just a writer - I believe the other 50% is considered under 'Copyright Control' of the writers half?). gl
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