Q. My friend was travelling overseas and heard my song on the radio. Will I get paid for this broadcast?
Not all radio broadcasts here or overseas will be paid a royalty. For overseas broadcasts, it will depend whether there is copyright law in the country, whether there is a collecting society like APRA, whether there are licences in place and also on the distribution rules and policies of the society in question.
Radio performances may be analysed for payment on a census (full) or sample basis, or some stations - not at all. If your song was broadcast on a radio station that is sampled, the performance would need to fall within the sample in order to be paid. APRA can query the appropriate society on your behalf. In order to query a radio performance in a foreign territory we need to provide the society with the relevant details.
Please ensure first of all that the work has been registered with APRA. The foreign society will need to know as much detail as possible about the broadcast - date and time, name of the radio station, call sign, the location of the station (city, country) and the name of the program on which the song was played.
Q. I've just returned from a tour of Europe. When will I get my payments from each country?
Provided there are functioning societies in the relevant countries, once you have submitted your Overseas Live Performance Return, APRA will contact our affiliated societies with your claim. Depending on their distribution policies, certain performances may be payable and others not. Once the society has verified the performances, any relevant payments will be made in their next available distribution back to APRA. Payment time-frames can vary, depending on how frequently the society distributes.
Q.My music is being used in the background of a sports show which is broadcast around the world on cable. How much money can I expect to receive?
Cable stations are often paid at a lower rate than free-to-air television. Some stations may not be licensed or analysed for distribution under the overseas society’s policies. Please contact us with all relevant broadcast details and we will make an enquiry to the relevant societies on your behalf.
Q. My co-writer in the UK, who is a member of PRS, has already been paid by PRS for performances of our works on the radio over there. How long will it take for me to get my money from the UK?
There is always a time lag between performances overseas and receipt of foreign payments. This depends on the frequency with which the society makes their distributions and, in some rare cases, can be up to two years after the performance took place. Societies are however obliged to account to APRA within 90 days of paying their own members. We also make “mini” distributions to writer members for overseas royalties each month between our regular distributions.
Q. I registered my works with APRA claiming 100%, but the payment I have received from overseas is for shares of only 50%. What happened to the other 50%?
A payment from overseas may be for a different share to your APRA registration because the other society may have different information about the work. If you have signed a publishing agreement, here or in any other country, you must advise us of the details. Note also that some publishing agreements may provide for a different percentage for overseas performances than here. We want to ensure that we are claiming shares correctly for you. In some cases too, publishing agreements may allow local language versions of your song to be made and a small deduction to be allowed for the translator. If you believe you have been underpaid, please contact us and we will query the relevant society and seek an adjustment for missing shares.
Q. If my music is protected by copyright in New Zealand, how do I protect it in the rest of the world?
Works protected under New Zealand copyright will be protected in most countries of the world – ie those that are members of the International Copyright Conventions and the World Trade Organisation. APRA AMCOS have entered into reciprocal agreements with collecting societies most of these countries around the world, to ensure that your copyright is protected and royalties are paid on your performances and recordings, according to the distribution rules and practices in each country.
Q. Why does it take longer to receive my overseas income than my locally accrued royalties?
Each affiliated collecting society has different practices regarding the identification and collection of performance data and the distribution of royalties. Some societies pay APRA once a year, some twice and some every quarter. If a payment took place at the beginning of the year in a territory that pays once a year, it may be up to two years before we receive the payment, verify its accuracy and forward it on to our member. When APRA receives payments for your works from foreign territories, the distributions are processed as quickly as possible to ensure you receive payment promptly.
Q. My music has been released overseas on CD. Can AMCOS collect mechanical royalties for me?
AMCOS is affiliated with numerous mechanical collecting societies around the world. They are able to collect royalties on behalf of AMCOS members.
Q. Do I need to join an international society as well if my songs are getting played overseas?
No. APRA AMCOS have reciprocal agreements with societies in most territories around the world. If your music is performed publicly or communicated in a foreign territory, the society in that country or territory will collect those royalties and forward them to APRA to pay our members. Please note that the royalties collected and distributed will depend on the distribution practices and procedures of the society in that territory. If your works have been performed live or broadcast in a foreign country, please contact us.