SYMSymphonic Royalties


Where does the money come from?

These payments are a unique form of royalties collected for symphonic recordings pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the U.S. and agreements negotiated with foreign collectives that cover performance rights for symphonic sound recordings licensed for use on cable satellite, subscription services, and other digital media.

How are the individual royalty payments calculated?

Symphonic performers are considered “featured” performers. Each individual featured performer eligible for a distribution (instrumental musicians, music preparation personnel and librarians) receives a single credit for each sound recording they perform on regardless of the number of parts performed on a particular sound recording. Then, the amount received for each sound recording (less administrative expenses) is divided by the number of featured performers to establish each individual’s pro-rata share of the royalties.

Does the Fund then make payments only as a result of union sessions?

Not necessarily. Union and non-union projects will be treated equally for domestic royalties (i.e. those generated in the U.S.), but a number of the foreign collectives we have agreements with do require that payments made to the Fund generated in their territories be made only to members of the AFM and/or SAG-AFTRA.

How is participation on a particular sound recording determined?

The Fund staff conducts extensive research including examining union contracts, orchestra rosters, and other documentation available to identify featured performers.

If I find my name on one recording, how can I find out what other recordings I have been included on?

Double click your name and all the other recordings we have found for you will appear.

What if I was on a recording, but have been left out of a royalty disbursal for a particular sound recording?

Simply contact the Fund via the online inquiry form, and request additional research on your behalf. It is important to include all pertinent information such as performance (s) you worked on, session dates, studio location, etc. Supporting documentation such as pay stubs, session contracts, or even affidavits from other featured performers, and others such as the orchestra manager/contractor who was involved in the recording in question will be most helpful. The Fund will then promptly investigate your claim. If your participation can be verified, then an appropriate pro-rata payment will be made to you from the reserves held back for omissions (see Distribution Guidelines for more information).

What if I received a check but didn't perform on the sound recording?

If for one reason or another (i.e. you have the same or similar name as someone who did actually perform on the album) you received a check but did not perform on any album/single listed, please notify the Fund.

What if my name is listed on the unclaimed checks list on the website?  How come I didn't receive that check?

There could be a variety of reasons that despite your performance on a particular sound recording you still did not receive a payment. The most likely cause would be that we might not have your address or social security number. If you move or want to be sure we have the most current information for you, you can email a change of address form.

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The AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, a 501(c)(6) organization, was established by
The American Federation of Musicians and Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Copyright ©2013 AFM & SAG-AFTRA Fund. All rights reserved.