SYMSymphonic Royalties

Symphonic Recording Distribution Guidelines

  1. The American Federation of Musicians ("AFM") and the Screen Actors Guild- American Federation of Television and Radio Artists ("SAG-AFTRA") have designated the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund ("Fund") as their agent for the distribution of remuneration resulting from the DPRA (Digital Performance Rights Amendment), DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (AHRA), and from agreements negotiated with foreign collectives.
    1. For purposes of these distributions members of symphonic orchestras (including members of the choral ensemble when applicable) are considered to be featured performers.
    2. While Sound Exchange is the entity designated to make distributions to featured performers, Sound Exchange has designated the Fund to make such distributions to performers in symphonic orchestras on their behalf.
  2. In accordance with the DPRA, the DMCA, funds are collected on behalf of featured musicians (including symphonic musicians) and featured vocalists (including members of choral ensembles). Funds collected herein for members of symphonic orchestras and choral ensembles shall be referred to as the Symphonic Subfund. A featured performer for purposes of distributions under these guidelines shall be a musician or vocalist who is a member of a symphonic orchestra or choral ensemble identified in print or otherwise with respect to the specific sound recording(s) for which distributions from the Fund are made.
  3. Funds are segregated (i.e. not co-mingled with funds from other years) and are allocated on an annual basis.
  4. The Fund shall publish a notice in various trade publications no less than once each calendar year directing featured performers (as defined herein) to the website and informing them of the possible payments from the Fund.
  5. The Fund shall maintain a website to provide distribution information and participant access for inquiries and related matters.
  6. There will be a list posted on the website for featured performers (as defined herein) containing the covered sound recordings as defined in Paragraph 10 below. The list posted on the Fund website shall identify all the featured performers subject to a distribution under these guidelines, respectively, known to have participated on each covered sound recording. It shall also identify the sound recordings for which it believes all such performers have been identified. The website shall provide a method for such performers to claim that they performed on a recording and/or to provide personal or contact information. A featured performer may also make a claim in writing to the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund at 4705 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Suite 400, Valley Village, CA 91607. A featured performer who has been omitted from the Fund's list of performers for a recording shall have forty-five days from the publication on the Fund's website of the titles ready for distribution to make a claim to the Fund. The Fund, in its sole discretion, may process claims received after forty-five days but prior to disbursement.
  7. In preparing for distributions, the Fund may rely on information available to it (e.g. session reports and website responses) and information available to the public (e.g. liner notes, on-line services), in its discretion, unless it is demonstrated that the information is not accurate.
  8. Prior to each distribution, the Fund shall withhold a sum, the amount of which shall be determined by the Fund, for the purposes (1) of resolving disputes, and (2) correcting errors and/or omissions from any prior regular or supplemental distribution of the remuneration for that calendar year. Such withheld sums shall be known as the Omissions Fund.
  9. The Fund shall deduct administrative expenses from the funds to be distributed prior to distribution. Administrative expenses may include, but shall not be limited to, costs of staff, consultants, research, administration, services, equipment, distribution costs or other fees at the discretion of the Trustees.
  10. It is the goal of the Fund to distribute the funds received for each year to as many performers as possible in an efficient and timely manner and without issuing checks for de minimis amounts. Due to the fact that the featured performers' share of such royalties has been quite low in the past and is expected to remain quite low for the foreseeable future, the Fund only is able to make distributions on a limited number of sound recordings subject to distributions herein. The following system will be used to determine, for each year, the identity of the recordings upon which distributions shall be made and the amount to be distributed upon each recording:
    1. Sound recordings upon which a distribution shall be made will be determined in a manner to avoid de minimis payments to individual performers
    2. A proportionate pro-rata share of administrative expenses equal to amount charged by the Fund for other distributions for the same distribution year shall be deducted from the Symphonic Subfund for each distribution year. The amount remaining after the deduction of administrative expenses shall be defined as the Distributable Amount for each year.
    3. Sound recordings subject to distribution shall be identified based on a frequency of transmission/activity report (Frequency Report) ranking provided by SoundExchange for each year of distribution.
    4. Within the Symphonic Subfund, once the sound recordings have been identified upon which distribution shall be made for a particular year, each sound recording's pro-rata share of that year's Distributable Amount shall be those amounts allocated to each such recording by Sound Exchange.
    5. The amount to be distributed to each featured performer on a sound recording shall be determined by dividing the amount distributable for that sound recording by the number of featured performers identified on the recording. Distributions shall be made to featured performers without regard to union membership.
    6. Notwithstanding the above, the number of sound recordings upon which a distribution shall be made a given royalty year shall be reduced in the event that the application of the formulas contained in this Paragraph 10 results in a list of sound recordings too numerous to enable the efficient and prompt completion of the research and distribution.
    7. Any monies unclaimed after six months (e.g. stale-dated checks, payments for which the Fund has no good address, Omissions Fund balance, etc.) shall revert to the Fund.
    8. In order to achieve an efficient scale of operation, the Fund will not generate a check or a royalty statement to an individual who is not entitled to receive $10.00 or more ("de minimis threshold"). The Fund will establish a carry-over procedure and will issue a check and royalty statement to that individual when the $10.00 threshold has been cumulatively satisfied.

    In the event a featured performer feels aggrieved by the actual or proposed distribution of royalties, but not by the distribution formula, s/he may seek an adjustment by writing to the Administrator within 90 days of the distribution and setting forth the grounds for the complaint. The Administrator shall review the complaint and provide a written decision within thirty days. If the non-featured performer does not accept the decision of the Administrator, s/he may appeal the decision to the Trustees of the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund. The appeal must be sent to the Trustees at AFM and SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund at 4705 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Suite 400, Valley Village, CA 91607 within sixty days of the Administrator's decision, and must set forth the grounds for the appeal in writing. The Trustees shall review the appeal and reach a decision no later than sixty days from the date of the appeal. The Trustees shall advise the Administrator and the non-featured performer of their decision, which shall be final.
    In reaching their determinations, the Administrator and the Trustees shall follow the distribution methodology set forth in these Guidelines, supplemented by the principles of law and equity. The Administrator and the Trustees shall not consider the complainant's union status.
    If at some future date, in the sole determination of the Trustees, the annual amount collected for distribution becomes too small to effect an economically feasible distribution, then the monies collected for that year shall be held until such distributions are feasible in a subsequent year. In no circumstance, however, shall monies held for distribution be co-mingled with monies collected for a different year.
    The Fund shall not make a distribution to any Participant, except as provided herein, who does not possess a valid Tax Identification Number (TIN), which may be any of the following:
    • Social Security Number " SSN"
    • Employer Identification Number " EIN"
    • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number " ITIN"
    • Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions " ATIN"

    For each participant for whom the AFM or SAG-AFTRA pension fund has information, we will use the beneficiary or beneficiaries they have designated with respect to their respective pension fund as follows:
    • For participants for whom neither fund has information, then a beneficiary or beneficiaries named in a will shall apply. In the event a participant dies without a will, then (A) The widow or widower shall be the sole beneficiary unless there are any surviving children, in which case the widow or widower is entitled to one-half of participant's interest and the surviving children the other half; (B) If there is no surviving widow or widower, then the participant's surviving children shall receive the participant's entire interest; (C) The participant's children's share of the interest shall be divided among them on a pro rata basis according to the number of children.
    • We allow multiple beneficiaries, and allow a beneficiary or beneficiaries to name subsequent beneficiaries (e.g. beneficiaries of beneficiaries (BOB's);
    • The Fund's website shall list those deceased participants for whom we have a payment but no beneficiary to enable potential beneficiaries to contact us;
    • The Fund will solicit and maintain separate beneficiary declarations, but when none has been provided shall rather utilize those specified above.

    Amended as of 08/7/2014

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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.