Collecting Foreign Royalties
There are societies similar to ASCAP around the world, and we cooperate with them to ensure that our members receive royalties from performances of their works abroad. ASCAP has reciprocal agreements with foreign societies representing virtually every country that has laws protecting copyright. We license the works of their members in the U.S., and they license the works of our members in their territories.
ASCAP is the most effective U.S. performing rights organization in collecting foreign royalties. We have the longest-standing relationships with foreign societies, so we have the deepest understanding of how they do business. We aggressively monitor foreign performances of ASCAP works in all media to ensure that our members are being paid correctly. In fact, ASCAP is the only society to have an International Monitoring Unit "IMU" that utilizes an innovative database "EZ-MAXX" to verify the accuracy of television performance statements received from affiliated foreign societies.
Our revenues from foreign territories have steadily increased as the result of our efforts and the growing prominence of American music abroad. We also want our members to receive their money from abroad as quickly as possible, which is why we make four foreign distributions - in February, May, August, and November - in any given tax year. ASCAP members also have a unique opportunity to take advantage of a foreign tax credit as a result of enhanced year-end reporting of earnings. Commencing for calendar year 1996, ASCAP was the first U.S. performing rights organization to provide this advantage. This has translated into potential tax savings for members of up to $3 million.
ASCAP has a full-service membership office in London that provides a wealth of functions for ASCAP members who live, travel or have business abroad. ASCAP also plays a prominent role in CISAC, which is the international confederation of performing rights organizations. ASCAP's former President and Chairman of the Board, Marilyn Bergman, served two terms as President of CISAC, and ASCAP's CEO, John LoFrumento, is a member of the CISAC Executive Bureau.
ASCAP's team of international professionals is committed to continuing to increase foreign revenues and providing the highest level of service to ASCAP members. In addition, as new territories enter the world economic market, ASCAP is the first to pursue relationships with them and provide technical assistance to ensure that the use of the ASCAP repertory is licensed and protected.