ASCAP Payment System: Collecting International Royalties
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ASCAP Payment System

Collecting International Royalties

Performance royalties earned in foreign countries are an important source of income for many ASCAP members. We have agreements with foreign societies representing virtually every country that has laws protecting copyright. We cooperate with these societies in a number of ways to ensure our members receive royalties from performances of their works in foreign territories.

When ASCAP works are performed in a foreign country, that country's performing rights society tracks the performances, collects the license fees from the local music users and then forwards the royalties earned to ASCAP for distribution. Our agreements are reciprocal, meaning that we also license the works of foreign societies' members in the US and send the data and fees on to the appropriate society.

Royalties earned from foreign territories vary depending on each country's use of ASCAP music, local copyright laws, the fees collected from local music users, etc. Each foreign society pays ASCAP on a different schedule, depending on its own distribution policies. Every ASCAP international statement is accompanied by a list of the territories and performance periods included in that distribution. We publish an archive of these lists on our Statement Communications page.

What Makes ASCAP's International Payment System Unique

ASCAP is the most effective performing rights organization at collecting and distributing foreign royalties. We have the longest standing relationships with foreign societies of any US performing rights organization, and a deep understanding of how they do business.

ASCAP is the only American PRO whose members enjoy a foreign tax credit thanks to the International Distribution Summary (IDS) we send at the end of each year. This translates into potential tax savings in the millions for ASCAP members each year. Download our International Royalties Tax Reporting Guide for more information about international tax reporting.

ASCAP is the only US society to have an International Monitoring Unit that verifies the accuracy of television and cinema performance statements received from affiliated foreign societies. In many European countries, where American television programs are frequently broadcast with foreign language titles, ASCAP collects its own performance information to ensure proper crediting of our members works.

Learn more about how ASCAP pays foreign royalties here.

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