Org sets royalties for Web music perfs

Broadcast Music Inc. has announced it will distribute royalties for the performance of music in cyberspace.

The move, which takes effect sometime in 1998, culminates a series of groundbreaking Internet pacts that began more than two years ago when BMI signed the first agreement for the public performance of music in cyberspace.

“Our commitment to this new Internet royalty distribution is a significant step in creating a new revenue stream for BMI-affiliated writers and publishers,” said Frances Preston, prexy/CEO of BMI. “The digital age presents us with exciting new opportunities to … generate revenues for our writers and publishers.”

Reinforces committment

Preston said the plan reinforces the company’s commitment to ensure that its writers, publishers and licensees can fully realize the benefits of the growing use of music on the World Wide Web.

Internet royalty distributions will be based on performance information and revenue received from those sites having an agreement with BMI.

BMI is credited with breaking the Internet copyright logjam in 1995 when it negotiated the first agreement for the performance of music on the Internet.

Since then the roster of BMI-licensed Web sites has grown to include many leading music-based sites, including Audionet, Mediadome and Netradio.

“By distributing royalties from the funds we generate in cyberspace back to the writers and publishers whose work is played on the Web, we are meeting our obligation to our writers and to our licensees by providing a tangible reward for the performance of BMI music in cyberspace,” said John Shaker, senior veep of licensing for BMI.

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