Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is NMPA Membership?
Through membership, a publisher is ensured participation and benefit of the primary trade association, public policy advocate and business resource for the songwriter and music publishing community in the U.S.
Q: Why is NMPA requesting U.S. revenue data?
NMPA is requesting U.S. revenue data in order to determine the market share for each member, which is necessary to calculate each member’s dues. See NMPA By-Laws, Article I, Section 4. (View the By-Laws here.)
Q: How will dues be calculated?
Members with $100 million or more in annual U.S. revenue (“Executive Members”) will be responsible for no less than 75% of the NMPA operating budget. This shall be allocated amongst Executive Members in accordance with each Executive Member’s respective U.S. revenue as a percentage of the aggregate U.S. revenue of all the Executive Members. See NMPA By-Laws, Article I, Section 4(a).
Members with less than $100 million in annual U.S. revenue (“General Members”) but more than $100,000 in annual U.S. revenue shall be responsible for no more than 25% of the NMPA operating budget. This will be allocated in accordance with each General Members’ market share. See NMPA By-Laws, Article I, Section 4(b).
The annual dues of each General Member with $50,000 to $100,000 in annual U.S. revenue shall be $250. The annual dues of each General Member with less than $50,000 in annual U.S. revenue shall be $100. See NMPA By-Laws, Article I, Section 4(b).
Q: Can a songwriter join NMPA?
A songwriter can join NMPA if he/she qualifies under the NMPA By-Laws. The NMPA By-Laws allow any person actively engaged in the business of publishing music to be eligible as a member of NMPA. See NMPA By-Laws, Article I, Section 1(a).
Q: Can a publishing administrator join NMPA?
Under the NMPA By-Laws, a publishing administrator is eligible as a member of the NMPA. See NMPA By-Laws, Article I, Section 1(a).
Q: Can a business management, law or accounting firm join NMPA?
It depends. NMPA generally discourages business management, law or accounting firms from joining NMPA because these firms typically do not engage in music publishing as their primary business. However, any person actively engaged in the business of publishing music may qualify under the NMPA By-Laws. See NMPA By-Laws, Article I, Section 1(a). Please contact Stephanie Li at the number indicated below if you have questions about whether your primary business is music publishing.
Q: Should a music publisher include a so-called “writers share” in its U.S. revenue data?
Yes. A music publisher should include the “writers share” in its U.S. revenue data so long as the “writers share” is actually received by the music publisher.
Q: When is the deadline to provide the information and U.S. revenue data?
The deadline to provide the information and U.S. revenue data for the 2016 calendar year is no later than April 1, 2017. See NMPA By-Laws, Article 1, Section 3(b).
Q: When a publisher provides the U.S. revenue data, is it obligated to pay dues?
No. Providing U.S. revenue data does not commit a publisher to pay dues. A publisher does not become an NMPA member until it has paid its dues.
Q: When will a prospective member receive a dues invoice?
The NMPA shall send an invoice to each member for its dues on or about May 1. See NMPA By-Laws, Section 4(d).
Q: When is the deadline for payment of dues?
The deadline for payment of dues shall be on or before June 1. See NMPA By-Laws, Section 4(d).
Q: May a publisher pre-pay dues using a letter of direction?
Yes. Please contact Stephanie Li (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to use a letter of direction. Letters of direction (“LODs”) allow publishers to direct past settlement distributions and/or Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (“HFA”) mechanical payments to dues obligations and can be fashioned in a way to limit or place a cap on how much money is used to offset dues obligations.
Q: What if an NMPA member is not in good standing?
An NMPA member must fulfill its dues obligation in order to remain a member in good standing. ANY PUBLISHER NOT IN GOOD STANDING CANNOT OPT IN AND RECEIVE A PORTION OF AN NMPA SETTLEMENT OR PROGRAM DISTRIBUTION.
Q: What are some examples of prior or ongoing NMPA Settlements or Programs?
While NMPA’s prior litigation judgments and settlements are not indicators of future success, NMPA has collected nearly $500 million in the aggregate on behalf of songwriters and music publishers opting-in to NMPA settlements and programs. NMPA has entered into settlement agreements with parties like YouTube and Limewire and has received judgments against parties that infringed publisher works, such as LiveUniverse. NMPA also worked with major record labels to establish the highly successful Late Fee Program, which has collected over $220 million to date from the major labels, and created default rules and best practice standards to encourage timely licensing and payment of mechanical royalties by major labels to publishers.
NMPA finalized settlement agreements with Fullscreen, Inc., Maker Studios, Inc., and Rap Genius, resulting in distributions to its members during the FY 2016 membership program. NMPA also offered model license agreements with SoundCloud and Flipagram allowing eligible publishers to take part in advances from the services.
Q: How will the market shares established in the Membership Program be used to calculate distributions for program settlements?
With the exception of the NMPA Late Fee Program, settlement will be calculated using each music publisher’s submission of income data to NMPA. Distributions to each participating publisher will be based on its relative market share as compared to all other publishers participating in a particular settlement. Please contact Stephanie Li if you have further questions.
Q: Must a publisher affiliate with the Harry Fox Agency, Inc., as a condition of being a member of NMPA?
No. A publisher does not have to join HFA to become a member in good standing with NMPA.
Q: What if a publisher purchased or acquired a catalog in 2016?
The purchasing publisher should include calendar year 2016 revenue for that catalog in their data revenue submission. If you have further questions about acquisitions, please contact Stephanie Li.
Q: What if a publisher has additional questions?
If a publisher has additional questions, please contact Stephanie Li at NMPA: (202) 393-6672 or email her at email@example.com.