News Room


08/02/2010, V. Robert DiPaola - Fund Administrator,  

(Below is a copy of the letter sent to musicians that received a distribution payment this year. The letter includes details related to the distribution and other information regarding the Fund. For those musicians utilizing direct deposit and participants that are beneficiaries, your distribution letter is slightly modified to reflect your circumstances.)

August 2, 2010

Dear Participating Musician:

Enclosed is a check that represents your portion of the Sound Recording Special Payments Fundís (ďFundĒ) distribution for this year, which is based on the fiscal year ended April 30, 2010. You must cash or deposit this check by November 1, 2010, since it will not be valid after that date under the rules of the Fundís bank. In addition, also enclosed for your reference is a statement of your reported scale wages, if any, for calendar year 2009.

The Fundís total distribution this year is $8,017,000, down about 11% from last year. The decline was mainly due to lower audit collections, historically low interest rates earned on the Fundís short-term investments and lower contributions from recording companies, which were down about 2% over last year.

On a positive note, the Fund benefited from the continued rise in contributions reported on sales of digital downloads, which increased almost $1 million this year to $3.3 million or 41% over the prior year. Also, by maintaining tight control over expenditures, we were able to reduce operating expenditures by about 5% this fiscal year.*

Other Fund news:

  • The Fund has been working on updating our websiteís look and functionality and to make it more user-friendly, especially for those musicians who use Apple/Mac computers. We now anticipate that we will be ready to re-launch the website in the fall/winter of 2010.
  • Our staff again had great success in locating and paying musicians who are entitled to unclaimed distributions. This year, like last, over 97% of the total distribution will be paid out to musicians, leaving less than $236,000 as unclaimed (in contrast to over $1.5 million in earlier years). For a listing of the musicians who still have unclaimed distributions due them, please visit our website,

In past years I have remarked that I am optimistic that digital downloads will grow significantly during the next few years and result in sizable contributions to the Fund. Some signs of this are beginning to show as evidenced by this yearís total of $3.3 million in contributions from digital downloads. Just a few short years ago, in 2007, the Fund only received $700,000 for these contributions.

For the future, one area that I am particularly optimistic about is legal downloads purchased directly from smart phones with built-in MP3 players. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before these devices become much more user-friendly and lead to more consumers purchasing downloads directly from their phones. I also remain hopeful that countries that are trying to enact laws to combat music piracy over the internet will be successful. If either or both of these items occur, in the long run you should benefit as a participant in the Fund.

Use the Website!

Even though we are in the process of re-launching the website, you can still sign up now by visiting it at, filling out the registration form, and returning it to the Fund. All of your information will automatically carry forward to the new website.

Using the Fundís website enables you to get information about the Fund, view your prior yearsí tax and scale-wage statements and see if you or your fellow musicians have unclaimed distributions. You can also make changes to your address and other personal information, designate a beneficiary and sign up for direct deposit (available for U.S banks only). So explore the website ó besides gaining access to much useful information, use of the website also helps reduce the Fundís administrative expenses.


V. Robert DiPaola

V. Robert DiPaola
Fund Administrator

* Below is a summary comparison of financial information related to the annual distributions for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2010 and 2009:

Compliance audit collections
Investment income and interest
Other income
Unclaimed distributions
Operating expenditures
Employer share of payroll taxes
Compliance audit expenses
Reserves and capital expenditures
Total distribution
$ 8,017,000
$ 9,008,000

Total participants