News Room


08/01/2012, V. Robert DiPaola - Fund Administrator,  

(Below is this years annual distribution letter, which contains details related to the distribution and other information regarding the Fund.)

August 1, 2012

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, 2012. You must cash or deposit this check by October 29, 2012, since it will not be valid after that date under the rules of the Fundís bank. In addition, enclosed for your reference is a statement of your reported scale wages, if any, for calendar year 2011.

The Fundís total distribution this year is $7,032,000*, or about 9% greater than last year. The increase is primarily due to higher compliance audit collections from record companies. Overall, while contributions on sales of sound recordings were modestly higher, contributions on digital downloads rose to $4.1 million, a 17% increase over last year, which almost offset the 7% decline in contributions on physical product (e.g. CDs), which totaled $4.8 million. It is also worth noting that the sales of digital downloads continued trending higher in the first half of this year, as reported by Billboard in July 2012.

Iím pleased to report that over 98% of the total distribution will be paid out to musicians this year, leaving less than 2% due to musicians who the Fund is unable to locate. While this is probably the highest payout percentage in the history of the Fund, we are still dedicated to locating and paying every musician who has an unpaid distribution. You can help us with this by telling your fellow musicians to check for their names at our ďMoney Owed MusiciansĒ link on the Fundís website,

Speaking of, itís the best place to get useful information about the Fund. Using the website enables you to view your prior yearsí tax and scale-wage statements. You can also make changes to your address and other personal information, sign up for direct deposit (available for U.S. banks only) and print a beneficiary designation form. Using the website also helps reduce the Fundís administrative expenses. So please, take a few moments to explore the site.

Efforts To Reduce Online Piracy

Earlier this year, two bills, The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), were introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, respectively. These bills would have allowed courts and copyright holders the ability to direct internet service providers (ISPs) to block their customersí access to foreign websites that infringe on copyrighted material, including sound recordings. Ultimately the bills were dropped as opponents were able to persuade Congress that they did not adequately protect non-infringing websites against false accusations by the government or copyright holders. While these bills will need refinement to move forward, they show that our governmental representatives are actively engaged in preventing online piracy that results in lost income to musicians.

Further, other countries, such as France and Japan already have laws to prevent online piracy. In France, a recent study indicated that online piracy has slowed, while iTunes sales have increasedthere by over 22% for both songs and albums. In June 2012, Japanís legislature approved a bill to add criminal penalties for egregious online piracy that includes fines and up two years of imprisonment. New Zealand, Denmark, and the United Kingdom have also recently adopted online anti-piracy laws or educational initiatives. Ultimately these measures should be beneficial for musicians and everyone in the recording industry. Hopefully, these actions represent the beginnings of a worldwide trend.

Wishing you a prosperous year,

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, 2012 and 2011:

$ 8,997,000
Compliance audit collections
Interest income
Other income
Unclaimed distributions
Operating expenditures
Employer share of payroll taxes
Compliance audit expenses
Reserves and capital expenditures
Total distribution
$ 7,032,000
$ 6,460,000

Total participants