No, this is not a Nigerian money laundering scheme. Ironically, every now and then, something that sounds too good to be true turns out to actually be true.
If you're a songwriter signed to a publishing deal, you'll want to know about a landmark settlement between the National Music Publishers' Association and the four major labels. Think of it as the "Publishers' Clearinghouse," except instead of Ed McMahon, it should be your publisher with the big check.
The deal calls for the labels to release more than $264 million dollars in unpaid funds, and ceases a number of practices such as withholding songwriter royalties for all tracks on an album if one track's split is in dispute. It's a long overdue payout to the publishers, and should be great for songwriters as well. Various publishers will have different methods of distributing these funds to their songwriters, so what should a songwriter do today? First, contact your publisher and encourage an "opt-in" to the fund release arrangement. Then, ask how your publisher will determine your fair share. Remember, the deal ONLY frees the funds from the label to the publisher. It is up to the publisher to meet its obligations to distribute these funds fairly to its writers.
For more information about the settlement, please check www.nmpa.org in the coming weeks. And let us know if you've seen your share of revenue from these funds. Because as Ed McMahon use to say," You may already be a winner."