Sony Music Entertainment to Pay Royalties to Historic Artists in Landmark Decision

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In a historic move in the industry, Sony Music Entertainment has announced that it will begin paying royalties to heritage artists who signed with the company before 2000 and have yet to recover their record advances.

Dubbed the Legacy Unrecouped Balance program, the plan is a continuation of Sony’s Artists Forward initiative to improve industry practices and transparency among creatives, with Sony detailing the move in a letter to thousands of people. artists during the weekend.

Throughout the 20th century, many recording contracts were drafted in a way that negated the possibility for artists to earn catalog royalties in the event that they failed to recover their initial recording prepayments. .

Going forward, however, Sony will not account for unrecovered balances from skilled artists, songwriters, and producers who signed with the company before 2000 and have not yet recovered their advances.

As part of the policy, legacy laws will now begin collecting royalties on a regular basis, including payments backdated to January 1, 2021.

Eligible artists, producers and songwriters will be notified of their eligibility for the program in the coming weeks.

In a letter explaining the initiative, Sony Music Entertainment noted that the Legacy Unrecouped Balance program would not result in the modification of contracts, but would pay through existing unpaid balances to “increase the ability of those who qualify to receive more money. ‘money from the use of their music’.

“As part of our continued focus on developing new financial opportunities for creators, we will no longer apply existing unrecovered balances to artist and attendee income generated on or after January 1, 2021 for eligible artists and attendees. from all over the world who signed with EMS before year. 2000 and have not received an advance from the year 2000 ”, reads the letter.

“Through this program, we are not modifying existing contracts, but choosing to pay on existing unrecovered balances to increase the ability of those who qualify to receive more money from the use of their music.”

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