ASCAP, BMI Roll Out RapidCue

The online data-based system should streamline the process of copyright reporting for music on TV
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Performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI have created RapidCue, a new Web based system to help television producers streamline the labor-intensive process of reporting what copyrighted music they’ve used in a program. The online, database-based system replaces the manual “cue sheets” that producers have traditionally filled out and sent to ASCAP and BMI.

In the old system, producers would fill out cue sheets with data on all the music performed in a particular film or television program, thus allowing music composers and publishers to get paid royalties for their work. Upon receiving a cue sheet via mail or email, ASCAP and BMI employees would then manually key the information into their database.

The new system should cut down on manual errors and make sure more copyright holders get paid for their work, says ASCAP and BMI executives. Developed over the past seven years, RapidCue provides a secure Website that allows users to enter, manage and electronically submit music cue sheet data for television, cable and film productions to BMI and ASCAP. The system provides electronic notification and acknowledgement of receipt, offers electronic or hard-copy versions of cue sheets, and provides the ability to revise data.   

Major content producers such as CBS, Fox, Sony and Paramount are already using RapidCue, says Shawn LeMone, ASCAP assistant VP for film and TV, and the system is now being rolled out to smaller television producers.

“It’s a very obvious area of automation, but it’s taken a while to do, because the industry is so divergent and involves so many different companies and so many different people,” he says.

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