Tag Archives: b-4

b-4 reports

CDs and B-4 Report Forms Ensure Your Projects Are Covered

by Kim Wysocki, Administrative Assistant AFM Electronic Media Services Division

The importance of our CD Jacket Program has continued to grow over the years. Securing the release of all sound recording product (including box sets, anniversary packages, deluxe editions), which usually contain live and previously unreleased material, keeps this department busy. Coordinating the proper filing of B-4 forms for these recordings, as well as all recordings done under the Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA) is as vital as ever.

This office continues to pursue major record companies, including numerous covered labels and independent labels signed to the SRLA, in obtaining CDs, label copies, and any other information (including from digital releases), which are then researched by our department. When this process is complete, we share the information we gather with the AFM locals under whose jurisdiction the recordings took place.

We work together to ensure that B-4 reports were filed (including hours worked, doubles, overdubs), as well as make sure a current signatory is in place. We continue to coordinate our efforts with SAG-AFTRA, the pension fund, and the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund (SPF) to ensure that musicians are properly credited and receive proper wages and pension for their work. This also ensures they will receive payments from the SPF for the next five years. In addition, the proper filing of B-4 report forms helps us to facilitate new use payments, if the recordings are utilized in motion pictures, television films, and/or commercial announcements.

Advertising agencies representing numerous advertisers contact EMSD on a daily basis. They inquire as to whether or not a track was recorded under an AFM agreement and if the appropriate session reports were filed. Once our office locates these reports, a new use billing packet is prepared and submitted to the agency.

The volume of sound recordings used in commercial announcements continues to grow. Musicians are reaping the benefits of these new use payments. We rely on you, the musicians, to be proactive in making sure that your original work is done under AFM conditions and that session reports are filed. The filing of these forms is essential and benefits every musician. Musicians who perform on recordings should see to it that they are properly listed for their work on AFM B-4 report forms. This facilitates smoother new use billing procedures. If you have any doubts as to whether or not a given project is covered under the SRLA and if B-4 reports will be prepared, please contact your local or the AFM.

EMSD has a scanning procedure in place to ensure that all report forms received by this office for any and all work performed under AFM agreements are stored in our system, thereby making them readily accessible. We also have an electronic CD jacket file (provided by the pension fund), which enables us to access information as needed.

All in all, the more information we have on file, the better equipped we are to serve and assist you. Locals should continue to send the AFM copies of any and all B report forms and music preparation invoices. And, if you hear from any contractor or leader that they possess a history of B forms that they would like to discard, please tell them not to. Rather, they should send them to the AFM. We will make good use of them.

B-4 Reminder to Local Officers and Staff

by Patrick Varriale, Director AFM Electronic Media Services Division

The following story is true: A contractor who was very active in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, and kept meticulous records for his many recording sessions, called to ask us if the Federation could use copies of his B report forms. Without missing (excuse the pun) a beat we said, “YES! Absolutely! Definitely!” 

We are in the process of scanning those forms so that they can be cataloged and readily accessible for potential additional use of the musicians’ product, thereby generating additional payments on their behalf. This helps us tremendously to streamline the billing process for the ever-increasing number of projects utilizing existing material.    

This story serves as a perfect reminder to all local officers and staff to please be sure to forward to the AFM copies of all B forms and music preparation invoices your local receives for recording projects. The forms are maintained in both the New York and West Coast offices. The potential additional uses normally administered by the AFM include sound recordings that are licensed for use in a theatrical motion picture, television film, commercial announcement, etc., or in a special project (clip show, “anniversary” show, award show, etc.). These projects are ongoing and oftentimes there is a tremendous amount of research that is undertaken by our staff on both coasts for any given project to ensure that the musicians receive proper compensation for the additional use of their product.

Your local should be proactive in making sure that the B forms are filled out completely and accurately, with a current signatory to the appropriate AFM agreement in place. These forms should be maintained and readily available when pursuing the usual additional payments. Two examples would be (1) under the Commercial Announcements Agreement for reuse, foreign use, or Internet use of commercial announcements and (2) under the live television agreements for reruns, foreign use of programs, and programs that are made available in supplemental markets—DVD releases or a different type of television (commercial television to basic cable television). And please be sure that music preparation invoices are matched up to the report forms that are filed for the instrumentalists.

Please send any and all B report forms (and music preparation invoices) to the New York office: American Federation of Musicians; Attn: EMSD; 1501 Broadway, Suite 600; New York, NY 10036. Contact us with any questions you have.

new use department looking for help

New Use Department Has a Cubicle for You

by Peter Marroquin, AFM EMSD West Coast Office, TV/Theatrical Film New Use

new use department looking for helpIt takes a special group of people to create an effective and productive New Use Department, and that includes you. I have been a part of the Motion Picture/Television Film New Use Department since 1995. The department has consistently improved its billing and collection power every year, for the past two decades. This is the result of a constant effort to improve our data systems, identification of new sources of new use, partnerships with AFM locals, and the gathering of B-4 sound recording contracts from wherever they may roam. The goal of our department is to have every B-4 in existence in our archives, readily accessible for the billing and collection of new uses as they are found. AFM members are crucial to making this happen through their assistance in spotting new uses and locating B-4s.

The TV/Theatrical Film New Use department is part of the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD) of the AFM West Coast Office. We monitor the industry to capture the use of AFM sound recordings in films. The department does this through viewer/researcher Alisa Childs, who records and watches TV shows and theatrical motion pictures to spot the new use of recordings. Our two full-time researchers, Bryan Vasquez and Andrew Morris, assist in the daily viewing to catch as many new uses as possible.

In addition to in-house recording and viewing, we have access to music-in-films information through DVD rentals, record company licensing reports, and the Internet. We are always looking for additional reliable ways to identify new uses in films because we have a four-year statute of limitations. This means we have four years to spot a new use, find a B-4, and bill a producer. Catching all new uses has become more challenging for our three researchers because the number of channels and services (e.g., Netflix and Amazon Prime) has grown.

This is where our members can help by reporting the new uses they spot in films. The information we need to start the billing process is: film name, tune title, artist name, production company, and year of film’s release (or air date in the case of TV films.) This information can be sent to me at e-mail pmarroquin@afm.org or faxed to (323) 461-5410. Unfortunately, the billing process sometimes stops because we do not have a copy of the AFM sound recording session contract for the tune(s).

When a sound recording session takes place, a B-4 form is filed with the AFM locals. The B-4 itemizes for our department the list of musicians who performed in the session. It also confirms that the session was done under an AFM contract, and directs us on the appropriate new use fees to bill. We archive sound recording B-4s as they are found. Currently our database includes B-4 forms gathered from various union locals, the pension fund, and members. We are always looking for ways to find more B-4s. Our goal is to have a complete record of all recordings that have been filed with AFM locals. Members can assist by sending us copies of B-4 sound recording forms that they have in their personal files. Please contact me if you would like to send us your collection.

The billing and collection of new uses in films gets better every year. Our team is committed to improving its services through the resources available, and to finding more sources of new uses and B-4s. Join our team effort by reporting new uses and submitting your B-4s.

CDs Have Taken On a Life of Their Own

CDs Have Taken On a Life of Their Own

by Kim Wysocki, Administrative Assistant AFM Electronic Media Services Division

CDs Have Taken On a Life of Their OwnInformation is power. I am the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD) person who monitors the development of the CD jacket program and the filing of AFM B-4 report forms. I am happy to report that we are receiving more CD jackets from signatory companies in a timely fashion. When I first began ordering and processing CDs from the numerous record labels, I did it mostly in-between “other things.” Since then, it has grown with a life of its own.

EMSD works closely with major record companies, covered record labels, and independent labels who are signed to the Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA) and its counterpart the SRLA Single Project Short Form (SRLA-SPSF). We began to request a “label copy” for each CD released by the label to provide us with as much information as possible about each recording.

The label copy often provides invaluable information: names of all participating musicians, their instrumentation, as well as the names of the studios where the recordings took place. This information is not always included on the album jacket and is not readily available elsewhere if the release is strictly digital. We’ve been successful in using an aggressive approach: formulating lists of releases from various sources (trade magazines, websites, etc.), submitting them to the record companies, and then following up when necessary.

Our research begins when we receive the CD jackets. Once our research is complete, we distribute copies of the CD jackets to the AFM local(s) in whose jurisdiction the recording took place. The local(s) then ensure that they have all the B-4 forms; that these forms are properly filed (including hours worked, doubles, overdubs, etc.); and also that there is a signatory in place. This is extremely important for wage and pension purposes. (We coordinate our efforts, share, and utilize information with the Pension Fund.) It also ensures that musicians are properly credited to receive checks from the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund for the next five years, as well as for new use (motion pictures, commercial announcements, etc.).

As a rule, locals should forward copies of B-4 forms to our office for any type of recording (sound recordings, limited pressings, commercial announcements, motion pictures, TV film, videotape/live television, etc.). They are kept for research purposes. I maintain a log of the B-4 forms I receive from locals and make sure that we send any and all copies of forms to my colleagues in the New Use Department, so they can prepare and submit new use billings on behalf of the musicians. For the B-4 report forms of symphonic recordings, I forward copies to the Symphonic Services Division.

If you have questions relating to the B form reporting program, please contact me at: (917) 229-0272 or by e-mail: kwysocki@afm.org.