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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Watch as Licensed Funnyman John Mulrooney gives you all the FAQ info in this short video:

 

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1. What is Comedy Exchange?
2. When was Comedy Exchange founded?
3. What royalties does Comedy Exchange NOT administer?
4. How are royalties distributed to the right person?
5. Who oversees Comedy Exchange?
6. Is there a membership or administrative fee?
7. How does Comedy Exchange track airplay?
8. Who is a rights owner?
9. By joining, am I signing away my rights or locking up a release?
10. What about ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. Don’t they cover this? What is the difference?
11. What about webcasting?
12. Do royalty recipients have the right to audit?
13. What if there is more than one artist or a guest artist who performed on a song?
14. I registered, so when do I get my money?
15. I’m a comedian – where do I sign up?

 

1. What is Comedy Exchange?

The Comedy Exchange is a unique organization put together to collect performance royalties for comedic writers whose recorded works are used on AM / FM and other terrestrial radio broadcasting. It not only provides compensation for the writers, but also to the labels that manufacture and distribute the comedic works. It is principally, but not limited to spoken word performances.

 

2. When was Comedy Exchange founded?

It was incorporated in April of 2010.

 

3. What royalties does Comedy Exchange NOT administer?

Comedy Exchange does NOT administer royalties for:
Broadcasting on the internet and satellite / podcasting / television or on-demand services. Nor any reproduction rights for digital downloads.

 

4. How are royalties distributed to the right person?

Every payment is indexed to a detailed log of how many items by a writer / label are played on a quarterly basis.

 

5. Who oversees Comedy Exchange? 

The Comedy Exchange Board of Directors oversees all operations of Comedy Exchange. This board approves the distribution of royalties and payment of administrative expenses. It is comprised of representatives from Radio, Records and some Performers as well. For a full board member listing, check the Comedy Exchange Board of Directors page under the ABOUT section.

 

6. Is there a membership or administrative fee?

The Comedy Exchange is free to join for both writers and labels. The Comedy Exchange pays through 80% of all moneys collected to the rights holders, and keeps 20% for administrative fees in the first year. In year two and beyond, 85% will be paid to rights holders and 15% kept for administrative fees. 

 

7. How does Comedy Exchange track airplay?

The primary tracking is done through a cooperative arrangement with broadcasters and tracking companies such as BDS (Broadcast Data Systems), who monitor the nation’s airwaves for their clients

 

8. Who is a rights owner?

The Rights Owner is the writer who holds the exclusive copyright to the performance, and has the right to license that material for broadcast. The Label, who has the rights to manufacture, distribute and sell this material, is also a rights owner. These two may be the same entity. If original label ‘A’ has leased the material to ‘B’ for re-release, it will be ‘B’ who gets the payments from CXA.

 

9. By joining, am I signing away my rights or locking up a release?

NOT IN ANY WAY. The writer and the label keep all rights they already have, nothing changes. Comedy Exchange simply looks out for your material that’s being played on the radio. This will not impact your existing contract or relationships with a label, and does not seek to lock you into a deal that prevents you from anything.

 

10. What about ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. Don’t they cover this? What is the difference?

No. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC cover the rights of musical compositions, not spoken works.

 

11. What about webcasting?

For the moment, U.S. Copyright Office has given a sole right to collect for webcasting to the Sound Exchange.

 

12. Do royalty recipients have the right to audit?

Yes. Members will have the right to audit and to view your own audit report. In addition, members can appeal to a dispute resolution committee set up by the board.

 

13. What if there is more than one artist or a guest artist who performed on a registered comedic bit?

If a bit was composed by several writers, this will require a royalty split (where the percentage for each person or group is submitted to us). This percentage may or may not be spelled out in the artist’s recording contract. If it is a comedy group, the payment will be made to the group and they can determine the appropriate split.

 

14. I registered, so when do I get my money?

When Comedy Exchange receives your registration documents, we first have to verify the information. This might take some time. However, even before you join, we are already tracking any airplay on terrestrial radio you may be receiving. In addition, Comedy Exchange has a threshold of $100 in earned royalties to issue a check. If a rights owner hasn’t yet accumulated $100, they should expect to wait until that amount has built up in their account before receiving royalties. If you have questions about the status of your registration, please contact account services.

 

15. I’m a comedian – where do I sign up?

If you are a comedian and you write your own material, you are considered a “comedic writer.” Download the contract from our site and send it in!

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