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Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

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Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby jpalmer » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:42 pm

I know Pump/Getty have a bad rep in these parts for music placements and percentage splits etc. but I've been with them for a few years and it's generated a bit of extra cash for tracks which would otherwise have just been lying around.

But on my Dec payout just gone, there are some placements on my statement that I didn't actually get paid for. Each placement you get with Pump is logged under a separate contract, and I am aware there's a $50 minimum threshold before they pay out. Fair enough I suppose, if you've only had one placement and it's below $50, but I've had several individual placements over the last 6 months that total up well over the minimum of $50.

In the past I got paid based on the total of all contracts being over $50, but now I'm being told by Pump that for each individual contract I generate that's below $50, I just won't get my share. Pump get their share of the payment from the client, regardless of minimum amount, but if my part is below $50 it just vanishes?

Previously they paid out based on the total of all contracts from the last 6 months but now I'm being told this caused them 'accounting issues'! When I asked about it further I was told "We are moving towards eliminating the multiple contracts, which will, in part, make this sort of situation a rare occurrence, but this change is still in the planning stages."

I need to dig out the original agreements and read them through closely but surely this isn't legal? I'm thinking of getting some legal advice although I don't know if it's worth the bother for a couple of hundred quid. But I'm loathe to just let them get away with it as their deal is bad enough already.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Phil O » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:58 pm

If something has changed with regard to payment arrangements, you should have been advised in advance. This is something that Pump are usually pretty hot on. Not that I choose to do business with them.

I guess your options are 'vote with your feet' and walk or sit tight until accumulated royalties reach the minimum threshold for payout.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby jpalmer » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:07 pm

It's not that I have to wait for payments to reach the threshold, it's that unless each individual placement is over $50 they no longer pay at all.

So if I had 1,000 placements that were each for $49 (something that could certainly be likely with the low amounts they now seem to charge their clients) I still get zero.

But yes, unless they pay me what I'm owed, I'm off.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Phil O » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:44 pm

Well, it's a 'no brainer' in my book if that's the case.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby The Korff » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:33 am

jpalmer wrote:surely this isn't legal?

Doesn't sound it! Small claims court?
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby The Red Bladder » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:52 am

jpalmer wrote:I need to dig out the original agreements and read them through closely but surely this isn't legal?

It is, if you were stupid enough to sign an agreement to that effect without reading the whole thing in full and very carefully.

The music business is all about contracts and personal relationships. If you cannot master those two fields, don't leave the house! Lawyers only help themselves; sometimes the better ones help their clients as a by-product. Understanding contract law is something you can only do for yourself. It's like masturbation: yes, you can get someone to do it for you, but the reality is that most of the time, you have to do it yourself.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby The Korff » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:10 am

Would such a clause be enforceable even if it was in the contract? It also sounds like their rather miserly way of paying artists is a new thing (OP reckons they used to add all the contracts in a six-month term up before coming up with a total, rather than coming up with a new total for each contract), which could well mean they've been buggering about with Ts & Cs without consulting OP...

Read the contract and keep your eyes peeled for any mention of the $50 minimum, and any definition of 'contract' (eg. 'works used in a six-month period', 'individual track usage' etc etc).

Cheers!

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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby jpalmer » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:34 pm

Thanks for the helpful advice which I will look into further (I shall ignore the other rather dismissive and unhelpful snooty reply)!
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby narcoman » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:59 am

The Red Bladder wrote:
jpalmer wrote:I need to dig out the original agreements and read them through closely but surely this isn't legal?


It is, if you were stupid enough to sign an agreement to that effect without reading the whole thing in full and very carefully.

lf.


Good mandate for most things but remember, a contract must be enforceable in law. For example, anyone who's signed a certain very large games company's publishing deal has signed a publishing deal they do not have to obey.. It is not legally enforceable anywhere in the world, and especially France! ( there's your clue). Contract law works under elements of reasonable treatment and many clauses can be challenged. This would be one.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:37 am

narcoman wrote: Contract law works under elements of reasonable treatment and many clauses can be challenged. This would be one.

I was toying with the idea of stating that this may possibly be an unreasonable condition, but decided against it because -

1. The agency controls the money and has exclusive knowledge of sales, so the plaintiff is on the back-foot already.

2. The agency could easily claim that they do not earn anything on sales at under $50.

As for being snooty (I assume that was directed at me!) I have just written a book about business mistakes and the real reason businesses fail (coming out later in the year). I did not dream to include 'not reading contracts' as this is such a fundamental rule of life, that doing such a thing is like insisting on driving with your eyes closed.

I do try to go out of my way to help my fellow human beings, but I throw in the towel and walk away if they don't deal with issues immediately, insist on repeating their mistakes and sign up for things without realising the ramifications.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby The Korff » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:59 am

The Red Bladder wrote:1. The agency controls the money and has exclusive knowledge of sales, so the plaintiff is on the back-foot already.

The plaintiff may not have details of the sales, but he's got statements that amount to an acknowledgement of the agency's debt to him, non?

The Red Bladder wrote:
2. The agency could easily claim that they do not earn anything on sales at under 0.

As I understand, it's not the sales themselves that are under $50, but the fee that the agency owes OP for the sales. And the agency has already proved it's quite capable of paying fees below $50 in the past, so their position is starting to look a little vulnerable.

I reckon OP could very easily go to small claims for the total, citing unjust enrichment, but that might tarnish his relationship with the agency a little(!)

There's also a good chance that if he simply terminated the contract, they'd cough up anyway — but, again, that means no more money from the agency. (And if the agency does decide to withhold payment following termination, there's still the small claims recourse.)

Third alternative: do nothing, hope for some sales with a >$50 fee, and hope further that they sort their accounting system out for all those sub-$50 payments in the future.

Cheers!

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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby jrbcm » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:21 am

The Red Bladder wrote:
2. The agency could easily claim that they do not earn anything on sales at under 0.

Composers do have better tools now though to help them understand how/if/where their library tracks have been used. If you have a Tunesat account you have audio proof of broadcast (of course that's not proof of earnings though...) And the PRS/MCPS database has clear flags and months indicating when an MCPS payment has been made to the publisher (I'm not sure what Ascap/Bmi have along these lines). And I have heard of some publishers (who were known to be dishonest in withholding money) improving and now providing proper statements, presumably due to pressure from empowered composers to some extent.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Mixedup » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:23 am

Like Korff said, get your head around the contract. Find references to minimum value, compound value, term of agreement, rights to change the terms etc. In all probability many clauses will not be enforceable. If in the UK read up on the Unfaie Contract Terms Act 1977 and associated legislation. (And note the use of the word 'implied' at the top of that act!)

Then find another library you can do business with!
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Salty Dog » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:41 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:I have just written a book about business mistakes and the real reason businesses fail

And where and when might one be finding this tome? Will it be on Amazon?
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Salty Dog » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:43 pm

johnny artpants wrote:
The Red Bladder wrote:
2. The agency could easily claim that they do not earn anything on sales at under 0.


Composers do have better tools now though to help them understand how/if/where their library tracks have been used. If you have a Tunesat account you have audio proof of broadcast (of course that's not proof of earnings though...) And the PRS/MCPS database has clear flags and months indicating when an MCPS payment has been made to the publisher (I'm not sure what Ascap/Bmi have along these lines). And I have heard of some publishers (who were known to be dishonest in withholding money) improving and now providing proper statements, presumably due to pressure from empowered composers to some extent.


Thing is, who uses Pump anyway? I don't recall ever seeing them on one cue sheet and I have looked through thousands.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby jpalmer » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:01 pm

Thanks for the replies. I've been in discussion with them and I think it was a misunderstanding on the Getty employee's side. He's now assured me that any payments <$50 will eventually be paid but it's to do with the way tracks are registered in their library. Any tracks accepted in Pump's library are bunched together under seemingly random contract numbers, so if you submit 100 tracks, 10 might be under 1 contract, 25 under another etc. It's these separate contracts which need to exceed $50 before payout, so it should all come out eventually.

In terms of who's using Pump, I don't recognise a lot of the client names although there have been a few bigger names (e.g. Red Bull) but their prices seem to be dropping, and with only 35% of that coming to me I'm probably going to walk anyway.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Salty Dog » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:10 pm

jpalmer wrote:I'm probably going to walk anyway.


I think that's a wise move. There are much better options out there.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby blue manga » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:07 am

They drove themselves into the $h*t stick end of the market by having no regard for musicians, music and by being generally corporate self congratulating ego maniacs.

At one point they looked like the future - now they look like a massive industrial toilet.


I'm so sad for them.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby jrbcm » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:53 am

Exactly Blue Manga.

Although I would never have touched them with a bargepole personally.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Salty Dog » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:29 am

johnny artpants wrote:Exactly Blue Manga.

Although I would never have touched them with a bargepole personally.

+1 Johnny. 35% really is taking the p*s*

Not having a go at the OP here, just talking generally cos this is something that crops up alot...

Having stuff hanging around on the hard drive is a tricky one because as composers we don't like wasting material and we can't help but think 'hmmm this could be earning me money'. We've all been there haven't we! So the temptation might be just to place it with a bottom feeding library that offers derisory terms and can earn maybe $100 a year if the wind is blowing in the right direction and the planets are aligned.

But, IMO the time wasted in dealing with such companies does not justify the effort involved and eventual earnings - which are gonna be minuscule because the TV channels in the UK, for example, that have the highest 'per minute values', don't use music from crap libraries.

A better way forward, IMO, would be for peeps to develop skills, hone one's craft, make better music, get live instruments played by good players, get some musicality and emotion in there, do something original and aim to place with libraries which treat you well and make proper money - i.e. full time job, paying the mortgage money.

There are a few of these but not many. Perhaps under 10 in the world.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby blue manga » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:12 pm

All very wise words, from one who knoweth !


Although

Salt of the Earth wrote:TV channels in the UK, for example, that have the highest 'per minute values', don't use music from crap libraries.

Don't forget - the masters of quality


Image


:D
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Salty Dog » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:44 pm

hehe of course, how could I forget those purveyors of quality! :)

Incidentally, you can find out their preferred libs by searching for:

'channel 5 preferred libraries'
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby blue manga » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:18 pm

Salt of the Earth wrote:hehe of course, how could I forget those purveyors of quality! :)

Incidentally, you can find out their preferred libs by searching for:

'channel 5 preferred libraries'

Fascinating ! :D

"Channel 5’s deal with Epidemic will be ending on 31st March. Therefore, in order to use Epidemic Music in a programme that is currently in production you must deliver the programme to Channel 5 by 15th March 2013. "

Just toooo crap then, in the end ?
Oh well looks like 5 are going to have to contribute some of that Ad' income to musicians royalties after all..
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby jpalmer » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:04 pm

I know 35% is a bad deal if you're depending on a library like Pump for a sole income, and yes, maybe staying with them gives them some leverage to continue with their business practices. But over the last few years I've found enough of these small revenue streams to add up to enough of a reasonable income which means I no longer have to do soul destroying s**t day jobs like I've had to do for the previous 15 years in order to pay my mortgage. This last payment from Pump is not at all representative of what I've been earning up till now, that's why I was peed off with this situation. Hopefully it's an anomaly, if not I'll find something else to replace it.

In an ideal world I'm sure we'd all like to place our music in top dollar quality libraries who treat their composers fairly (and I do have a handful of tracks with some people just like that, as well as working custom jobs for a rate I set myself). But the fact that I am now fully self employed, working from home doing the hours I choose, doing something I love doing, plus having the flexibility to spend time with my kids, means I'm happy to eat it up occasionally :)

There's so many places you can earn money from your music out there if you're willing to do some footwork. I won't be a millionaire anytime soon but I'm certainly doing OK from it and I have the best and most flexible working life I've ever had.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Salty Dog » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:12 pm

jpalmer wrote:

There's so many places you can earn money from your music out there if you're willing to do some footwork. I won't be a millionaire anytime soon but I'm certainly doing OK from it and I have the best and most flexible working life I've ever had.

Hey that's great JP! Anyone who makes cash doing this biz in this day and age is doing well I reckon!

Cheers.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby blue manga » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:32 am

jpalmer wrote:I won't be a millionaire anytime soon

Rubbish.
We'll all be millionaires, this time next year..
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:39 am

Salt of the Earth wrote:
The Red Bladder wrote:I have just written a book about business mistakes and the real reason businesses fail

And where and when might one be finding this tome? Will it be on Amazon?

It will be there soon. I am already halfway through my next book, called 'Confessions of a Sound Engineer' which is full of all the crazy stories from over 40 years in the business, some of which I have posted here in précis form. Ulf, who robbed a bank to become a rock star, Fifi and the ping-pong ball and a banana, the guy who called the police after he stuck mic cable in his mouth, Tony getting arrested on a US airbase for running around the flight line, shouting "Mrs Barker!", the night I drove over myself and of course the 'Why does it hurt when I pee?' story, featuring a pair of binoculars. Oh, and I nearly forgot the do-wop girl who insisted on showing me the scars from her rectal operation. And then there was the rock-star who had to be held down when he saw a woman with a beard and thought he was having an LSD flash-back.

Oh, so many happy memories!

Did I mention the talent show with a band whose members were all so fat, that the audience started making grunting noises - and that was on live television! Talking of live television, there was the blond female news reader whose false teeth fell out in the middle of the prime time news broadcast. As for country and western bands, well, the stories just keep on coming.
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Salty Dog » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:42 am

The Red Bladder wrote:
Salt of the Earth wrote:
The Red Bladder wrote:I have just written a book about business mistakes and the real reason businesses fail


And where and when might one be finding this tome? Will it be on Amazon?


It will be there soon. I am already halfway through my next book, called 'Confessions of a Sound Engineer' which is full of all the crazy stories from over 40 years in the business, some of which I have posted here in précis form. Ulf, who robbed a bank to become a rock star, Fifi and the ping-pong ball and a banana, the guy who called the police after he stuck mic cable in his mouth, Tony getting arrested on a US airbase for running around the flight line, shouting "Mrs Barker!", the night I drove over myself and of course the 'Why does it hurt when I pee?' story, featuring a pair of binoculars. Oh, and I nearly forgot the do-wop girl who insisted on showing me the scars from her rectal operation. And then there was the rock-star who had to be held down when he saw a woman with a beard and thought he was having an LSD flash-back.

Oh, so many happy memories!

Did I mention the talent show with a band whose members were all so fat, that the audience started making grunting noises - and that was on live television! Talking of live television, there was the blond female news reader whose false teeth fell out in the middle of the prime time news broadcast. As for country and western bands, well, the stories just keep on coming.


Sounds great! Put me name down for a copy! :)

Singed of course ;)
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby The Red Bladder » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:31 pm

Why on Earth would you want your copy to be singed?
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Re: Pump/Getty minimum payment ripoff

Postby Salty Dog » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:26 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:Why on Earth would you want your copy to be singed?

My bad.

Of course, I meant to say sined.
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