The Sound Recording Special Payments Fund (the "SRSPF") (formerly known as the Phonograph Record Manufacturers' Special Payments Fund), was established in 1964 by the American Federation of Musicians (the "AFM") and recording companies employing musicians represented by the AFM, under a collective bargaining agreement then known as the Phonograph Record Labor Agreement (the predecessor to the current Sound Recording Labor Agreement).
The origin of the SRSPF began many years earlier, however, when the AFM's historical commitment to establish residual payments/wages on the sales of phonograph records resulted in a new provision in the 1960 Phonograph Record Labor Agreement that required the parties "to use their best efforts to evolve an equitable plan for [residual] . . . payments to musicians." In the subsequent Phonograph Record Labor Agreement, which began in 1964, the parties established the obligation of the record companies to contribute a percentage of their revenues on record sales into a fund for distribution to musicians. The SRSPF was created to implement and administer this provision of the 1964 agreement.
Over the years, as a result of ongoing collective bargaining, the percentage of revenues on record sales contributed by the record companies has changed, along with the formula for distributing the monies to musicians. While the basic structure and operation of the SRSPF has remained relatively unchanged for over 45 years, as technology has evolved, the Fund now makes payments on new music products. (e.g. Digital Downloads, Sampled music, etc...)
The official rules governing operation of the SRSPF are set forth in the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund Agreement and the Sound Recording Labor Agreement ("SRLA"). The terms of these Agreements will control in the event of any inconsistency between those terms and any provisions described on this website. To view the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund Agreement, click here. Click here to view certain provisions of the SRLA that affect the SRSPF, (e.g. covered musicians, music video contributions, record company obligations). A copy of the entire SRLA can be found at AFM.org.
If a musician who is entitled to a distribution cannot be located, or has been located but has not cashed his or her distribution check, the distribution amount is held on behalf of the musician until the end of the third fiscal year that ends in the third calendar year following the calendar year in which the distribution first came due. If the musician has still not claimed the amount by the end of the third fiscal year, it will be forfeited and added to the SRSPF's general account for distribution to all eligible musicians as part of the next annual distribution (e.g. On April 30, 2010, all outstanding payments that were due to musicians from the fiscal year ended April 30, 2007 were reallocated to the distribution for 2010, and were distributed to eligible musicians on August 1, 2010).
In cases where a musician's distribution payment is calculated at an amount that is less than $25, it shall be regarded as "de minimis" and shall be placed in a reserve fund, to be paid to the musician only if, when added to the musician's distribution amount in either or both of the two following years, the cumulative amount is $25 or greater. Any such cumulative amounts that are under $25 and remain undistributed by the end of the SRSPF's third fiscal year shall be re-deposited into the SRSPF's general account for distribution to all eligible musicians as part of the next annual distribution.
The "de minimis" policy for sampling distributions is handled in the same manner as the main annual distribution with two exceptions: the sampling "de minimis" is $10 vs. $25, and the $10 threshold is calculated by aggregating all of the amounts earned for sampled songs during a year.
Distribution checks are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance and must be presented to your bank by then to be paid. Otherwise, the check will be voided and you must contact the Fund's Music Information Department to request a replacement check.
|Musicians' Main Annual Distribution Payments||Deadline|
|Cut-off for Inclusion of Calendar Year Scale Wages||June 30th||Direct Deposit Application||June 30th|
|Change of Address||July 15th|
|Main Annual Distribution||August 1st|
|Sampling Distribution Payments|
|Change of Address||April 15th|
|Annual Distribution||May 1st|
|Tax Reporting Forms|
|W-2 & 1099 Mailing||January 31st|
|T4A & RL-1 Mailing||February 28th|
|Record Company Remittance Forms|
|First Semi-Annual Period (Jan - June)||June 30th|
|Return Date for First Semi-Annual Form||August 15th|
|Second Semi-Annual Period (July - Dec)||December 31st|
|Return Date for Second Semi-Annual Form||February 15th|