According to Wikipedia, “ASCAP is an American not-for-profit performance-rights organization that protects its members’ musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music, whether via a broadcast or live performance, and compensating them accordingly.”
It’s easy to see how ASCAP royalties could go missing since a musician has no way of knowing when somebody might decide to perform his or her work.
I scoured the ASCAP website and even the group’s bylaws to figure out what happens when royalties go unclaimed. Normally ASCAP just sends you a check, but if it can’t find you, what then? Turns out, the group keeps unclaimed royalties in-house for a year, in a special account segregated from its normal operating accounts. During that time, ASCAP members can proactively log into their accounts to see what’s there. I will link you to the page to do that.
After 3 years, ASCAP turns unclaimed royalties over to the state where the musician was last known to live. In fact, I checked MissingMoney.com for ASCAP listings, since MissingMoney has listings for 40 of the 50 states, and I found lots and lots of listings.
SO, if you are a musician or the rightful heir of a musician who published music available to the public, you should do a quick check. First, go to the ASCAP site and log in to check directly. Then, if there’s nothing there, search all of the states where you or your loved one live or lived. You can do that at MissingMoney.com or unclaimed.org. As always, that’s .org. Many more resources for musicians and other performers coming up in the next few podcasts.
Login in to ASCAP and see if unclaimed money is in a special account for you: www.ascap.com/member-access#login
Search for your unclaimed money: missingmoney.com
Find your unclaimed property: www.unclaimed.org