The Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act: The Domesday Book Meets A Unicorn

“Unconstitutional taking and an international trade treaty violation all in one bill.”

Music Tech Solutions

Americans are freedom loving people and nothing says freedom like getting away with it.

Long Long Time, written by Guy Forsyth

Longtime PRO opponent Rep. Sensenbrenner introduced a bill entitled “The Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act“, a piece of work that is Dickensian in its cruelty, bringing a whole new meaning to either “newspeak” or “draconian,” take your pick.  It’s rare that the Congress can accomplish the hat trick of an interference with private contracts, an unconstitutional taking and an international trade treaty violation all in one bill.  But I guess practice makes perfect.  And since the MIC Coalition gave the bill a rousing cheer followed by a heaping serving of astroturf, we should not be surprised.  (Read the bill here.)

While this legislation currently applies only to songs and sound recordings, other creators should not feel that they’ve dodged…

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Dear Indie Musician: Do you have a will?

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Screenshot of unclaimed royalty checks list at Film Musicians Secondary Market Fund

What musicians should keep in mind is in the event of an untimely passing, your royalty streams are bona fide assets that need to be discussed in a will. Some of the unclaimed royalty information that we have at Royalty Claim is from musicians who’ve passed away, but did not file a beneficiary with the various music rights organizations. So, their music continues to earn revenue, but the organizations do not have beneficiary info to pay it out. Or, musicians who’ve passed away and left no instructions in their will on how their royalties should be allocated, and various claimants have created a dispute.

We should definitely talk more about musician estates (even smaller musicians can have estates). Royalty streams are assets with which musicians can receive loans from companies like Lyric Financial or Sound Royalties, or even sell via platforms like Royalty Exchange. If you’re serious about your music career, be serious about your estate.

Ask Me Anything About The Music Business, With Dae Bogan

Ask Me Anything

Ask me your music business question and I’ll attempt to provide you with an answer or direct you to a resource with a better answer or guidance. I cannot provide specific legal advice, but I can discuss general music business practices. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or DaeBoganMusic.com. Simply drop your question in the comments section wherever you see the above image.

Mass “Address Unknown” NOI Loophole Continues Apace With Growing International Implications

We, RoyaltyClaim.com, are launching a searchable database next month at the Music Industry Research Association’s MIRA Conference. We not only have NOIs, but also unclaimed royalty records and music licenses records from several other music rights organizations. I demoed the platform last month at the SoCal Music Industry Professionals and Artists Managers Connect meetup in Downtown Los Angeles. Learn more at http://www.royaltyclaim.com.

Also, TuneRegistry addresses the issue before it becomes an issue. Learn more at http://www.tuneregistry.com.

MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

[Editor Charlie sez: This post first appeared in the MusicTechPolicy Monthly Newsletter. Subscribe by signing up for MTP by email.]

As we have reported a number of times this year, Amazon, Spotify, Google, Pandora, iHeart, Loudr and others are taking advantage of the compulsory license loophole that allows these companies to file tens of millions of address unknown “notices of intention” to rely on the compulsory license for songs in the Copyright Act.  Perhaps more remarkable is that Amazon’s head of music, the eponymous Steve Boom, managed to make it through his entire Alexa demo at the NMPA Annual Meeting keynote without ever mentioning Amazon’s dedication to the mass NOI loophole and its negative effects for the songwriters and publishers listening to his demo.

If a music user like Amazon wants to use the song compulsory license but can’t find the song owner in the public records of the Copyright…

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Apply To Perform At SXSW 2018 – Applications Open Today

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SXSW is by far my favorite music industry event. I’ve been honored to join the SXSW community as a mentor for the past three years. One of the many amazing things about SXSW is its hosting hundreds of artists, bands, and ensembles from around the world. Showcasing artists perform at dozens of venues for an entire week bringing together an array of musical experiences for everyone to enjoy, no matter their tastes. I’ve discovered new and up-and-coming artists, experienced interesting musical styles and performances, and have been awed by undiscovered talent.

SXSW organizers also highlight the impact showcasing has on many artists’ careers:

SXSW Showcasing Artists benefit from career changing exposure and publicity provided by the amazing mix of influential participants who attend SXSW every year. Showcasing at SXSW means performing in one of the many venues located in famous downtown Austin for industry reps, media members, and thousands of fans and fellow musicians from all over the world.

If you’ve ever thought about showcasing at SXSW, now is the time to working towards that goal. Today, SXSW Showcasing Artists applications open at SXSW.com. The deadline for early entry is Friday, September 8, 2017.

For full details, visit https://www.sxsw.com/apply-to-participate/showcase-applications/

Music Industry Professionals: Never Let “Genreism” Pigeon-hole You (My Brief Reaction To Music Business Worldwide’s Sit Down With IGA’s President & COO, John Janick)

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Music Business Worldwide set down with Interscope Geffen A&M President & COO, John Janick, to “ask about his five years at IGA, how building Fueled By Ramen prepared him for the job, and a host of modern industry issues.” What I like the most about this piece is the fact that it demonstrates and reinforces the idea that, against the general notion that music industry folks are narrowly focused on specific genres (or genre groups), one can achieve success across genres.

Too often do we pigeon-hole ourselves (or others) because of this limiting idea that you’re just an “emo-indie dude” or just a “hip-hop head”.

When you love music, you love music. When you’re savvy, you’re fucking savvy. Genres are labels. There are nuances between genres, of course, and obviously there are stereotypes and customs that drive “communities” around artists, but on a high-level, if you really care about what you’re doing and have the tenacity to get shit done, things will work out.

It reminds me of when I got into managing EDM DJs. I was side-eyed by a number of promoters until my DJ played Coachella the same year that my hip-hop act was in a national ad as the face of a Reebook sneaker campaign.

Don’t let “genreism” stop you!

 

Read the full interview here: https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/john-janick-im-entrepreneur-dont-like-lose/

Royalty Claim Initiative Unveils RoyaltyClaim.com

Royalty Claim website

I’m so proud to be able to unveil the info website for Royalty Claim today. I’ve had endless sleepless nights developing and designing the info site, and the actual database platform that’s launching soon.

Check it out, get your questions answered (see FAQ page), and pre-register for the beta. 

The first public demo will be this Thursday at SCMIP x AMC LA Music Industry Meetup | DTLA Arts District.

Is Spotify Rolling Out Sponsored Songs? And Why Does That Reek Of Payola?

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In a recent article discussing Spotify’s year-over-year growth, Music Ally suggested that there is “evidence that Spotify may be planning to allow brands to sponsor individual tracks within its service” and shared a Twitter user’s post that appears to show a Sponsored Music / Sponsored Song indicator on the user’s Spotify account.

Music Ally went on to clarify that they “contacted Spotify to ask about sponsored songs, and the [Spotify’s] spokesperson provided this response: ‘We are always testing new ways of putting the right music in front of the right audiences. But we don’t have any more information to share right now.'”

If brands can buy visibility for select songs over others, what is to stop major labels (and major indie labels) from cosying up with any one of their many strategic brand partners to influence the visibility of their songs over others? I suppose they already can and do do this with curated branded playlists.

If this does rollout, how will streaming monitoring services such as Nielsen — which factors streaming data into the ranking algorithm of some of their Billboard charts — take these streams into account? Will the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) allow these streams to be factored into Gold and Platinum certification? How will these sponsored streams affect overall royalty calculations and payments to artists and songwriters? And why does this all reek of payola?

Post your thoughts in the comments.

10 Random Thoughts On The Business Of Music Videos

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I don’t discuss music videos often enough. Here are 10 random thoughts. Feel free to add to it (or ask questions) in the comments:

1. If you’re going to monetize your music video (make it available for sale/download), you should consider getting an ISRC for it. Yes, videos can (and should) have an ISRC. This ISRC is separate from the ISRC of the track being performed in the video.

2. You’d be surprised to know this, but music videos still earn significant reach on broadcast and OTT (over the top) platforms. Check out YANGAROO DMDS for pitching to MTV, MTV U, BET, NuVo, CMT, and more. Your video needs to be broadcast quality WITH closed captions.

3. There are many websites where you can monetize and set permissions for your music videos, including social media and discovery sites like DailyMotion. Check out Vydia for managing the distribution of your videos across your socials.

4. If you haven’t joined a Multi-Channel Network to monetize music on YouTube, you should read up on them. Fullscreen and INDMUSIC are two of many MCNs that will help monetize your music in other people’s videos and increase the ad sale amounts of ads on your own channel. These are master side “master use royalties.”

5. Audiam will help you collect composition side “sync royalties” from YouTube. In doing so, they also claim to unlock “performance royalties” paid to you by your PRO.

6. Pitch your music videos for plays in retail stores. Mood Media, PlayNetwork, Inc., Shoplifter In-Store Radio Promotion, and several others can help get your music video playing inside retail shops and malls reaching millions of shoppers. I own Maven Promo, so you can always consider pitching to my small network of 130 retail stores.

7. Sometimes bands can’t afford a full production music video. Lyric videos are great promotional tools as an alternative to nothing at all. I actually place lyric videos on my network often. Here are some great resources to have lyric videos made.

8. If your song is explicit, make sure that you have a clean cut version of the music video. Don’t wait until you land an opportunity for placement or a feature to get it done. Your editor may not be available to cut the clean version in a timely manner. I deal with this every month.

9. The three copyrights associated with a music video: 1.) the copyright in the composition (requires a grant of synchronization right), 2.) the copyright in the sound recording (requires a master use right), and 3.) the copyright in the motion picture itself. If your artist doesn’t own and control all three copyrights, make sure to have paperwork drawn up with whomever owns and controls a particular copyright granting the artist the rights, before distributing.

10. I don’t have a 10th thought, but it would be weird to end at 9.

Ask Me Anything About The Music Business, With Dae Bogan

Ask Me Anything

Ask me your music business question and I’ll attempt to provide you with an answer or direct you to a resource with a better answer or guidance. I cannot provide specific legal advice, but I can discuss general music business practices. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or DaeBoganMusic.com. Simply drop your question in the comments section wherever you see the above image.

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