So You Received A Notice From Music Reports Or Harry Fox Agency?

Earlier this week a number of artist managers in a Facebook group posted photos of letters that their clients received from Music Reports Inc. on behalf of Amazon. They asked what the notices meant and if they were legit.

I am sharing my post, which was shared to a number of other music industry groups:

In the last couple of days, several of you have posted about receiving a notice from Music Reports Inc. and questioned whether or not you should act on the letter.

Let me clarify what you’re receiving, why you’re receiving them, and what you should do about it.

The short answer: Unless your client is signed to a major music publisher or major indie (e.g. Kobalt) OPT IN TO ALL DIRECT LICENSES!

Who is sending these notices?

Music licensing clearing houses such as Music Reports Inc. and the Harry Fox Agency (via it’s service Rumblefish) are hired by digital music services (including the big ones like Amazon, Apple, and Spotify; as well as hundreds of small startups like what musically was but is now TikTok) to help the digital service to secure proper licenses (compulsory or direct) to use music in their service, to calculate royalties, and to make payments and remit statements to the proper copyright owners.

What are you receiving?

What you are receiving are opportunities to opt-in to a predetermined (generally nonnegotiable) direct license, alongside every other non-major / non-major-indie publisher in the world, to license your copyrights to a digital platform within the United States (sometimes the deal is worldwide, which can be problematic, but I don’t want complicate this post). There are also Section 115 NOIs, which goes out for every track released on a DSP for the US mechanical license for the underlying composition (this process is being disrupted by the Mechanical License Collective beginning Jan 1, 2021).

Why are you receiving the notice?

You’re receiving the notice because the agent has your information as the copyright owner (or authorized agent of the copyright owner) for copyrights (generally compositions) that have been matched to sound recordings that the digital service either already has or has access to. THIS IS A GOOD THING. This means that the digital service, via their agent’s (MRI, HFA, etc) database of song ownership information, knows who to pay once the copyright begins to earn royalties (or in the case of a one-time payment, they know who to pay from the pro rata advance pool). The flip side is if they do not have your ownership info, the copyright would not be properly licensed and the creators would not be paid — the royalties earned against their copyright would go into the so-called “black box” or the content will be blocked from the service altogether (e.g. notice that your music isn’t on or monetized on Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus?). Also, if the agent does not have your info for certain uses covered by Section 115 of the US Copyright Act, the notice is currently being remitted to the US Copyright Office.

How do you respond?

Review the license and decide if you want to opt-in or not. For most copyright owners, opting in is really your only shot at being licensed by the service. Up-and-coming artists are not going to be able to do a separate direct license with the service as the service has zero incentive to administer a separate agreement with you. They will do a deal with the major publishers and major-indie publishers and a unicorn artist here or there.

How to make sure that your contact information is readily available to these agents to ensure that they can contact you with licensing opportunities and have your payee info for royalties?

You can hire a pub admin (they’ll earn a 15% to 25% commission on all royalties collected) or you can do it yourself and keep 100% of your royalties in North America via TuneRegistry. See this article as an example of DIY.

Dae Bogan To Join Other Music Industry Experts At US Copyright Office Symposium On Unclaimed Royalties Study in Washington, D.C.

I am honored to announce that on December 6th, three weeks from today, I will be representing the US independent music creators community at a symposium in Washington, D.C. at the The Library of Congress.

A few weeks ago, I was invited by the newly appointed Copyright Royalty Judge, Steve Ruwe, to speak at the Copyright Office’s symposium on unclaimed royalties at The Library of Congress. As a CRJ, Mr. Ruwe is among just three judges who are responsible for setting the royalty rates that all songwriters in the world are paid for the use of their songs in the United States.

Last year, my 2016/2017 research titled “The State of Unclaimed Royalties and Music Licenses in the United States,” — research that led me to founding the world’s first search engine of unclaimed music royalties and licenses and a gateway to initiate claims, RoyaltyClaim (acquired by HAAWK Inc.) — was referenced, and I was personally consulted, by the United States Congressional Budget Office during its analysis of the economic impact of the then-current bill, Music Modernization Act. That bill became law in October 2018 and is now known as the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act 2018 (MMA or Music Modernization Act for short).

I have been fighting to ensure that independent and unsigned self-published songwriters are recognized, empowered, and represented in the US music industry for over a decade now. My first break-through was conceptualizing and co-founding TuneRegistry, which enables self-published songwriters to administer their catalog and unlock performance and mechanical royalties while keeping 100% of their copyrights and 100% of their royalties. TuneRegistry has helped thousands of self-published lyricists, composers, producers, and singer-songwriters protect their copyrights and unlock hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in unpaid and current royalties as well as enter into direct licensing deals with digital music services and social media platforms.

I look forward to discussing how the Copyright Office will develop outreach and messaging strategies to reach and engage self-published music creators and I hope to ensure that these creators continue to have a voice in the room, if not a SEAT AT THE TABLE.

US Copyright Office Announcement: https://www.copyright.gov/newsnet/2019/784.html

Dae Bogan, Along With Marcus Cobb, Interviewed By Music Business Association

Music payment and workflow management startup Jammber has developed a series of mobile apps that helps artists eliminate guesswork from the process of recording music ownership, allowing them to focus on doing what they love: writing music. Last month, Jammber announced that it had acquired TuneRegistry, a move that would establish Jammber as a full-service solution for creatives to both report music ownership and manage rights administration. We sat down with Jammber CEO Marcus Cobb and the company’s newly appointed SVP of Global Music Rights, TuneRegistry co-founder and CEO Dae Bogan, to discuss the acquisition and what it means for both the future of the company and the industry.

Music Biz: Congratulations on the exciting acquisition! What inspired this move to unite Jammber and TuneRegistry’s offerings?

DB: Thank you! My co-founders, Kara McGehee and Shane Zilinskas, and I have been actively looking to bring our music rights administration platform into an environment where our strength in works registrations, copyright research, and managing relationships with music rights organizations could be complementary to a broader suite of services aimed to empower DIY musicians and small to medium sized rights-holders. We’ve been big fans of Jammber for several years now and recently Jammber became an Enterprise client of TuneRegistry. We took that opportunity to learn more about Marcus’ long-term vision for Jammber and all parties realized that our visions were quite aligned, so why not our products!

MC: There are three key steps to getting paid for your music: keeping track of the songs you work on and everyone you collaborate with; registering those songs, collaborations and ownership amounts; and finally collecting payment. TuneRegistry has spent the last five years perfecting the registration process with a focus on allowing publishers, distributors and creatives to easily register their songs across North America. By adding that service to the Jammber suite we’re able to bring payments closer to the creative process which in turn makes them more accurate and faster. That is the holy grail of music metadata and has the power to change so many lives.

 

Music Biz: How do creatives stand to benefit from adding TuneRegistry’s skillset to Jammber’s DIY platform? 

DB: What Jammber does well is to get in at the onset of the creative process to help creators to start capturing the necessary metadata that would be later required to properly protect and administer rights. Jammber is there early enough to encourage creators to think about the ownership splits and rights surrounding their musical project. What TuneRegistry does well is to simplify and streamline the rights administration process. It is a natural hand-off from Jammber to TuneRegistry that we’re working to make as seamless as possible in the creation-to-administration workflow.

MC: Exactly. It’s about simplifying the complexities of getting paid and credit in this industry. Dae is a foremost expert in song registrations and administration. There are splits apps and song registration platforms and payment platforms that already exist. But the only way to really make it as simple as possible is to bring everything together into a seamless experience for creatives. In order to make something simple you have to understand the complexities enough to know what can be taken away or changed. Having the TR team on board expedites our learning process. 

Read the full interview here.

On Digital Radio Royalties: What Are They And How To Look For Unclaimed Royalties

afm & sag-aftra intellectual property rights distribution fund unclaimed royalties dae bogan

(This was originally post on my Facebook page, so my apologies if the hyperlinks directs you to Facebook pages of the mentioned companies).

On Digital Radio Royalties

DIY Musicians – If/when you get a recording placed on non-interactive Internet, satellite, or cable radio (e.g. Pandora, SiriusXM, Music Choice) it earns multiple royalty streams. It is important to understand how to collect them all. I will get granular below to break this down.

Let’s use for example the recording “6 Inch (feat. The Weeknd)” by Beyonce. When this recording is played on Pandora (or iHeartRadio, 8Tracks, TuneIn or any of the other 2,500+ properly licensed webcasters serving the United States), here are the royalty streams:

1. Master Royalties for Featured Performers – Royalties paid to SoundExchange for the featured performers, which are the “named” artists on the track. For “6 Inch,” the featured performers are Beyoncé (main artist) and The Weeknd (guest artist). They each must have an account at SoundExchange to collect these royalties. Here is the unclaimed royalties list for featured performers: https://www.soundexchange.com/…/does-sou…/search-for-artist/

2. Master Royalties for Master Copyright Owner (Label) – Royalties paid to SoundExchange for the copyright owner, which is the label. For “6 Inch,” the label is Columbia Records. The label must have an account at SoundExchange to collect these royalties. (A Few Notes: (1) Major labels have direct deals with most music services, so it is likely that Columbia is paid directly by Pandora. (2) Unsigned artists can collect this income if you properly create your free account with SoundExchange as the copyright owner. This means, you cannot only sign up as the Artist. You are the label!). Here is the unclaimed royalties list for copyright owners: https://www.soundexchange.com/…/do…/search-for-rights-owner/

3. Master Royalties for Non-featured Performers – Royalties paid to AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund (“the Fund”) for the background vocalists and session musicians who performed on the recording. For “6 Inch,” the non-featured performers include Ahmad Balshe (background vocalist) and Derek Dixie (session musician) among others. (Note: 5% of the royalties paid to SoundExchange is passed to the Fund. The Fund conducts research to identify the non-featured performers. They use published credits, such as those published on AllMusic.com (Ex: https://www.allmusic.com/album/lemonade-mw0002940342/credits), Discogs, and other resources to identify the vocalists and musicians on a recording. Keep in mind that if the producer of the track contributed background vocals or live instrumentation, it is important to credit him/her separately as such in addition to his/her producer credit, so that they can access this income stream. At TuneRegistry, we deliver credits to TiVo, which makes metadata available to AllMusic, among other services. If the Fund does not have the non-featured performer on their list, you can check and submit. See “6 Inch” only shows two (2) non-featured performers, but there may be more who just do not know: https://www.afmsagaftrafund.org/covered-rec-artist_SR_Maste…). Here is the unclaimed royalties list for non-featured performers: https://www.afmsagaftrafund.org/unclaimed-royalties.php and here is the list of recordings that the Fund has credits for here: https://www.afmsagaftrafund.org/covered-rec-title_sr_master…

4. Publishing Royalties for Composers/Writers – Royalties paid to performing rights organizations (PROs) such as American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP)Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and SESAC in the United States for the composers and writers, which is Jordan Asher, Burt Bacharach, Ahmad Balshe, Hal David, Ben Diehl, Beyoncé Knowles, Noah Lennox, Terius Nash, David Portner, Danny Schofield, Abel Tesfaye, and Brian Weitz. Because “6 Inch” uses samples, there are more composers/writers credited on the recording. You can view the full publishing credits for “6 Inch” at ASCAP here: https://www.ascap.com/repertory#ace/search/workID/890413300 (Note: US PROs, like most PROs/CMOs around the world, do not have a public list of unclaimed royalties. It is important to register your song before the release or as soon as possible after release to limit the possibility of having your royalties fall into the “black box,” which is an industry term of unclaimed or unmatched royalties. Also note that if you collaborate with someone who has not affiliated with a PRO, that can slow down the registration process.)

5. Publishing Royalties for Composition Copyright Owner (Publisher) – Royalties paid to PROs for the copyright owner in the compositions. This is the publisher or a self-published songwriter’s own publishing entity. For “6 Inch,” the publishers are 2082 Music Publishing, BMG, Domino Publishing, KMR Music Royalties, New Hidden Valley Music Co, Oakland 13 Music, Sal And Co LP, Songs of FujiMusic, Universal Music Corportation, WB Music Corporation. Because “6 Inch” uses samples, there are more publishers credited on the recording. You can view the full publishing credits for “6 Inch” at ASCAP here: https://www.ascap.com/repertory#ace/search/workID/890413300 (Note: In the US, if you are a self-published writer, you do not need to have a publishing account at BMI in order to unlock your publishing income. You will need a writer AND publisher account at ASCAP. So, if you do not have a publisher account at ASCAP and you are self-published, you literally leave 50% of your income on the table because ASCAP will not pay out the so-called “publisher’s share” to writers (unless they’ve changed this policy).)

In conclusion, if you get a recording on a digital radio platform and it takes off, make sure you have your business in order. We help with all of the above at TuneRegistry. This is what I am doing every day — helping thousands of independent music creators properly register their music so that they are 1.) identified, 2.) accounted to, and 3.) PAID.

Check out my free ebook “The DIY Musician’s Starter Guide To Being Your Own Label & Publisher” available for download at www.daeboganmusic.com (subscribe to my blog) and catch me speaking Oct 12th at A3C Conference in Atlanta or Oct 30th at Music Tectonics Conference in Los Angeles.

CC: Dae Bogan Music

Dae Bogan To Speak At A3C Conference

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I look forward to joining Marcus Cobb at this year’s A3C Conference to present “Ownership & Song Registration in the Palm of Your Hand” on Saturday, October 12th, at 2:30pm.

Presentation Description: In this digital age of music, songs have the ability to go from conception to the public in the blink of an eye. Within this new age, it has never been as vital to establish ownership and collect metadata as it is today. In short, your money depends on it! Learn how Jammber’s game-changing technology puts ownership and song registration in the palm of your hand.

***Earlier this month, Jammber announced its acquisition of TuneRegistry. The story was covered in Music Business Worldwide, Billboard, Music Connection, Digital Music News, Hypebot, and others.*** 

Dae Bogan To Moderate Panel On Royalty Payments At Music Tectonics Conference

As music is more fluid across listening services, social music apps, and countries, royalties are more complex than ever. At Music Tectonics Conferece, experts from HFA, SynchTank, and Hyperwallet will unpack challenges and solutions, moderated by Dae Bogan, SVP of Global Music Rights at Jammber / TuneRegistry. Learn more at http://www.musictectonics.com

Breaking: Jammber Acquires TuneRegistry

jammber tuneregistry music business worldwide

 

I am super excited about this!

I’ve been a fan of Marcus and Jammber, and they of me/TuneRegistry, since I first learned of Jammber. Over the last few years, TuneRegistry has been empowering thousands of songwriters, artists, and publishers while Jammber has been empowering producers, engineers, studios and labels. By bringing our expertise and resources together, we believe to have established the first economical end-to-end music business platform for music creations and workflow management, rights administration, and royalty processing for all music creators and rights-holders.

In the coming months, we will be working to integrate TuneRegistry into the Jammber product suite as well as beefing up the Los Angeles-based music rights administration department under my direction as Jammber’s Senior Vice President, Global Music Rights. I look forward to continuing to empower music creators and rights-holders with effective tools and resources to self-administer their catalogs via Jammber’s suite of products.

Here’s a few press links:
 

The Cost of Excuses

I wish there was a device that counted how many excuses we made in a day, a week, a month, and a year and could calculate the cost of opportunities lost.

“I can’t”.

“Next time.”

“I want to, but…”

“It’s too difficult.”

“I will get around to it after…”

“I’m not like you. We’re just different.”

How much time do we lose in our lives telling ourselves that we can’t achieve something? That we’re not good enough? We’re not smart enough? We don’t know where or how to start, so why even bother?

If we add that time up it is probably enough time to accomplish something small, then something medium, then something big, then something life-changing.

I remember when I told myself that I didn’t have time or didn’t need to (because I enjoyed where I was at in my career) go to graduate school.

Then, I was abruptly laid off of my $65k per year job.

I decided to take the time to go back to graduate school and I found a nights and weekends program at CSUN Music Industry Administration that fit my schedule.

That was a life-changing decision.

As a result, I had the availability and took an opportunity to teach at a college; and now I develop and teach a Billboard-recognized course at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

As a result, I took a music publishing and copyright administration class taught by Steve Winogradsky, which strengthen my interest in music rights, which evolved into a research-fueled obsession with conceptualizing strategies and solutions to a broken and seemingly unfair system, which became my area of expertise, which changed the focus of my profession as a music industry professional, and which shaped my achievements as a serial entrepreneur to the point that I’ve sold nearly $2M of my ideas in this space.

As a result, I’ve advanced my role as an executive and increased my pre-graduate school salary to post-graduate school salary by 115%.

As a result, I’ve been able to financially gift my family, claw myself out of debt, and afford certain life experiences.

As a result, I look at excuses differently now. I look at the cost of excuses differently now.

We can measure our achievements, but can we measure opportunities lost? The cost of putting it aside one more day?

How much will one of your excuses from this morning cost you?

Set Goals Or Struggle

I honestly believe that some people are so comfortable with struggling that they refuse to make uncomfortable changes in their lives that would see their outcomes improve in the future. It’s a “chasing immediate results” mindset that encourages them to think about and talk about how a better future could look; all the while simultaneously taking no actions that create long-term and lasting changes.

What is your 5 year goal?

What are your 2nd, 3rd and 4th year milestones?

What is your 12 month plan?

If you took stock of where you are today compared to where you were 5 years ago and have little to no measurable net improvement in income, wealth, professional or academic achievement, global life experiences, health and fitness, or relationship status (I don’t mean just single or taken, but rather does the new or existing relationship (or lack thereof) make you feel happier, more secure, better, more loved than this time 5 years ago?); then you need to think about breaking the cycle and making real changes.

Get used to doing things in phases, whereas a phase could be several months or years, and stop thinking in terms of quick and immediate results. Those generally prove not to be long-lasting.

I’ve completely changed my life outcomes by applying the above to myself. You can too.

Fall Upcoming Music Industry Conferences and Networking in Greater Los Angeles

SCMIP Music Industry Happy Hour 15

SoCal Music Industry Professionals x Artist Managers Connect
Music Industry Happy Hour (15th Edition)
An evening of mingling and networking with musicians, songwriters, producers, and music industry professionals from across Southern California hosted by Dae Bogan.
Thursday, September 26th | 6pm to 9pm | 21 and over
at Sassafras Saloon, 1233 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Fall Upcoming Music Industry Conferences and Networking in Greater Los Angeles
*I will be speaking on a panel.
Am I missing anything? Please send information regarding conferences and networking events (no shows/gigs) to me and I will add to the list. Contact me.
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