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.”
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?
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.
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.
[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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