If You’ve Never Received Mechanical Royalties From Google Play Music, This Might Be Why

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Is Google Willfully Refusing To Use Its Own Assets To Identify Copyright Owners?

In recent weeks Google and YouTube has come under fire by high-profile music industry professionals in regards to Lyor Cohen’s statements on the royalties it pays to artists. This piece is NOT about that.

At Royalty Claim, we periodically randomly select and investigate records that our researchers and data scientists ingest. Random investigations — sometimes against pre-determined hypotheses and sometimes just to follow down the rabbit hole — has helped us uncover nuances in the music licensing ecosystem that manifest into trends that suggest major systemic issues.

Earlier this month we reported that Google has filed nearly 7 Million Section 115 NOIs on the US Copyright Office for musical works in which it claims to be unable to identify the copyright owner. Then, Lyor Cohen boasted about YouTube’s royalty payouts and its growing ability to match music to videos (Google it, it’s everywhere). And then we remembered that this is only possible due to YouTube Content ID, which is arguably the largest database of copyright information with music codes, audio samples, etc.

So, if the largest submitter of “copyright owner unknown” NOIs is also the owner of the largest private database of copyright owner information, it makes no sense that Google cannot seem to identify copyright owners to pay mechanical royalties for the use of the copyright owner’s songs on Google Play Music.

So, we investigated this.

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About Dae Bogan

Dae Bogan is a music industry professional. Connect with Dae on Twitter at @DaeBoganMusic.

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