During The Coronavirus Pandemic, Dae Bogan Has Helped DIY Musicians Unlock Tens of Thousands Of Dollars In Unclaimed Music Royalties – Here’s How

Dae Bogan is a music creators’ rights advocate, music publishing and copyright administration technologist, and music royalties forensics expert who currently serves as the Head of Third-Party Partnerships at The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) and teaches music industry entrepreneurship at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

For over twelve years I have helped thousands of DIY musicians administer and monetize their copyrights to be properly accounted to and paid for the use of their musical works and sound recordings in the United States and abroad. To date, I’ve helped self-published songwriters and self-released artists collect millions of dollars in royalties that would have otherwise gone unclaimed and eventually forfeited and/or redistributed due to a confusing web of regulations and company policies surrounding the fragmented music licensing ecosystem.

I’ve also helped background vocalists, session musicians, and music producers understand how their contributions, while often detached from copyright ownership, generates entitlements that yield royalties that often go unclaimed for many years. I am passionate about the issue of remuneration for music creators and have published research, built technology platforms, and have spoken at the Library of Congress on the topic.

Dae Bogan speaks at the US Copyright Office’s Unclaimed Royalties Study Kickoff Symposium at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

A few years ago I wrote the free ebook “The DIY Musician’s Starter Guide To Being Your Own Label And Publisher” for the non-profit creator advocacy group CreativeFuture as a checklist for DIY musicians who own their publishing and/or masters. The ebook has helped many DIY musicians to get setup with US music rights organizations to collect their royalties. I’ve also written dozens of articles on specific issues surrounding royalty collection that have been published on my blog DaeBoganMusic.com and other websites.

“The DIY Musicians’s Starter Guide To Being Your Own Label & Publisher” free download.

All of this to say that for over a decade I have been championing, educating, advocating for, and empowering DIY musicians and yet I still feel that so many of them are underserved and missing out on their own earnings.

Right now tens of thousands of artists, songwriters, composers, lyricists, session musicians, background vocalists, and music producers have been hit hard by the closure of live music venues and slow down of music production during the coronavirus pandemic. Many have struggled to get financial assistance due to the gig economy nature of much of the work in the music industry. But the sad part is many DIY musicians may have money due to them from their music and contributions over the last 5 to 7 years!

Since the pandemic began, I’ve helped several DIY musicians uncover royalties that have been sitting in unclaimed royalties databases or so-called “black boxes” (Tip: Search “black box” in my search field above to find articles I’ve written on the topic) to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars (Note: I did this work prior to joining The MLC in May 2020 and I am not currently accepting clients due to the fact that I am 100% committed to my work at The MLC, but please continue reading to learn how to do this yourself).

Searching for unclaimed royalties is part of the royalty forensics process. Understanding what entitlements a musician has based on their contribution(s) to any given work, what royalties are due based on type of use and territory, and where the royalties flow to be accounted to and paid out can be a challenge. I did this work for my clients, but I also have a workshop on the topic (Tweet me @daeboganmusic to request FREE access to the workshop).

For example, my cousin, independent singer-songwriter Durand Bernarr had around $8k in unclaimed royalties for his contribution as a background vocalist on the song “Girl” by The Internet sitting unclaimed at just one organization in the United States. Although these royalties were due to him in 2018, the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund did not know who Durand Bernarr was or how to reach him. I helped Durand uncover these royalties during the coronavirus pandemic and the payment couldn’t have come at a more needed time.

Image of an April 2018 royalty check statement from AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund for royalties due to independent artist Durand Bernarr that had set in the unclaimed royalties database at the organization for over 2 years until Dae Bogan helped the artist uncover the unclaimed entitlement during the covid-19 pandemic.

Unclaimed royalties is a common problem for new and up-and-coming music creators (but it also affects emerging and established music creators) and it stems from poor metadata and production credits creation and distribution (this is why I founded TuneRegistry and RoyaltyClaim (I no longer own these companies)). It also stems from DIY musicians not being properly setup and registered everywhere (I cover this in my free ebook).

I now work at The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) as its Head of Third-Party Partnerships where I am building relationships between The MLC and a variety of organizations and companies to help self-administered songwriters and music publishers interface with us to unlock and collect digital audio mechanical royalties from the use to their songs in the United States by digital service providers such as Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, SoundCloud and more.

Now is the time for DIY musicians to take the time to hunt down unclaimed royalties that may go back as far as 7 years. Check out my free ebook as a starting point!

Pro Tip: If you find unclaimed royalties in one place, there may be more and other places. Check with the organization where you find your royalties if those royalties are for the US only or the world. If for the US only, you may have counterpart unclaimed royalties for the same set of rights and types of usage in other countries!

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About Dae Bogan

Dae Bogan is a music rights executive, serial entrepreneur, and educator with over fifteen years of experience in the music industry. Currently, he is the SVP of Global Music Rights at Jammber and Lecturer at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

One response to “During The Coronavirus Pandemic, Dae Bogan Has Helped DIY Musicians Unlock Tens of Thousands Of Dollars In Unclaimed Music Royalties – Here’s How”

  1. Jabari Winchester says :

    I love it. I wanna be just like you when I grow up. TuneRegistry really has been a main engine for our DYI Business. I really wish royalty claim could access these caribbean societies.

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