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[Video] Artist Managers Connect presents AMA About The Mechanical Licensing Collective with Dae Bogan

Dae Bogan conducts a Facebook Live “Ask Me Anything” regarding The Mechanical Licensing Collective in the Artist Managers Connect Facebook group on January 20th, 2021. Watch

Is the blanket license royalty rate determined after the majors have negotiated their license with the DSPs?

Does registration with the MLC supersede registrations with HFA and MRI?

If a song was previously licensed under the voluntary license, does it now have a secondary revenue to coming from the blanket license, or do you have to choose one path over the other?

Will the MLC establish reciprocal mechanical collections with foreign mechanical CMOs such as MCPS and AMCOS?

Watch me answer these questions and many more from artist managers in my “Ask Me Anything About The Mechanical Licensing Collective”

Watch: https://youtu.be/Kz43LyYXMUI

[Video] Songtrust Presents ‘Let’s Talk Music Publishing: The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC)’ With Dae Bogan

Watch the recording of Songtrust’s webinar.

Description: With the beginning of the new year, as the initiation of The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) begins, songwriters have a lot of questions about how this will affect them in 2021 and beyond. Join the Songtrust team, along with special guest Dae Bogan, Head of Third Party Partnerships at The MLC, to discuss everything you need to know about The MLC and their relationship to Songtrust.

What I’ve Been Up To At The Mechanical Licensing Collective

Today, The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) announced that it has partnered with software companies in the music rights space.

This is the first significant announcement that sheds light on the work I’ve been doing in my role as Head of Third-Party Partnerships at The MLC.

I am thrilled to announce the addition of four new partners to The MLC’s Data Quality Initiative (DQI); an initiative that enables music rightsholders to assess in bulk the state of their catalog data as it appears at a music rights organization.

The addition of Blokur, EXACTUALS LLC, Music Data Services, and TuneRegistry to the DQI demonstrates The MLC’s commitment to engage companies and organizations at all levels of the music rights ecosystem to ensure that songwriters and music publishers have the information and resources they need to more efficiently administer their musical works in the United States. These four companies are aligned with The MLC’s intent to improve the ways in which music data is managed between rightsholders and a music rights organization.

I look forward to announcing more partnerships across a variety of initiatives in the months and years to come as we develop The MLC into a leading 21st century music rights organization and improve the accuracy with which songwriters and music publishers are accounted to and paid US digital audio mechanical royalties.

[Rewind] On This Day Last Year I Spoke At The Library Of Congress

On this day last year, at the invitation of the Honorable Steve Ruwe, a United States Copyright Royalty Judge, I went to Washington, D.C. to participate in the U.S. Copyright Office’s Unclaimed Royalties Study Symposium and speak at The Library Congress on strategies for the effective outreach and engagement of music publishers and independent songwriters. A few months later I joined The Mechanical Licensing Collective as its Head of Third-Party Partnerships to develop and execute strategies to reach and empower music publishers and independent songwriters, composers, and lyricists.

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!

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.

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