In light of the CRB’s ruling today to increase mechancial royalty rates for on-demand DSPs, I would caution against passing the Music Modernization Act without first amending it to include some very necessary guarantees for DIY musicians.
Given the recent ruling to increase mechanical rates, penalize DSPs for late payments, and remove the TCC cap DSPs will be more incentivized to cling to the safe harbor components of the MMA to limit their financial responsibility to songwriters.
I also fear that the blanket license (combined with the elimination of the statutory damages provision against infringement) would hurt more DIY musicians than protect compared to the existing compulsory licensing schema where today an independent can fully self-administer his/her mechancial rights via a service like TuneRegistry or with a third-party administrator like Songtrust. Why? Because the unclaimed/unpaid (aka “black box”) royalty fund will also increase by 44%, giving major publishers a bigger windfall of market share distributed gains from a royalty pool that generally belongs to unidentified independent songwriters.
What incentive does DSPs, who must pay the rates anyway, and major publishers, who will undoubtedly control the mechanical licensing collective body, have to ensure the works of DIY musicians are properly represented and accounted to and what power do DIY musicians have to assert their limited rights?
I could be completely and utterly wrong.
However, the devil is in the details and the MMA, while it does streamline the process of mechancial licensing in the United States for DSPs it also effectively limits the warranties and representations of DIY musicians.
Every article written about MMA is generally written from the perspective of publishers and NMPA members. As an advocate for and service provider to DIY musicians, my perspective is a bit different and more nuanced.
The decision today by the CRB was a win for all songwriters. The MMA is a win for major publishers. It must be amended.
Today, I’m happy to say that after weeks of discussions, Google has come onboard toRoyalty Claim to make it possible for DIY music creators to get DIRECT LICENSING DEALS with Google Play Music and YouTube.
Read more in Royalty Claim’s Facebook post.
Highlights from the infographic:
• The Royalty Claim Initiative has ingested nearly 60 million records of entitlements currently available for search and claiming in the Royalty Claim Platform.
• Over 350 music creators and music industry companies from 16 countries have joined Royalty Claim.
• Users have conducted over 4,500 searches and have created over 600 claims resulting in a 13% “find rate.”
We have a ways to go, but we are thrilled to see that so many music creators and rightsholders are feeling just a bit more empowered with data.
View the infographic here.
Microsoft Is Shutting Down Groove Music – Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Claiming Mechanical Royalties Before It’s Too Late!
Microsoft is shutting down Groove Music. Here’s everything you need to know about claiming mechanical royalties before it’s too late!
Royalty Claim Announces Unclaimed Neighboring Rights Database – Launches With Nearly 1 Million Records
Neighboring rights is becoming a hot ticket music rights issue as download decline (and thus, mechanical royalties) and Internet streaming soars. However, the fact that US music creators and rights owners get the short end of the stick in terms of the global view of neighboring rights protections and financial reward, it is more important than ever of US stakeholders to see where and how their music is performing around the world. Neighboring Rights Agencies have boomed over the last several years to address this issue, but they’re still highly selective and most work with a few dozen performers, if any at all.