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SoundExchange Releases List of Recording Artists and Record Labels with Unclaimed Digital Performance RoyaltiesAugust 15th
Organization Launches Effort to Encourage Music Industry to Register Online to Receive Digital Royalties They’ve Earned
WASHINGTON – August 15, 2012 – SoundExchange today released a list of more than 50,000 recording artist and record label names owed tens of millions of dollars in unclaimed digital performance royalty payments. This list also includes more than $31 million in royalties that are three or more years old.
The artists and labels named on the list have accumulated unclaimed royalties waiting to be paid out by SoundExchange, the nonprofit organization entrusted by the Library of Congress to collect and distribute royalties for sound recordings streamed on Internet radio, satellite radio and cable music services.
SoundExchange is encouraging recording artists and record labels to view the searchable database located on its website to learn more and register to receive their share. The unclaimed royalties, ranging from $10 to more than $100,000, have been collected by SoundExchange during the past decade. Those that are not included on the list, and have not yet registered with SoundExchange, are encouraged to also register to receive future digital radio royalties.Read More
Webcasting III Decision: D.C. Circuit Court Resolves Constitutionality Issue of Copyright Royalty BoardJuly 10th
On Friday, as you may have heard the D.C. Circuit issued a decision in the pending appeal of the “default” 2011-2015 rates set in the Webcasting III proceeding. The appeal was brought by Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS), one of the two college groups that represent certain educational webcasters. In the appeal, IBS challenged two things: (i) The rates for non-commercial webcasters and (ii) the constitutionality of the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB). (The CRB is the panel of judges appointed by the Librarian of Congress that sets the default royalty rates for Internet radio’s use of sound recordings.) Specifically, IBS argued that the Librarian’s appointment of the CRB judges violated the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.Read More
SoundExchange not only appointed former general counsel, Michael Huppe, as the new president, but has also made several significant additions to “staff up” across the organization. This includes a new executive team, data management, claims and communication departments. As a whole, the staff is committed to advancing initiatives that ensure digital performance royalties make their way into the hands of the creative community. These efforts include the establishment of new departments dedicated to managing metadata and resolving rights owner disputes; the rollout of simplified payee statements; and continued advocacy for royalty structures that recognize the vital role that the creators of music play for digital services.Read More
SoundExchange yesterday moved to dismiss SiriusXM’s allegations that it is “unlawfully interfering” in the satellite radio company’s efforts to secure copyrights through a competitive market. SoundExchange did nothing improper and we find it ironic that these “antitrust” charges are coming from a company which enjoys its status as North America’s only satellite radio provider. SiriusXM’s claims are entirely false and the litigation is simply an impermissible tactic to derail the rate-setting proceeding that is now underway. We view this as nothing more than an attempt by SiriusXM to pay less for the music at the core of its service, even as its revenues soar.Read More
WASHINGTON – January 17, 2012– SoundExchange today announced a fourth quarter 2011 distribution of $89.5 million with more than 18,000 payments, bringing year-end estimated royalty payments to $292 million (up 17 percent from the prior year). SoundExchange’s distributions continue to grow each quarter, with the most recent being it’s largest to date. This brings total royalties distributed since the organization’s inception to more than $900 million.Read More
XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio Copyright Litigation SoundExchange Registrants and MembersNovember 28th
You may have been contacted or have heard about settlements of class action lawsuits, involving independent record labels and master owners and XM Satellite Radio, Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. Please be aware that SoundExchange is not a party to these lawsuits and is not advising its registrants or members to either opt-in or opt-out of the settlements. SoundExchange’s participation has been limited to providing data to the administrator of the settlements in order to facilitate settlement claims. Please consult your own legal counsel in determining whether or not it is more appropriate for you to opt into the settlement or opt out. You can find more information about the settlements at www.notavxm.com or www.notavsirius.com.Read More
SoundExchange recently received questions from artists and independent labels about Sirius XM’s requests for direct licenses. Those offers are apparently being delivered by Music Reports Inc. (MRI), a company that represents the services who use music rather than the people and companies that make music. Indeed, MRI’s website states that it strives to license music from music creators “at the lowest possible cost.”
We are not privy to the discussions MRI is having about these direct licenses. We can, however, provide some background about the statutory license for satellite radio, and what we do on behalf of the thousands of record labels and recording artists that we represent.Read More
August, 2011 (see October 2011 statement)
In recent weeks, SoundExchange has received many questions from our members about the statutory license royalty rates currently paid by Sirius XM for plays on satellite radio, as well as the status of the proceeding before the Copyright Royalty Judges to set new satellite radio rates. So we wanted to take this opportunity to give you an update.Read More
As we send out June’s big bunch of checks, SoundExchange regrets that due to the current postal strike in Canada, we will temporarily hold all paper checks to be mailed to Canadian addresses. In doing so, we are following the example of Canadian ministry bodies, and we believe this is the wisest course of action to avoid losses and misrouted checks. The checks have been printed, and we will mail all Canadian checks once the strike is over. Direct deposit accounts will not be affected.
If you require immediate assistance, or would like to know the balance of the forthcoming check, please call customer care at 202-524-7839. We regret the inconvenience.Read More
Scroll down for an update posted 4/29
In recent days, SoundExchange requested that access to Internet radio service SWCast.net be disabled by the hosting ISP in accordance with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the ISP’s terms of service.
While regrettable, this step was necessary given SWCast’s repeated claims that it is a “provider of blanket music licensing and enhancement services” for online radio stations. SWCast collected monthly fees from webcasters using its service, in exchange for (it claimed) satisfying all of the reporting and royalty obligations of its webcaster clients. Among the obligations specifically listed on its site are those reporting obligations and royalties paid to rights-holders by webcasters through SoundExchange.
SWCast, however, does not provide the promised services. Specifically, and despite its claims, SWCast has failed to abide by its obligations under the statutory license, did not pay anything to SoundExchange for years, and, as of the date of this letter, has not even attempted to make any payment to SoundExchange for any period after 2005. SWCast has also never provided the reports of use that are clearly required by the statutory license.
SoundExchange repeatedly reached out to SWCast to seek its compliance, to no avail. Accordingly, SoundExchange sent a letter requesting that the hosting ISP disable access to the SWCast site. Individual webcasters who had been using SWCast’s services are free to rely on the statutory license going forward, either by submitting the necessary materials and payments to SoundExchange directly, or relying on a different third party service to submit such materials and payments on their behalf. Learn more about SoundExchange’s Licensing 101.
Thousands of webcasters have been able to thrive and to provide valuable services to their listeners while operating legally under the statutory license. It’s unfair for SWCast or anyone else to use artists’ work without compensating them, and it’s unfair to the webcasters who believed they were abiding by the law.
We’re sorry that SWCast chose not to comply with the law, and we hope SWCast fans will find another (legal) provider by which to enjoy the tracks we all love. Meanwhile, we’ll be holding down the fort here, making sure that artists and copyright holders see returns on their hard work, and have the means to continue creating new music.
If you have any questions, please review www.soundexchange.com or feel free to contact our licensing and enforcement department at 202.559.0555 or L&E@soundexchange.com.
UPDATE: SWCast still has not made any royalty payments to SoundExchange for 2006-2011, it has never provided any reports of use as required by law. Note: NO progress has been made in the past weeks toward resolution of compliance. SoundExchange continues to ask that stations who had relied on SWCast indicate to us by May 6 how they intend to proceed under the statutory license.Read More