Understanding My Catalog: A Guide To “Overlaps & Disputes”

Are you a sound recording rights owner (SRCO) that has experienced your royalties being held due to an overlap or dispute with another SRCO over the ownership of a sound recording? Our new Overlaps & Disputes tool provides you with a way to resolve these disputes in real-time.

Overlaps occur when multiple SRCOs claim shares of a sound recording that exceed 100% for the same collection period. A sound recording becomes “disputed” when those SRCOs, after being notified of an overlap, maintain their claims that exceed 100%.

The Overlaps & Disputes feature in the SoundExchange Direct (SXDirect) client portal automatically notifies you if you and another SRCO are claiming the same sound recording. Upon notification of the overlap, it then allows you to either confirm or release your claim. This feature, added to SXDirect as part of a significant update to the My Catalog tool suite, reduces the time it takes to achieve a resolution, meaning your royalties can get to you faster.

What to Expect

As overlapping claims are identified within our system, they will be automatically added to the Overlaps & Disputes section of SXDirect for you and the overlapping party to resolve. SXDirect users (SRCOs only) will also receive a weekly email summary of their overlap and dispute activity with links to review and act when necessary. Both SXDirect and the weekly emails will provide the status and type of all ongoing overlaps and disputes.

Once a sound recording is identified as having overlapping claims, there will be a 90-day window for the current rights owner to maintain or relinquish their claim to collect royalties for that sound recording. If the current SRCO does not act in this 90-day period, they will automatically relinquish their claim in favor of the new claimant SRCO. This 90-day period is initiated when the first SXDirect email is sent to the current rights owner.

Getting Started

Follow these steps to begin using Overlaps & Disputes:

Step 1

Log in to your SXDirect account. Go to My Catalog > Overlaps & Disputes. If you have overlaps and/or disputes, you will see the screen below. Select the category of information that you would like to view: Recordings in Overlap, Recordings in Disputes, or isolate those overlaps that are Expiring Soon (potentially incurring debits to your account) or where your account’s action is required. Note: you will not see this menu option if your registrant has no active overlaps or disputes.

Once you select a category, a summary screen appears with the status each of sound recording within that grouping (shown below) and provides an indication of the corresponding value in the Usage column. There are three different overlap statuses:

  • Confirm – The overlap has been sent to the existing SRCO claimant for action. The existing SRCO claimant is the one that submitted the original claim for a given sound recording. The only action available for a new claimant on overlaps with this status is to Remove Claim.
  • Reconfirm – If the existing SRCO claimant has confirmed their share for a given sound recording, the overlap is sent to the new claimant for action. Overlaps that have a status of “Reconfirm” are awaiting action by the new claimant. There is no action for the existing claimant.
  • Dispute – The existing and new claimants both maintained overlapping claims to a sound recording. The sound recording is now in “dispute”, and future royalties will be placed on hold until an agreement is reached among parties.

The Summary page contains various filters on the left side of the screen through which you can refine the data displayed, such as:

  • Your Response – Isolate those overlaps where your action is required or that are approaching the response timer expiration date.
  • Claimant Type – Select overlaps where you are the existing or new claimant.
  • Overlap Status – Show overlaps based on whether they are in Confirm, Reconfirm, or Dispute status.
  • Estimated Usage – Filter overlaps based upon the estimated value of the tracks from None to Very High.
  • Artist – Display all active overlaps for certain artists.
  • Claimant – Show overlaps between your account and other specific SRCOs.

Step 2

The next step is to see which sound recordings require your action. If your action is required, on a recording in overlap or dispute, click Yes to view the details.

If you are the existing claimant and the sound recording is in Confirm status, then you will need to select one of three actions:

  • Relinquish – You withdraw your claim.
  • Maintain – You keep your existing claim.
  • Edit – You edit your claim so that the total claims for a given sound recording do not exceed 100% for the same period of ownership.
  • Note – You have 90 days from the send date of the recording’s original “confirmation notice” in the weekly email to take action. Failure to act results in automatic relinquishment in favor of the new claimant.

If you are the new claimant and the sound recording is in Confirm status, the following optional action will be activated for you:

  • Remove Claim – You may remove your new claim before the existing claimant responds.
  • Remove Claim is the only action available to the new claimant while the overlap is in Confirm status.

If you are the new claimant, and the recording is in Reconfirm status, you will need to select one of the following actions:

  • Relinquish – You withdraw your claim.
  • Maintain – You keep your existing claim.
  • Edit – You edit your claim so that the total claims for a given sound recording do not exceed 100% for the same period of ownership.
  • Note – You have 30 days from the send date of the recording’s original Reconfirmation Notice in the weekly email to enter your response in SXDirect. Failure to act results in automatic relinquishment in favor of the existing claimant.

If you are either claimant and the recording is in Dispute status, future royalties for the given sound recording are put on hold and will not be distributed until the dispute is resolved. Follow these steps to resolve sound recordings in Dispute:

  • SoundExchange does not participate in the resolution process for disputed sound recordings.
  • SoundExchange will provide each SRCO involved in the dispute with email addresses of the other involved SRCOs.
  • Once the SRCOs have reached an agreement for the given sound recording, they will need to relinquish or edit their claims within SXDirect.
  • Note – There is no automatic relinquishment clock when the recording is in dispute. The 90-day period only applies when overlaps are identified and communicated to the current rights owner.

Step 3

Once you have acted on an overlapping or disputed sound recording, SXDirect will update in real time. The other SRCO will receive a notification of your action immediately on the screen as well as in the next weekly digest email.

Tip: For SRCOs that prefer to review overlaps and disputes offline, the summary screen enables you to download the entire list or a filtered subset into a .csv file.

Tip: If the ‘Action Required’ field says “No – In Progress,” this means an internal change must be processed by SoundExchange to resolve the overlap and/or move it to the next step in the overlap process. Any subsequent auto-relinquishment clock will not begin until we include the new status in weekly digest email.

Tip: The above actions as described for a single recording in overlap or dispute can also be taken in bulk on a collection of recordings. See our Bulk Resolution blog for more information.

If you have questions, a 1-page summary of all new features can be accessed by visiting My Catalog > About My Catalog. To reach SoundExchange directly, use the Contact section of SXDirect or call our Support team at 800-961-2091.

SXDirect accounts are only available for SRCOs and Artists registered with SoundExchange. To register with SoundExchange please visit: register.soundexchange.com.