SoundExchange Files Comments Under U.S. Trade Representative’s “Special 301” Review

For the first time, SoundExchange filed comments today asking the U.S. Trade Representative to take action against six countries—UK, France, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, and Canada – that discriminate against American music creators. These six countries refuse to give American recording artists and labels full national treatment, a status that denies Americans $170 million annually in royalties due for the use of their sound recordings.

Our action was taken in response to the US Trade Representative’s request for public comments under its 2020 “Special 301” review, which assesses intellectual property protection and market access barriers in U.S. trading-partner countries.

To put this issue into context, the six countries named in our comments that do not recognize full national treatment sent only about $3.8 million in payments to SoundExchange in 2018 for American music creators. In contrast, SoundExchange provides equal treatment regardless of nationality in the distribution of royalties, which resulted in collectives in these same countries receiving more than $100 million in combined payments resulting from U.S.-based streams of their music creators’ work.
Download a summary or our full comments.