Registering Cues With Soundexchange and Harry Fox.

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Musicmatters 2 weeks ago.

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  • #31023 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    This topic sprang up on another thread and deserves it’s own conversation.

    Now that the MMA is signed we don’t really know how this will impact production music but we are all being encouraged by Soundexchange and Harry Fox to register all of our music with them. This will most likely mean releasing our music into the digital streaming world (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.) as UPC codes and IRSC codes are needed.

    I’m in the process (and it will be a long road) of releasing everything. Any thoughts on this?

    BTW here is the latest Soundexchange (August 2018) spreadsheet submission form that covers both performers and rights owners.

    Soundexchange_Repertoire_Submission_form-Aug.-2018

    #31024 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Bump

    #31027 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    The MMA authorizes creation of a Music Licensing Collective (MLC) that will be responsible for collecting and paying royalties on the new statutory Mechanical License for interactive streaming and downloads. This is a compulsory blanket license to be paid by “Digital Music Providers,” similar to what broadcasters pay ASCAP and BMI, etc. A Digital Music Provider is an entity that engages in the following “covered activities”:

    …making a digital phonorecord delivery of a musical work, including in the form of a permanent download, limited download, or interactive stream, where such activity qualified for a compulsory license under this section.

    Under the MMA, composers must register with the new MLC to receive these mechanical royalties. The MLC is to be governed by publishers and self-published songwriters. SoundExchange will continue to represent sound recording owners and performers. The MMA also creates a statutory Mechanical License for producers and engineers, which I believe will be administered by SoundExchange.

    At this time, I’m not sure what part, if any, Harry Fox will play under the MMA, because composers are required to register directly with the MLC’s “grand database.”

    The Register of Copyrights now has 9 months to designate the MLC. After the designation is made, the Register of Copyrights will publish a Notice “setting forth the identity of and contact information for the mechanical licensing collective.”

    To the extent the some production music libraries are now also streaming their content on interactive services, composers should see additional revenue in the future. This would also be true, under most circumstances, for self-publishing composers who also monetize their production music via streaming.

    #31028 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    >Under the MMA, composers must register with the new MLC to receive these mechanical royalties.<

    We’re not going to get any music created, using all our time to register with these organizations. I just recently spent too much time updating with Music Reports including organizing ISRC codes. Then I turned my attention to SoundExchange. I created a custom spread sheet of many cues, only to be rejected because not all had UPC numbers. Which means I have to release my music and recreate the spread sheet. But wait, I have to see what AudioSparx’s mysterious October 15th “private communication” instructs me regarding SoundExchange. And now I have to add registering with MLC because of MMA. OMG, make it stop. 🙂

    #31029 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    At this time, I’m not sure what part, if any, Harry Fox will play under the MMA, because composers are required to register directly with the MLC’s “grand database.”

    According to the letter I got from Harry Fox it seems they will be working with the MLC to integrate their registrations. Here’s the letter:

    Today the Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (also known as the MMA) was signed into law. The MMA modernizes several aspects of existing music copyright laws, including significant changes with regard to mechanical licensing for online uses. We applaud everyone’s hard work and tireless efforts on this legislation. HFA is proud to continue its support of the music community while today’s legislation is implemented over the next two years.

    HFA’s services will continue uninterrupted until the creation of the mechanical licensing collective (MLC), two years from now. HFA will still ingest your catalog data, manage updates and conflicts, match your compositions to sound recordings, issue licenses (for our affiliated publishers) and collect and distribute royalties.

    In preparation for the enactment of the bill, we have been working with digital service providers to implement the requirements of the MMA. Going forward, HFA’s royalty reprocessing efforts will occur on a monthly basis. Registering your songs with HFA allows us to identify sound recordings and distribute your accrued royalties—starting from your very first stream.

    Again, it is important to register all of your songs as soon as possible and provide HFA with as much recording information as you can so that you’ll receive payments for every digital use we can match.

    We look forward to continued collaboration with you and the publishing community, as well as leveraging our database, technology, and staff to deliver value and support.

    #31030 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    This part jumps out:

    HFA’s services will continue uninterrupted until the creation of the mechanical licensing collective (MLC), two years from now.

    And after the MLC is established:

    (i) IN GENERAL.—The mechanical licensing collective is authorized to perform the following functions, subject to more particular requirements as described in this subsection:

    “(I) Offer and administer blanket licenses, including receipt of notices of license and reports of usage from digital music providers.

    “(II) Collect and distribute royalties from digital music providers for covered activities.

    “(III) Engage in efforts to identify musical works (and shares of such works) embodied in particular sound recordings, and to identify and locate the copyright owners of such musical works (and shares of such works).

    “(IV) Maintain the musical works database and other information relevant to the administration of licensing activities under this section.

    #31032 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    It’s my understanding that HFA will pay rights owners “streaming Mechanical” royalties (from Spotify, YOUTUBE, Google Play, Apple Music, etc.) and yes ISRC codes and UPC codes are required to match the streams and get paid. HFA provides spreadsheet templates. The ISRC codes and UPC codes should be provided from your distributor:CD Baby, Tunecore, Distro Kid, etc. Then it becomes a copy paste exercise.

    Sound Exchange will pay “featured artists” 45% and “Rights Owners” 50% non featured artists 5% (sideman who may have played on the track) for Sirius, Pandora, Music Choice, and other digital radio and AM and FM radio.

    So for folks like us, I believe we should be registering as rights owners and featured artist unless of course someone else is the featured performer. However, I think I learned that you can not be paid both as rights owner. In many cases we are everything We would be publisher, composer, master owner, and featured artist…the guy who played everything and composed the piece. If Sound exchange does not pay both when we are essentially “everything” – composer, publisher, rights holder, and featured artist….perhaps the workaround is to make one’s wife, husband or child the featured artist to maximize the collections? Anyone have any thoughts on that?

    When all is said and done, I think the MMA is highly geared for commercial releases to the DSP’s. I still do not know how the MMA impacts our bread and butter revenue streams (TV, film,TV commercials royalties from the PRO’s) So if anyone knows what the MMA will do for composers/ songwriters/ publishers as it relates to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, etc…please chime in.

    What I am observing is that if we’re not in the mood to spend at least 1 hour a day in front of spreadsheets, we may need to find another job. The spreadsheet scene is relentless and never ending.

    #31033 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    perhaps the workaround is to make one’s wife, husband or child the featured artist to maximize the collections? Anyone have any thoughts on that?

    At Soundexchange our LLC is the rights holder, with separate label, publishing company and artist. Also, their new spreadsheet is now combined to include artists and rights holder. If you download the spreadsheet there is a lot of info in the separate worksheets.

    #31034 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Art so If I understand this correctly “company” collects as publisher/ rights holder…then you “the artist” collects as “featured performer” from Sound Exchange”?
    I personally have not gotten a check from them yet, but I have taken the time to register my releases because some of the tunes seem to be streaming on Pandora.
    Once logged in you see:
    payable tracks
    submitted tracks
    upload history
    isrc search

    I have the majority of my titles sitting in “upload history”. When I search by ISRC, I can see a proper title match. I don’t think the tracks sitting in Upload History move to “Payable tracks” until they actually start streaming on Pandora, Sirius, Music Choice or other AM/ FM/ satelite radio services.

    Is this your understanding too Art?

    Or am I missing another way we can earn from SE?

    #31035 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Art so If I understand this correctly “company” collects as publisher/ rights holder…then you “the artist” collects as “featured performer” from Sound Exchange”?

    Yes.

    I have the majority of my titles sitting in “upload history”.

    Mine are in “Payable Tracks” but haven’t seen a check yet either. It can take a few months to get to “Payable Tracks” after submitting. They confirmed that with me.

    #31036 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Thanks Art…last question…
    I am studying SE’s spreadsheet right now (the way I filled in the data)
    Who is paid as “rights holder” ? Column G “Marketing Label” ?
    or Column x “Master Recording Owner” ?

    I put the name of a company in Column G, but I put my own real name in Column X. I also put my own name in Column M “Track Artist”.
    So I hope that did not disqualify me from collecting as rights holder and Artist….

    SE also wanted to know who the composer was in Column V, but does that column (Person) ever collect from SE?

    #31037 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    It’s my understanding that HFA will pay rights owners “streaming Mechanical” royalties (from Spotify, YOUTUBE, Google Play, Apple Music, etc.) and yes ISRC codes and UPC codes are required to match the streams and get paid.

    The MMA sets forth the creation of the Music Licensing Collective, a non-profit governing body that will oversee the creation of the world’s largest, publicly searchable database of musical works. The Register of Copyrights has not yet named the Music Licensing Collective. It is the MLC that will be collecting and distributing the new Mechanical License royalties from Digital Music Providers. It may well be that the Harry Fox database will be eventually incorporated into the new MLC’s database (as its letter suggests) but Harry Fox is not the designated creator or overseer of the new database.

    When all is said and done, I think the MMA is highly geared for commercial releases to the DSP’s. I still do not know how the MMA impacts our bread and butter revenue streams (TV, film,TV commercials royalties from the PRO’s) So if anyone knows what the MMA will do for composers/ songwriters/ publishers as it relates to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, etc…please chime in.

    You are correct. This is aimed at commercial releases to DSP’s for interactive streaming and digital downloads. It’s somewhat analogous to the mechanicals that songwriters receive for manufactured physical copies of records and CDs.

    The MMA states:

    A person may by complying with the provisions of this section obtain a compulsory license to make and distribute phonorecords of a nondramatic musical work, including by means of digital phonorecord delivery.

    Although the original copyright statute does not define the term “nondramatic musical work” it is understood as being a song or musical work that is not incorporated into something else, like a film or theatrical production, etc. Because our “production music” cues are incorporated into other productions, they most likely do not qualify as nondramatic musical works, when in that context. However, on their own and released to a DSP as independent works not within the context of another work they would be nondramatic musical works.

    So, to answer your question Music1234, I do not think that composers will see any additional income for production music via the new Mechanical License, unless, as Art is doing, they also release their tracks to Digital Music Providers, like Spotify, etc. Note that even in that realm if the DMP does not offer interactive services, or if the DMP provides both interactive and non interactive services, composers will only receive mechanicals on their interactive streams and downloads.

    #31038 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    Well I’d suggest to all serious, professional writers of production music who control their catalogs that it may be in your interests to release your music onto the DSP’s before NE libraries, Semi Exclusive libraries, and even exclusive for 1 or 2 years type libraries start doing that. I have been very keen to notice a lot of companies e-mailing relentlessly “GO PRO!” or “MONATIZE YOUR MUSIC THROUGH US”….It seems like these outfits know how to herd up hundreds of thousands of tracks and skim billions of pennies from Streaming, before they pass the composer cut on to the composer/ songwriter. Anyone have any thoughts on my “theory”? Is songtradr, for example, morphing into another CD Baby?

    I often wonder if we’ll see a day where sync licensing can be done via Spotify? i.e. sourced from Spotify. It could actually be a good day when we simply just upload ourselves to Spotify and Apple via our own accounts and collect streaming royalties and sync licensing royalties with no extra middle men around skimming and acting as “first collectors”. It’s at a point where we have to ask…why do we as indepent music producers and publishers need anyone (other than Spotify, Apple Music, and Google) between our music and the person who wants to license it or stream it for personal listening pleasure?

    #31039 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    Anyone have any thoughts on my “theory”? Is songtradr, for example, morphing into another CD Baby?

    I cannot speak to many of the models that you’re referring to Music 1234. I had to check my Spotify account to confirm and, yes, one of the PMA libraries that I’m in has uploaded my content to Spotify. Of course, that’s their prerogative because the tracks are theirs. I have been also receiving BMI royalties for Spotify streams that could only be the result of “external distribution” by AS.

    I often wonder if we’ll see a day where sync licensing can be done via Spotify? i.e. sourced from Spotify.

    Considering that CD Baby places music on Spotify and offers sync licensing through CD Baby Pro, it’s not inconceivable that Spotify could create a sync licensing “Button” that loops back to CD Baby or to any other library that controls your music (if they don’t already).

    I’ve had the opportunity to review CD Baby and TuneCore contracts. As I recall, their sync and publishing admin options require exclusivity. I’m not familiar with Songtradr’s methods. I can understand the one-stop-shop appeal for artists without music business experience. So, yes, I would not be surprised to see more libraries/licensing agents trying to be everything to everyone.

    #31041 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Who is paid as “rights holder” ? Column G “Marketing Label” ?
    or Column x “Master Recording Owner” ?

    I put the name of a company in Column G, but I put my own real name in Column X. I also put my own name in Column M “Track Artist”.
    So I hope that did not disqualify me from collecting as rights holder and Artist….

    SE also wanted to know who the composer was in Column V, but does that column (Person) ever collect from SE?

    Are you sure you have the newest spreadsheet from Soundexchange? Those columns names do not match up with mine.

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