As you are aware, we have developed a claims website that provides rights owners the ability to review unmatched tracks, unidentified works and undistributed major label royalties associated with those works, and to make claims online via a secure web portal.
Where the ownership of a musical work remains unidentified 150 days after the Canadian release date, record companies pay the royalties accrued for unidentified ownership shares into a trust account for the benefit of those rightsholders (this account is referred to as the “Licensing Trust”).
If you haven’t yet, you can register now and start submitting claims online through the secure portal as well as track each claim’s status and history. Unlicensed or otherwise unpaid mechanical royalties’ data from the following periods is currently available for claims: 3Q2013 through 3Q2016, and you may also start reviewing Group III data in preparation for the claim period to begin shortly. We encourage you to visit the portal on a regular basis to review new data.
Created pursuant to the settlement of the Canadian class action lawsuit dealing with unpaid major label mechanical royalties, the Claims Website contains details related to unidentified, unlicensed or otherwise unpaid ownership shares for products released in Canada by Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada, and Warner Music Canada.
While reviewing the list, it is important that a thorough verification of your books and records, as well as inquiries with your business associates, be conducted prior to asserting that you have a claim to the unpaid royalties. Remember that musical works are often divided between many ownership shares; and that while royalties for some shares have not yet been paid, royalties for other shares have appropriately been paid to the designated rights holder(s) (songwriter, publisher, sub-publisher, collective, previous administrator, etc.).
Two of our goals for 2017 are to expand our claims website to allow for bulk claims and to add a feature that will facilitate the identification of unmatched online tracks. The digital “long tail”, in particular, can be incredibly challenging to work through, and we welcome the rights owners’ involvement to ensure their royalties are properly identified, collected and distributed. We’re here to provide them with the tools they need to do this.
Several years ago, we partnered with Spanish Point Technologies to design and build CMRRA’s new cloud based Licensing and Royalty Distribution System (LDS) using the latest Microsoft technologies.
With the ongoing implementation of new functionalities in LDS and its expanded matching capabilities, CMRRA’s music publisher clients have already seen increased royalty distributions and have enjoyed enhanced reporting via the new CMRRA Direct portal.
Keep an eye on this newsletter to stay informed of further developments as we continue to provide our clients with the latest services and tools technology can offer to help optimize their business.