Songwriter Royalties and Digital Retailers


4 comments posted

The complaint against Amazon

Submitted by ceomattparsons (not verified) on February 2, 2012 - 11:22am.

The complaint against Amazon only applies to the UK/EU territory as their US territory content is still in effect. TuneCore accuse Amazon of not paying 'songwriter' royalties (an extra 8% on downloads) to EU/UK collection agencies (eg PRSForMusic). No label, artist, or agency has ever missed these payments from Amazon in the 4 years it has been running. This complaint comes at time when TuneCore also unknowingly allowed their contract to lapse, a contract in which there is no mention of these types of royalty as this is not a distributor matter.

Question: if TuneCore are correct and Amazon have withheld MCPS/PRS payments for only TuneCore artists, how do artists claim this money once TuneCore receive it? Current sole method is to join the 'Songwriter service' for $50

The distinction between UK/EU

Submitted by Casey on February 2, 2012 - 12:55pm.

The distinction between UK/EU digital retail and domestic is important to make, and we tried our best to do so.

We naturally can't comment on the TuneCore + Amazon EU/UK terms, but just because no one has "missed" royalties doesn't mean that these licenses (and their attendant monetary obligations) don't exist.

It seems to us that if there is an additional rights layer in another country — barring any reciprocity exception — that it should be paid. Whether someone charges for the service of keeping track of these uses/payouts is immaterial to the basic fact that a rightsholder has a claim to monies that may not be appropriately accounted for.

We're simply suggesting that, if we can't achieve harmonization in rights, than we can perhaps do better at ensuring that there is a mechanism through which the various rights can be tracked for the benefit of more artists getting paid.

Sure, can you see what you're

Submitted by ceomattparsons (not verified) on February 2, 2012 - 6:19pm.

Sure, can you see what you're saying.

Fact stands that only TuneCore have a problem with this and have made the decision without asking their own clients.

Jeff Price has said that iTunes also don't pay them both royalties directly. Which means all TuneCore content will shortly disappear from iTunes.

How far will this go?

Are you talking about iTunes

Submitted by Casey on February 2, 2012 - 6:45pm.

Are you talking about iTunes UK? The only point we're trying to make is that if there is an additional or comparative right in a country or territory, than the monies accumulated through exploiting said right should have a way of getting back to the rightsholder. This seems like a good goal outside of the TuneCore + Amazon EU/UK situation, which will hopefully be resolved soon.

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