Last year, an average of 2.5m ‘Address Unknown’ Notice of Intention to Use (NOI) filings were registered with the US Copyright Office each month – creating a big headache for songwriters and publishers across the world.
These filings come from users who wish to distribute and/or exploit a musical work, but who claim that they cannot locate the copyright owner of the track in question.
NOI notices were designed to be sent by a proposed user of a musical work direct to the copyright owner – informing them that they intend to distribute the musical work pursuant to the compulsory license set forth in Section 115 of the Copyright Act.
However, the ‘Address Unknown’ get-out – when filed with the US Copyright Office – allows would-be licensors of music to avoid an obligation to pay a royalty to these copyright owners.
‘Address Unknown’ NOI filings have hit headlines over the past couple of years, with the likes of Amazon and Google reportedly filing millions of the blighters between them.
The kicker: these companies are obligated to pay copyright holders for retrospective use when their music is identified at the US Copyright Office – but this doesn’t typically happen, because it’s such a tricky process.
Address unknown NOI filings are made available to the public by the US Copyright Office in separate compressed files, which makes searching the records individually difficult.
In other words, there’s never been an straightforward method for songwriters and publishers to accurately claim their works.
“This service makes a complex process much more transparent, supporting our goal of trying to improve how the music industry operates.”
Michael Huppe, SoundExchange/SXWorks (pictured)
SXWorks, a subsidiary of SoundExchange, has today launched NOI LOOKUP – a new service to help music publishers and songwriters search the more-than 60 million address unknown Notice of Intention to Use (NOI) filings made with the U.S. Copyright Office.
What’s more, NOI LOOKUP is available free of charge at sx-works.com and is the first tool designed to allow music publishers and songwriters to quickly and easily search address unknown filings for uses of their works.
“Music publishers and songwriters finally have a way to gain visibility into address unknown filings made by some service providers using their songs,” said Michael Huppe, Chairman of the Board of SXWorks (pictured).
“Publishers and songwriters can search the NOI submissions via a simple web-based interface. The service makes a complex process much more transparent, supporting our goal of trying to improve how the music industry operates.”
Music services filed as many as 4.5 million address unknown NOIs with the Copyright Office in a single month in 2017.
You can see a video below explaining how SXWorks’ new tool is designed to redress the balance.
SXWorks a subsidiary of SoundExchange, provides global administration services to music publishers to support multiple licensing configurations.
SXWorks is governed by a board consisting of leading music publishers and SoundExchange executives.
It was created in conjunction with the 2017 acquisition of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA).Music Business Worldwide