MLC Candidates Agree to Hold Black Box Until 2023, Copyright Office to review unmatched distribution practices

[Editor Charlie sez:  It appears that the pressure on the Copyright Office to supervise black box distribution practices by the conflict-ridden Mechanical Licensing Collective procedures has resulted in a commitment to hold the initial distribution until 2023.  It is unclear if this also means that the designated MLC cannot offset its startup costs against the black box.  As Ed Christman reported in Billboard on June 26, 2019 (“House Judiciary Hearing on Copyright Office Reviews Music Modernization Act, Black Box Royalty Concerns”) the Copyright Office intends to commence their best practices study after designating the MLC on July 8, which should give everyone an opportunity to weigh in on how the MLC should operate.  Commenters could include the digital services who could voluntarily disclose the efforts that they and their outside vendors had in place during the period that the black box accrued.]

[U.S. Register of Copyrights Karen A.] Temple repeatedly assured the committee that the MMA gives the Copyright Office responsibility to distribute the black box money appropriately, noting that in addition to the agreement not to distribute before 2023, the Copyright Office has the responsibility to review the processes that the MLC is engaging to reduce black box money.

Read the post on Billboard

Here is the code section from MMA about the Copyright Office study that appears to be the basis for regulations on the MLC’s distribution of unmatched funds:

UNCLAIMED ROYALTIES STUDY AND RECOMMENDATIONS.— (1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 2 years after the date on which the Register of Copyrights initially designates the mechanical licensing collective under section 115(d)(3)(B)(i) of title 17, United States Code, as added by subsection (a)(4), the Register, in consultation with the Comptroller General of the United States, and after soliciting and reviewing comments and relevant information from music industry participants and other interested parties, shall submit to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives a report that recommends best practices that the collective may implement in order to— (A) identify and locate musical work copyright owners with unclaimed accrued royalties held by the collective; (B) encourage musical work copyright owners to claim the royalties of those owners; and (C) reduce the incidence of unclaimed royalties.

In an extraordinary display of gamesmanship, (one might say one-upmanship) the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU Committee) felt compelled to issue a clumsy and tone-deaf press release, titled “On Shifting Paradigms” on June 18 reminding the world that it has “sole responsibility” for the statutory review of the Copyright Act. It is […]

via Copyright Review in Canada: INDU Committee Issues Clumsy and Tone-Deaf “We’re in Charge” Press Release — Hugh Stephens Blog

Colin Stutz: Universal Music Group Hit With Class Action Lawsuit by Tupac Estate, Soundgarden & More Over 2008 Vault Fire

A group of artists, their heirs and representatives of their estates filed a putative class action lawsuit against Universal Music Group (UMG) on Friday over a 2008 fire that destroyed up to 500,000 master recordings in the record company’s archive vaults, according to an earlier New York Times article investigative report.

The lawsuit was filed by Soundgarden, Tom Whalley on behalf of the Afeni Shakur Trust that oversees Tupac Shakur’s estate, Tom Petty’s ex-wife Jane Petty, Hole and Steve Earle. They are seeking to recover half of any settlement proceeds and insurance payments received by UMG and half of any remaining loss of value not compensated by such settlement proceeds and insurance payments. According to the lawsuit, UMG’s litigation and insurance claims following the fire were reportedly valued at $150 million to recoup the value of the master recordings — none of which was directly shared with artists.

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UK MUSIC INDUSTRY UNITES TO SUPPORT THOSE IMPACTED BY THE COLLAPSE OF PLEDGEMUSIC

[Editor Charlie sez:  Nice to see industry organizations that claim to be interested in artist rights actually doing something to help.]

UK Music industry organisations including , , , and launch impact survey to aid support of artists and businesses impacted by ‘s collapse.

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@Lefebvre_Sam: Record Scratch: Upstart Oakland Vinyl Manufacturer Going Out of Business

Eagerly-anticipated West Oakland record manufacturer Second Line Vinyl is at risk of losing all of its equipment to a creditor less than two years after announcing ambitious goals to build a venue and recording studio alongside the city’s first vinyl pressing plant since the 1930s, KQED has learned.

Second Line Vinyl founder and chief executive Zane Howard confirmed that he’s struggled to attract enough investment to bring the facility into action. “We’re having to wind down,” he said. “I would say the business is in jeopardy just as it was ready to begin pressing.”

Read the post on KQED.org