WASHINGTON, DC – December 14, 2017 – SXWorks, a subsidiary of SoundExchange, today announced it has developed technology to help music publishers identify musical works that have been licensed under compulsory mechanical licenses with the U.S. Copyright Office as “address unknown” by music users. “Address Unknown” filings allow music users to license mechanical rights to a musical work in those cases where registration records or other public records of the Copyright Office do not identify the copyright owner.
The database, NOI LOOKUP, will be made available to registered music publishers free of charge on the sx-works.com website beginning in January 2018.
To date, more than 57 million “address unknown” filings of intent to use musical works have been submitted to the Copyright Office. The filings are made available by the Copyright Office in separate compressed files, which makes searching the records individually a daunting, if not impossible, task for most publishers. SXWorks has addressed this challenge by indexing all the filings and making the results available to publishers in a comprehensive, searchable database. Music publishers will be able to search NOI submissions via a simple web-based interface to determine whether digital services are using their musical works, thereby providing publishers with the information necessary to claim unpaid mechanical royalties for the use of their works. SXWorks will launch new premium capabilities to the NOI LOOKUP service in 2018.
The database will be the first tool designed to allow music publishers to quickly and easily search “address unknown” filings for uses of their works.
“We have found a way to address a significant challenge publishers face with the existing compulsory mechanical licensing regime,” said Michael Huppe, Chairman of the Board of SXWorks. “Our NOI LOOKUP will give music publishers unprecedented visibility into NOI filings made at the U.S. Copyright Office and provide publishers with an opportunity to claim unpaid mechanical royalties from services.”
When the Copyright Office amended the process for licensees to file “notices of intention” to use songs under the Section 115 mechanical statutory license, it also allowed services to make bulk electronic filings. In their bulk filings, services have claimed they are unable to locate rights owners to license statutory mechanical rights, and the filings allow services to use the music provided they properly notify the Copyright Office through the NOI process.
To learn more about SXWorks’ NOI LOOKUP, view this video that demonstrates the new service.
SXWorks is a subsidiary of SoundExchange created with the May 2017 acquisition of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA). SXWorks provides global administration services to music publishers to support multiple licensing configurations. CMRRA represents music publishers and administers the majority of songs recorded, sold and broadcast in Canada.