On Friday, December 15, 2006, over 7,500 recording artists are going to lose money. This is money that was collected on their behalf by SoundExchange, the entity set up by the RIAA to collect and distribute license fees from satellite radio and streaming Internet broadcasts.
All the fees collected for broadcasts up through March 31, 2000 will be forfeited forever.
SoundExchange has done a pretty good job collecting the fees from the broadcasters. They haven’t done as good a job of finding the artists they are supposed to be paying. But it is really no skin off their nose if they don’t find them, because, if they don’t, they get to keep the money they would have to pay out.
Take some time today and look at the list of artists who SoundExchange has been unable to locate.
The list is here:
It lists the artists by first name, so be sure to check it closely.
If you are on the list, register today. It takes about ten minutes to do. All the necessary forms are on the website.
If you know someone who is on the list, or even if you know a relative of a deceased artist on the list, LET THEM KNOW ABOUT IT TODAY!
If they don’t register by Friday, they will lose the money that has already been collected for them, and they will be likely to lose more in the future if they do not sign up for it.
Here’s a link to a newspaper article about SoundExchange that has just run in Memphis. It has a lot more details, and it should help prove that this money is real, and the chance of losing it just as real.
This money belongs to the artists that earned it. Help get it into the right hands. Today.
FRED WILHELMS is a lawyer who represents musicians and songwriters. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org