Updated: Dec 14, 2019
ASCAP and BMI announced the rolling out of a “new comprehensive musical works database” that would help make licensing easier for music users. [Source here on ASCAP website]
For years, Big Tech has been asking for just such a database that can help to locate rights owners, and it looks like the call has been answered. [More about that here Music Business Worldwide]
According to the ASCAP news release, the two U.S. based performing rights organizations, ASCAP and BMI have been working on the database for about a year now, and plan to launch it in late 2018.
Anyone who has ever done music licensing knows how difficult it can be to find all the owners on a composition. There are sometimes three or four publishers or more on a single song, and not all have the best administrative practices, making finding owners a chore.
Here at Songpreneurs HQ we’re celebrating this announcement as a wonderful step in the right direction of cross-organizational collaboration in the music industry.
ASCAP and BMI still have their work cut out for them trying to compete with rights organization SESAC, not bound by consent decrees disallowing them to license both public performance and mechanical royalties. Not to mention the new kid on the block, Kobalt/Google backed AMRA. [More about that here on Music Business Worldwide]
The ability to license both public performance and mechanical rights from the same organization is a clear advantage when dealing with streaming, which is a hybrid of those two rights.
Some artist advocates feel that such a database is impossible to create, given the huge number of compositions written every day. [Read more about that here on The Trichordist]
However, it is our opinion at Songpreneurs that without paying attention to the business side, the songwriting side is always going to be dependent on others. Far from making the songwriter/artist less creative, being forced to “take care of business” can actually help to open up new neural pathways, thus encouraging greater creativity and brain function in general. [Read more about that here in this Fast Company article]
Part of the duty of the songwriter is to steward the copyrights created, and make sure the money generated goes toward fulfilling the mission of the creator. Anything less is somewhat irresponsible.
Looking forward to celebrating the roll out of this central rights database.
What do you think? Leave your comment below.
Need help stewarding your copyrights and taking care of business? Check out our resources here >>