Back in August, SoundExchange, the non-profit that distributes performance royalties to artists who have received digital airplay, issued a remarkable announcement. Over 50,000 artists and bands had yet to claim their royalty checks, the outfit noted. To clear the books, SoundExchange created a searchable database of groups that it thinks still haven’t registered to get paid.
“This list also includes more than $31 million in royalties that are three or more years old,” noted the press release.
Just for kicks, I typed “radio” into the database, and out came no less than 77 groups with the term in their band or group name. These include “Radio Moscow,” “Kill Radio,” “Danger Radio,” “Black Market Radio,” “Detroit Mutant Radio,” “Hank Penny & His Radio Cowboys,” “Memphis Radio Kings,” “Radioclit,” “The Primitive Radio Gods,” “The Radio Angels,” the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.
This is about copyright, so it is complicated, of course. In some instances one or more members of these bands have registered with SoundExchange, but not all of them have, so not everybody has gotten what they’re owed.
What’s crucial is that, according to the announcement, today [Monday, October 15] might be the last day to register with SoundExchange and claim royalties that are over three years due:
“Register by Oct. 15 as you may risk losing any royalties collected three (3) or more years ago by SoundExchange.
SoundExchange is authorized by law to release older unclaimed royalties to offset our costs and distribute proportionally to those we already pay. We have repeatedly held off on doing this, but we need your help to spread the word and get recording artists and record labels to register.”
So heads up, Radio Sweethearts, Radio Taxi, Radio Birdman, Radiolites, Static Radio NJ, Radioradio, Radio Malanga, All Day Radio, All Night Radio, and Crash Radio, it’s now or possibly never. If you haven’t already, get thee to SoundExchange and register. Hopefully operators are standing by. If you’ve done something about this announcement, give us a holler below to tell us how it went.