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things I have written about playlist logging

On the CRB's Proposed Census Reporting And Actual Total Performances


Chapter 5: A Process Badly In Need Of Transparency

The fact that we don't know how many stations are submitting reports of use to SoundExchange leads me to my next point: the whole royalty reporting and compensation process is badly in need of transparency and oversight.

Journalists, webcasters, artists and copyright holders, and many others have all raised significant concerns about the 'back end' of the royalty process and its executors and their behavior. Webcasters would like assurances that their efforts are actually resulting in proper compensation to copyright holders.

Right now SoundExchange is an enormous black box: royalty money and playlist data goes in one end, and checks go out the other end - with nary an explanation or algorithm or accounting to be seen. This, combined with an embarrassingly long list of "lost artists" - containing thousands of easy-to-find 'missing' artists - have formed an atmosphere that fosters only distrust in the process.

I realize that webcasting, recordkeeping, and royalty management are contentious issues with complex histories and machinations on both sides of the game. But I feel enough legitimate and troubling questions have arisen in the last few years about what is happening at the 'other end' of the process that the CRB needs to address this.

Click here to continue to Part 6: Final Thoughts

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Census Reporting
Part 3: Actual Total Performances
Part 4: Adoption Rate And Participation
Part 5: A Process Badly In Need Of Transparency
Part 6: Final Thoughts