The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), two performing rights organizations operating in the US, have teamed up to form a joint task force aimed at addressing fraudulent activities associated with musical works within the collective management ecosystem.
The alliance builds upon the two parties’ SONGVIEW collaboration, launched in December 2020, to provide detailed copyright information, including reconciled ownership shares and administration shares of music licensed in the US.
The newly formed task force comprises a diverse team of copyright, technical, distribution, legal, business, and product experts from both ASCAP and BMI. This cross-functional team will work towards identifying and preventing fraudulent and erroneous activities related to the registration of musical works, aiming to mitigate financial losses and operational inefficiencies. The task force will focus on maintaining data integrity within the high volume of registration requests, enhancing identity verification and validation protocols, and addressing other pertinent areas. The team will also raise awareness about suspicious activities and schemes, and collaborate with global partners to exchange best practices and non-sensitive information.
ASCAP and BMI have more than 25 million musical works in their combined repertoires. SONGVIEW’s initial launch drew data from these songs.
Through their SONGVIEW partnership, Both ASCAP and BMI’s online databases now display the breakdown of ownership shares by ASCAP share percentage, BMI share percentage, and shares listed as ‘Other’, if applicable. SONGVIEW ingests song ownership information from both BMI and ASCAP and processes that information based on agreed-upon rules, and then sends the reconciled data back out to BMI and ASCAP’s public, searchable databases. Information featured in SONGVIEW also includes Songwriters and their affiliations, Publishers, Performers, alternate song titles, ISWC and IPI codes, BMI and ASCAP song IDs (if applicable), and publisher contact information.
In 2022, ASCAP surpassed $1.5 billion in annual revenue for the first time, up 14% from the previous year. That marked a continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic when ASCAP said it witnessed a 30% revenue decline from businesses that were shut down or operated at reduced capacity. BMI, meanwhile, paid out nearly $1.5 billion to songwriters and publishers in the year ended June 30, 2022. The figure was also up 10% from a year earlier.
Elizabeth Matthews, CEO of ASCAP, highlighted the increasing prevalence of fraud as a global challenge faced by collective management organizations and digital service providers. “Building on the strength of our SONGVIEW partnership and leveraging our expertise in building an interconnected data platform, ASCAP and BMI are uniquely positioned to lead this collaborative and proactive approach to enhance the integrity of data in the music industry and to protect the rights and royalties of music creators,” Matthews said.
Mike O’Neill, President and CEO of BMI, added: “The integrity of our data is paramount and something we spend an enormous amount of time and effort to protect... Given the explosion of music being uploaded to digital platforms and the speed in which that information connects to databases around the world, we felt it made sense to join forces with ASCAP to address these concerns. Bad actors don’t just limit themselves to one company, or one territory, and the more we can collaborate on this issue, the better it is for everyone involved...”
*SOURCE: ASCAP, BMI FORM JOINT TASK FORCE TO COMBAT FRAUD IN MUSIC INDUSTRY, MusicBusiness Worldwide (MBW) > https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/ascap-bmi-form-joint-task-force-to-combat-fraud-in-music-industry/
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