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Why The Check Isn’t In The Mail

11:01 AM Wednesday 3/17/10 | |

What do Carolyn Wonderland, Les Savy Fav, Marty Willson-Piper and The Watson Twins all have in common? That is, other than appearing at SXSW? They’re among the bands and artists owed money by SoundExchange.

  • The Watson Twins

    Turner Hall, Milwaukee, Wis.
    February 18, 2009

    (Matt Schwenke/ConcertLivewire.com)

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Actually, it’s not like SoundExchange, the nonprofit body tasked with collecting and distributing royalties for digital music, can’t find the bands and artists on its list. After all, how hard can it be to locate Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward of She & Him?

Instead, the organization has assembled a list of acts that haven’t yet registered to receive royalties. Since Austin’s yearly music explosion is probably the largest gathering of musicians anywhere, SoundExchange is using the event to contact those who are owed royalty payments but haven’t signed up to receive them.

We’re talking some serious loot here, for the unpaid royalties SoundExchange needs to distribute add up to nearly $1 million.

And no, this isn’t some attempt to collect registration fees because registering with SoundExchange is always free.

SoundExchange is responsible for collecting royalty payments from Internet and satellite radio, cable TV music channels and various music streaming operations. However, it can’t just send out checks unless it has the necessary information – hence the attempt to register acts at SXSW.

  • Carolyn Wonderland

    16th Annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, Telluride, Colo.
    September 18, 2009

    (Allison Murphy)

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Artists looking to register with SoundExchange can stop by Booth 400 at SXSW or sign up online by clicking here. For more information, click here for the SoundExchange Web site.

For the list of bands and artists appearing at SXSW that haven’t registered with SoundExchange, click here.


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