Friday, April 18, 2008

Nashville Rockers Due Dollars From Digital!

The technology news site p2pnet had this article recently about Sound Exchange and the millions of dollars of royalties being held by the organization on the behalf of musicians that can’t be found. A number of Nashville-based (non-country) musicians are among those artists that the non-profit claims that they can't find.

Sound Exchange was formed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the music industry's lobbying arm, as a non-profit organization. Sound Exchange's primary reason for being is to collect royalties from the digital transmissions of sound recordings and then pay these monies back out to artists and record labels. For example, Sound Exchange collects royalties from satellite radio stations like XM Radio and Sirius that play recorded music; from cable and satellite television (Muzak or MusicChoice channels); and from Internet radio stations like Pandora.

There's just one problem – Sound Exchange can't find many of the musicians that they're supposed to pay royalties. On the organization's website they include a list of over 8,000 of these "lost artists," musicians and bands that are due money. Although Sound Exchange claims that they're currently paying royalties to some 31,000 artists, some critics claim that the number of "lost artists" might actually be as high as 40,000 musicians.

Your humble scribe pored through 88 pages of names to dig out the below-listed pearls:


As you can see from the list above, I managed to find links to websites for all of these Nashville artists, and it only took me around 10 minutes of Google searching to dredge them up. A number of them are still making music, touring and releasing albums. Why couldn't Sound Exchange just assign an intern or two on the task and have them look up some of these "lost artists" that they're holding money for in their bank account? Hell, a chimp with a six-pack could do this work (and I'm living proof of that, I guess).

There are a number of other bands/artists that I found on the Sound Exchange list that have friends in Nashville, are Southern-based, or hung around town for some length of time. If you know how to get in touch with these guys, let them know that they have money owed to them: Cravin' Melon, Deke Dickerson, Drivin N Cryin, Fetchin Bones, Geraldine Fibbers, Guadalcanal Diary, Gurf Morlix and Rock-A-Teens.

Although I plan on trying to contact all of the Nashville artists listed above to let them know about money they might be owed, it would help if any of you readers that know 'em also let them know about the Sound Exchange list.

Bottom line – if you've EVER recorded an album that might have been distributed beyond the West End/Nolensville Road area (i.e. roughly a circle from the site of the old Tower to the Great Escape over to Phonoluxe and back to Grimey's), contact Sound Exchange as soon as possible and register with the organization. You may be owed some little money from the Internet and, if not, you can at least get on their books for any future cash that might come your way. It's your money...don't let them keep it!

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