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Copyrights, royalties amidst a changing musical industry, Part 2

In our immediately preceding blog post, we referred to "one of the greatest challenges faced by distributors of music."

Some of our readers might reasonably believe that a paramount hurdle confronted by music distributors is difficulty in getting product out to the masses in an increasingly fragmented and decentralized musical industry.

Actually, though, that is not the challenge we note in our November 17 blog post. In fact, it is far easier these days for musical works to be quickly and widely disseminated across the globe than ever before, given the multitude of platforms available for accessing music.

Our above-cited post ticks off a few of the so-called "consumption methods" for listening to music, such as iTunes, Google Play and various online retailers. Those supplement, of course, the purchases that consumers in the United States and other countries make from what a recent article on musical industry challenges regarding royalty division and allocation calls "brick and mortar" stores (think Wal-Mart or Target).

The problem facing artists and distributors of music -- specifically, the issue plaguing every individual and business entity owning intellectual property rights to a musical work -- relates to payment.

Specifically: How can revenue be accurately accounted for and distributed in the face of multiple consumption methods and global accessibility?

The aforementioned article, which discusses a recent report focusing upon the need for greater transparency and more equitable payment distributions in the musical industry, offers up a few specific recommendations, including these:

  •  Development of "unique global identifiers" for written works and recordings that would ensure consistency in every market and make it easier to track use and royalties
  • Better use of current and developing technologies to track online payments, with outlays optimally going directly from consumers to music creators
  • A global rights database offering a one-source repository for noting works and rights holders
  • Educational initiatives geared toward teaching creators how to best align and protect their works

Of course, a proven entertainment law and business attorney well versed in representing clients in intellectual property-related matters can render aggressive and knowledgeable assistance regarding musical property rights and fair royalty payments.

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