Monday, May 07, 2007

SoundExchange: Looking for Brett Anderson

Last week, we explored how SoundExchange, the body which has taken on for itself the task of collecting and distributing royalties from online radio in the US uses leftover cash to pay off 'loans' from the RIAA for their set-up. And just how much of that money was leftover.

Today, Idolator have flagged up the list of artists that SoundExchange haven't been "able to find" to give their share to. It seems that rather than use the forty cents in a dollar the organisation is creaming off to, you know, seek out the rightful owners of the cash, they're just publishing a list hoping that people might identify themselves.

Call us old-fashioned, but if you're collecting money on behalf of other people, with the promise of passing it on, shouldn't it be your job to find the people you're collecting on behalf of?

So, who's on the list, then? It's available online and includes such obscure groups as the Afghan Whigs, Akinyele, Suede, Ali Campbell, Boy Meets Girl, the Candyskins, Chris DeBurgh - CHRIS DE BURGH - Claudia Brucken... and so it goes on. Doubtless, there may be some slightly more obscure artists on the list, but even if we take a name at random, say, ELIZABETH GUTIERREZ Y TEXAS FIRE, a quick Google reveals that Elizabeth Gutierrez is currently Associate Professor of Piano at UTSA. Her webpage even has a phone number and an email address. Surely SoundExchange should be capable of spending five minutes looking for people who aren't exactly hiding? How difficult can it be to give money away?

(We'll let Ms Gutierrez know there's some cash waiting for her, by the way.)

This list, by the way, is just of people who will lose their entitlement to money if they don't get in touch by the end of June - there's apparently an even longer list of names whose money is "resting" in the SoundExchange coffers who have a bit longer to get in touch. We're puzzled that - since the organisation is making bugger all effort to seek them out, and not bothering to publish a list of the names they've not been able to find, how are you meant to know if you're on the list? Psychic detectives?

It's a funny way for a company believed to be trustworthy with other people's funds to behave.


1 comment:

Simon said...

The PRS did this about four years ago and took out adverts with some of the names included in the monthlies. For some reason all I can recall is all of Ikara Colt being in the list, as if some sort of Jen'n'Daz's Breakfast Crew had had Sink Venice as their record of the week.

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