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CMRRA Launches Service to Help Publishers & Songwriters Get Paid for Previously Unmatched Song Uses

The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) has launched a new service that gives music publishers and songwriters the ability to search for unmatched uses of their repertoire so they can get paid for that work.

The new Unclaimed Works Portal powered by CMRRA Direct is designed to give publishers and songwriters easy access to data from digital services spanning billions of uses. The result is a free enhancement to the suite of services on CMRRA Direct that is available to all music publishers and self-published songwriters to help bridge gaps between sound recording and musical work metadata for music played on digital services in Canada.

“One of the biggest challenges publishers and songwriters face is knowing how their work has been used,” says Veronica Syrtash, CMRRA SVP – Business Affairs and Corporate Development. “This new CMRRA Direct service provides unprecedented visibility into music use data so that these creators can get paid. The service fulfills the company’s broader mission of making the business side of music easier for creators.”

Digital services have always provided 100 per cent of their download and streaming usage logs to CMRRA for Canada, and the Unclaimed Works Portal provides new visibility into that data.
The portal features include:

  • Sound recording data from multiple services aggregated by the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC).
  • A searchable database through a number of data points allowing publishers to match individual tracks to musical works and also submit missing copyright ownership claims on those works, if necessary.

After validating the claim, the CMRRA will use the data to invoice services retroactively and generate royalty payments across all digital services it has licensed. CMRRA will also incorporate the new matches in its database for future royalty payments when the tracks are used. Search returns will also include works in cue at CMRRA for validation of shares submitted by publishers. The CMRRA already continually matches its repertoire to digital service use reports and makes retroactive claims to services each reporting period.

“This tool offers unprecedented access and transparency. It is a comprehensive and open solution for all publishers,” adds Syrtash. “We welcome music publishers of all sizes and self-published songwriters to help fill-in the gaps where data is unknown or incomplete.”

The Unclaimed Works Portal is live and accessible via CMRRA Direct and optimized for desktop and mobile use. Music publishers can register for the service at www.cmrra.ca.

The CMRRA was acquired by SoundExchange in 2017. The Online Claiming Portal is part of a suite of tools created by the SoundExchange Companies to help music creators get paid accurately. Other tools include Music Data Exchange (MDX), which brings publishers and labels together to properly align metadata for new releases; NOI Lookup, which is a free searchable database of all NOI Address Unknown filings made with the U.S. Copyright Office, and ISRC lookup, which provides access to information on more than 30 million sound recording releases around the world.

For more information, go to www.cmrra.ca.

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.