Spotify’s Failure to License My Songs in US Illustrates Rethink Music’s Call For Transparency

I spent the weekend reading the Rethink Music report which blasts much of the modern music ecosystem for a lack of transparency.  It’s a good read, if a little wacky at times. Proposed payment by Bitcoin/Blockchains? Are we Russian mobsters?  And curiously the famously opaque and secretive YouTube is spared.  Of course there is a reasonable explanation for that: The report was funded by Kobalt which is partially owned by Google.  Perhaps YouTube is too sensitive a topic.

All joking aside, here’s the report, everyone should read it.

Fair Music: Transparency And Money Flows In The Music Industry,

All in all it’s a decent analysis of where we are in the music business as we transition from ownership to streaming: It’s a mess.  I know this from personal experience with my own catalogue of over 400 recordings and songs.   And the companies that exploit these songs.

For example,  the past two years I’ve been trying to figure out how it is that Spotify has legally made available many of the songs that I have published under Camper Van Beethoven Music and Bicycle Spaniard Music. In  order to make my songs available on their service in the US, Spotify must enter into a direct license with my companies or an assigned agent.   OR they must serve an NOI (notice of intent) to take advantage of the statutory compulsory license.   After two years I find no evidence that they have properly licensed most of the songs that are currently available on the service.  This is the equivalent of a record label releasing an artist’s music  without having a contract with the artist  (To be fair Apple owned Beats Music may  have this same problem as well.)

Further I can find no evidence that they paid the US “mechanical streaming” royalty to my companies or my agents. This is the equivalent of a record label failing to account to, and pay the artist.  It is possible that they have been improperly paying the wrong party. However my work is properly registered and my companies are easy to find (through the BMI website).  I even went so far to see if Spotify filed a special notice required by the US Copyright office when a service can’t find a rights holder but still wish to use the song and “blackbox” the money.  No luck.

So yes we welcome more transparency in the music business but you can’t have transparency without first getting paid!
Camper Van Beethoven Music Catalogue

51 7 Registered 7153325
A C COVER Registered 1806954
ABUNDANCE Registered 3860
AGED IN WOOD Registered 15139907
ALL HER FAVORITE FRUIT Registered 21170
AT KUDA Registered 8893861
ATKUDA Registered 8893861
AXE MURDERER SONG Registered 1806950
BABY DON T YA GO Registered 9541080
BACK TO BEDROCK Registered 77318
BAD TRIP Registered 80449
BALALAIKA GAP DEMO Registered 5448583
BEFORE I MET YOU Registered 9541076
BORDERLINE Registered 139736
BROADCASTING LIVE FROM THE MCI WORLDCOM AT AND T Registered 5761769
CAMP PENDELTON Registered 17316671
CATTLE REVERSED Registered 191364
CHAIN OF CIRCUMSTANCE Registered 195736
CHANGE YOUR MIND Registered 197951
CHEMTRAILS Registered 15139909
CIRCLES Registered 215490
CITY OF INDUSTRY Registered 17316679
CLASSY DAMES AND ABLE GENTS Registered 17316670
CLOSING THEME Registered 5448582
COLONEL ENRIQUE ALDOLFO BERMUDAS Registered 8893863
COME DOWN THE COAST Registered 15139900
COME ON DARKNESS Registered 230914
COWBOYS FROM HOLLYWOOD Registered 253747
CROSSING OVER Registered 1806959
DARKEN YOUR DOOR Registered 17316677
DEUX FOISES Registered 8893864
DEVIL SONG Registered 298731
DISCOTEQUE CVB Registered 8893865
DOCKWEILER BEACH Registered 17316672
DON T YA GO TO GOLETA Registered 331231
DOWN AND OUT Registered 336219
DUSTPAN Registered 350612
EPIGRAM NO 1 Registered 8893866
EPIGRAM NO 2 Registered 8893867
EPIGRAM NUMBER ONE Registered 8893866
EPIGRAM NUMBER TWO Registered 8893867
EYE OF FATIMA PT 1 Registered 395815
EYE OF FATIMA PT 2 Registered 395816
FIFTY ONE SEVEN Registered 7153325
FIVE STICKS Registered 422620
FLOOR Registered 425248
FLOWERS Registered 426335
FOLLY FOR TWO Registered 429466
FOOL Registered 429796
FORM ANOTHER STONE Registered 437929
FOUR YEAR PLAN Registered 440039
GET OUT OF THAT TREE Registered 464420
GOLDBASE Registered 17316676
GOOD GUYS AND BAD GUYS Registered 494325
GRASSHOPPER Registered 17316678
GUARDIAN ANGELS Registered 1806951
GUT BUCKET Registered 514488
HEART Registered 545069
HER COFFEE POT Registered 556480
HEY BROTHER Registered 8893868
HISTORY OF UTAH Registered 571292
HOE YOURSELF DOWN Registered 573062
HUMID PRESS OF DAYS Registered 597547
I AM TALKING TO THIS FLOWER Registered 8893869
I HATE THIS PART OF TEXAS Registered 8893870
I LIVE IN LA Registered 17316674
I M IN YOUR MIND Registered 658689
I WANT TO KNOW Registered 691077
I WAS BORN IN A LAUNDROMAT Registered 693210
ICE CREAM EVERYDAY Registered 699310
INFINITE OCEAN Registered 19762180
INTERLUDE Registered 9541081
IT WAS LIKE THAT WHEN WE GOT HERE Registered 17316669
JACK RUBY Registered 756077
JERRY S DAUGHTER Registered 764090
JOE STALIN S CADILLAC Registered 772423
JUNE Registered 780704
KLONDIKE Registered 5787292
L AGUARDIENTE Registered 5448584
LA COSTA PERDIDA Registered 15139906
LIFE IS GRAND Registered 867508
LIGHT FROM A CAKE Registered 869948
LONG PLASTIC HALLWAY Registered 9541075
LONG WAY TO GO Registered 19754797
LONG WAY TO GO SHARKNADO Registered 19754797
LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS Registered 5787294
LOOSE SCREW RAG Registered 903875
LOS TIGRES TRAFICANTES Registered 8893871
LOVE FOR ALL TIME Registered 15139908
LOVE IS A WEED Registered 8893872
LULU LAND Registered 936839
MIGHT MAKES RIGHT Registered 7153328
MILITIA SONG Registered 8893875
MODERN ART Registered 1806956
MONTEREY POPE FESTIVAL Registered 9541078
MY BABY JUST GOT OUTTA JAIL Registered 8893876
MY INVISIBLE CAR Registered 15139909
MY PATH BELATED Registered 1041025
NEVER GO BACK Registered 1055511
NEW ROMAN TIMES Registered 7155760
NO FLIES ON US Registered 1070347
NO KRUGERRANDS FOR DAVID Registered 1071399
NO MORE BULLSHIT Registered 1073365
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA GIRLS Registered 15139904
O DEATH Registered 8893877
OM EYE SWEET ISTHMUS WE ARE ONE Registered 8893878
ONE OF THESE DAYS Registered 1124541
OPENING THEME Registered 1132836
OUT LIKE A LION Registered 17316675
PEACE AND LOVE TOO MUCH GINSENG Registered 1159920
PEACHES IN THE SUMMERTIME Registered 15431618
PERFECT ENIGMA MACHINE Registered 5787291
PIN CUSHION Registered 1174643
POPE FESTIVAL Registered 9541078
PRELUDE Registered 7153324
PROCESSIONAL Registered 1205874
R AND R UZBEKISTAN Registered 7155759
RELAPSE Registered 1241007
RUN FOR TIN Registered 1275788
S P 37597 MEDLEY Registered 8893879
SAD LOVER S WALTZ Registered 1280919
SEVEN LANGUAGES Registered 1314822
SHE DIVINES WATER Registered 1321688
SHUT US DOWN Registered 1336113
SOMEDAY OUR LOVE WILL SELL US OUT Registered 15139903
SOMETIMES Registered 1379603
SP THIRTY SEVENTHOUSAND FIVE NINETY SEVEN MEDLEY Registered 8893879
SP THREE SEVEN NINE FIVE SEVEN Registered 1806958
SP37957 Registered 1806958
STAIRWAY TO HEAVAN Registered 1400431
STAYING AT HOME WITH THE GIRLS IN THE MORNING Registered 9541077
STILL WISHING TO COURSE Registered 1411720
SUGARTOWN Registered 17316673
SUMMER DAYS Registered 15139905
SURPRISE TRUCK Registered 1435021
SWEETHEARTS Registered 1442392
TANIA Registered 1457264
THAT GUM YOU LIKE IS BACK IN STYLE Registered 7153327
TOM FLOWERS 1500 VALVES Registered 5761768
TOO HIGH FOR THE LOVE IN Registered 15139901
TURQUOISE JEWELRY Registered 1558764
TURTLEHEAD Registered 1558844
ULTIMATE SOLUTION Registered 17316668
UNDER THE EDGE Registered 1571017
UNE FOIS Registered 1572410
UNTITLED UNFINISHED DEMO Registered 9541079
VIENNA CLUB MIX Registered 9541077
WAKA Registered 1597688
WE EAT YOUR CHILDREN Registered 1806955
WE LOVE YOU Registered 1617075
WE RE A BAD TRIP Registered 9541082
WE RE ALL WASTED AND WE RE WASTING ALL YOUR TIME Registered 5787293
WE WORKERS DO NOT UNDERSTAND MODERN ART Registered 1806956
WHEN I WIN THE LOTTERY Registered 1645436
WHITE FLUFFY CLOUDS Registered 7153326
YOU GOT TO ROLL Registered 15139902
YOU RE BLOWIN MY HIGH Registered 1727376
ZZ TOP GOES TO EGYPT Registered 1748440

 

Bicycle Spaniard Music

AIN T GONNA SUCK ITSELF Registered 7877453
AIN T THAT STRANGE Registered 5962349
ALMOND GROVE Registered 18557419
ALMOND GROVES Registered 18557419
BABY ALL THOSE GIRLS MEANT NOTHING TO ME Registered 8634302
BE MY LOVE Registered 5152653
BEAUTIFUL Registered 18557408
BEEN AROUND THE WORLD Registered 4698263
BETTER TIMES ARE COMING OUR WAY Registered 8634311
BIG LIFE Registered 8634314
BRIDES OF NEPTUNE Registered 5971347
BRING US DOWN Registered 5971317
CA COUNTRY BOY Registered 18891463
CAGES Registered 12165536
CALIFORNIA COUNTRY BOY Registered 18891463
CINDERELLA Registered 4848068
COME ON LITTLE DARLING GIMME ONE MORE CHANCE Registered 8634301
DARLING WE RE OUT OF TIME Registered 8634313
DEEP OBLIVION Registered 8634303
DISINTEGRATING Registered 4848087
EL CERRITO Registered 18557414
EL COMANDANTE Registered 18557413
EVERYBODY GETS ONE FOR FREE Registered 8634312
EVERYBODY GETS ONE FREE Registered 8634312
EYES OF MARY Registered 5331732
FLUFFY LUCY Registered 8634300
FOREVER Registered 5971338
GENTLEMAN S BLUES Registered 4848075
GET ON DOWN THE ROAD Registered 18557421
GET UP AND GO HEAD ON DOWN THE ROAD Registered 18557421
GIMME ONE MORE CHANCE Registered 8634301
GOOD LIFE Registered 4738002
GUARDED BY MONKEYS Registered 5971351
HALLELUJAH Registered 4803988
HAND ME MY INHALER Registered 10355099
HARVEST QUEEN Registered 7811842
HEAVEN KNOWS I M LONELY NOW Registered 5331731
HEY BRETT Registered 10355102
HEY BRETT YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS Registered 10355102
HOLLYWOOD CEMETARY Registered 4848083
I COULD BE WRONG I COULD BE RIGHT Registered 10355100
I M GOING BACK HOME TO THE ALMOND GROVES Registered 18557419
I M SO GLAD SHE AIN T NEVER COMING BACK Registered 8634306
I M SORRY BABY Registered 18557409
I NEED BETTER FRIENDS Registered 8634308
I SOLD THE ARABS THE MOON Registered 12171605
I WANT OUT OF THE CIRCUS Registered 4803989
IT AIN T GONNA SUCK ITSELF Registered 7877453
IT S NOT MY PROBLEM Registered 18557423
JAMES RIVER Registered 4803990
JUST TO BE WITH YOU Registered 18557426
KING OF BAKERSFIELD Registered 18557410
LIFE IN THE BIG CITY Registered 18557416
LULLABYE Registered 4803991
MAGGIE Registered 8634299
MARCH OF THE BILLIONAIRES Registered 18557412
MARIGOLD Registered 12171606
MERRY CHRISTMAS EMILY Registered 5971252
MINOTAUR Registered 8634309
MS SANTA CRUZ COUNTY Registered 5971259
MY LIFE IS TOTALLY BORING Registered 4848071
NIGHT FALLS Registered 8634310
NIGHT FALLS AGAIN Registered 8634310
ONE FINE DAY Registered 5971262
PALACE GUARDS Registered 12171602
PLEASE DON T GIVE IT AWAY Registered 8634315
PRETTY ON THE OUTSIDE Registered 10355104
RAISE EM UP ON HONEY Registered 12171601
REACTION Registered 18557423
RIVERSIDE Registered 8634305
SEVEN DAYS Registered 4848085
SHAMELESS Registered 5971266
SHINE Registered 5971269
SHINE A LIGHT Registered 10355098
SHOW ME HOW THIS THING WORKS Registered 10355096
SIDI IFNI Registered 8634307
SOMEDAY YOU LL BE MINE Registered 12165536
STAR Registered 4848079
SUBMARINE Registered 12171608
SUNRISE Registered 10355103
SUNRISE IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY Registered 10355103
SWEET MAGDELENA OF MY MISFORTUNE Registered 5971310
TIME MACINE Registered 10355101
TONIGHT I CROSS THE BORDER Registered 18557420
TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS Registered 18557411
TURN ON TUNE IN DROP OUT WITH ME Registered 10355097
WAITED MY WHOLE LIFE Registered 18557426
WAITING FOR YOU GIRL Registered 4848080
WE ALL SHINE A LIGHT Registered 10355098
WHAT YOU RE MISSING Registered 5971394
WHEN YOU COME DOWN Registered 18557422
WHERE HAVE THOSE DAYS GONE Registered 8634304
WILD ONE Registered 4848070
WORLD IS MINE Registered 4848076
YALLA YALLA LET S GO Registered 10355095
YOU ARE STILL BEAUTIFUL Registered 18557408
YOU GOT YOURSELF INTO THIS Registered 18557415
YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS Registered 10355102

3 thoughts on “Spotify’s Failure to License My Songs in US Illustrates Rethink Music’s Call For Transparency

    • Well they are both broadcasting and distributing via the on demand service. So there is a streaming “mechanical” license and royalty unaccounted for.

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