SXWorks, a subsidiary of SoundExchange, today launched NOI LOOKUP, a new free-of-charge service to help music publishers and songwriters search the more-than 60 million address unknown Notice of Intention to Use (NOI) filings made with the U.S. Copyright Office. Additional premium capabilities will be launched for the service later this year.
“Music publishers and songwriters finally have a way to gain visibility into address unknown filings made by some service providers using their songs,” said Michael Huppe, Chairman of the Board of SXWorks. “Publishers and songwriters can search the NOI submissions via a simple web-based interface. The service makes a complex process much more transparent, supporting our goal of trying to improve how the music industry operates.”
An NOI is a notice sent by a proposed user of a musical work informing the copyright owner that it intends to distribute the musical work pursuant to the compulsory license set forth in Section 115 of the Copyright Act. The proposed user must send an NOI to the copyright owner before or within 30 days of making, and before distributing, any phonorecords of the work. If the music user sends the NOI to the copyright owner, it must account and pay statutory royalties to the copyright owner for all uses of the song.
If the proposed user can’t locate the copyright owner in the registration or other public records of the Copyright Office, it may file an address unknown NOI with the Copyright Office. If a service files an address unknown NOI with the Copyright Office, the service isn’t obligated to pay a royalty to the copyright owner of the song until after that copyright owner becomes identifiable in the public records of the Copyright Office, and the service is free to exploit the work under the statutory license.
Music services filed as many as 4.5 million address unknown NOIs with the Copyright Office in a single month in 2017 and filed an average of 2.5 million address unknown NOIs each month last year. Address unknown NOI filings are made available to the public by the Copyright Office in separate compressed files, which makes searching the records individually difficult. The SXWorks NOI LOOKUP tool indexes all the NOI address unknown filings and provides the information to publishers and songwriters in a comprehensive, searchable database.
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