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YouTube has launched a new scheme allowing eligible copyright owners to claim synchronisation royalties from videos viewed in the US.
A release issued on Friday, February 24 by two music rights organisations said that the process opened today, March 1, and closes on May 31.
YouTube, according to the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), has “amassed millions of dollars in unpaid royalties” for certain compositions relating to synchronisation rights.
It has not been able to pay these royalties due to missing composition information, SOCAN said.
SOCAN, which defines synchronisation rights as allowing a party to synchronise lyrics and melody to a moving image such as a YouTube video, is a not-for-profit organisation that represents performers’ rights in Canada.
According to SOCAN, eligible entities can identify compositions that have earned synchronisation royalties in YouTube from US views between August 2012 and December 2015, and add missing information triggering the release and payment of the royalties.
SOCAN and its wholly owned subsidiary Audiam told members that the royalties are currently held in an escrow account by YouTube.
As noted by SOCAN, “YouTube has designated only three months to make claims on royalties. The process is open to all songwriters and music publishers who control the administration of the synchronisation rights in the US”.
The move comes after YouTube settled with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) in December last year in a suit which centred on unpaid royalty payments to those in the music industry.
According to The Verge, the settlement was reported to be worth $30 to $40 million.
Tamara Hrivnak, head of music partnerships, Americas for YouTube and Google Play, said at the time: “The revenue earned by the music industry on YouTube continues to grow significantly year over year, and we’re committed to making sure that publishers are paid for the usage of their works on our platform.”
YouTube, copyright, royalties, music, video, Liquidation Agreement, synchronise lyrics, online copyright, DMCA,