Find all the answers regarding PRS registrations and royalty payments below.
Songtrust clients may have noticed in our latest royalty distribution for Q4 2022 that MCPS/PRS payments were delayed. We want to provide you with some transparency and have put together a list of FAQs below to answer your questions.
Q. What is Copyright Fraud?
Copyright music publishing fraud is a serious issue that affects many musicians, songwriters, publishing companies, and societies. This type of fraud can occur when someone attempts to claim another person's music as their own, or when someone falsely registers a copyright for a song that they did not create. In the digital streaming age, this latter form has become more prevalent throughout the music industry.
Q. What Is Songtrust + the Industry Doing About That?
Songtrust is a leader in driving state-of-the-art data integrity initiatives and in partnering with our societies to make sure that both songwriter identity, ownership claim and copyright data is scrutinized and validated before it is sent to our partners. In addition, our society partners are also careful in taking on song registrations and creating new validation processes of their own. This is often why it takes a few months to fully register a work around the world, or why you may see what feels like a “delay” in processing. We cannot and do not register works with incomplete or conflicting data - so really, it starts with the writers and publishers making sure they have correct IPI, IRSC, splits entered at the time a song is registered. From there, we verify every single digit.
Q. Why are There Delays?
Sometimes we do have situations with our various society partners where song registrations are slowed down or payments are delayed. Again, it goes back to the fact that verifying thousands of terabytes of song data to prevent fraudulent claims takes time.
Generally speaking, we work very closely with our various partners throughout the world to ensure all song registration data is accurate, and royalties accrued and paid are correctly attributed and distributed. That said, sometimes societies need to slow down or double-check data flows. It’s a global partnership and different territories are facing different challenges at any given time.
Q. What happened with Songtrust and PRS?
A: Both Songtrust and MCPS/PRS implemented increasingly complex data integrity initiatives throughout 2022 in order to ensure the delivery of the most accurate registration information, and MCPS/PRS continues to be on an operational hold with us, and with many publishers/admins like us, while they complete their final phases.
Q. Why are MCPS/PRS payments temporarily held for Songtrust?
A: Unfortunately, this timing has had an unfortunate financial tie-in to their payments to us. MCPS/PRS payments have been temporarily held for Songtrust, as well as for other companies with a subscription client base, but will be released once they complete their review.
Q. How does this delay affect my royalties?
A: This delay may affect the timing of your royalty payments from this specific territory, but not your payments overall. You have and will continue to accrue royalties with MCPS/PRS and those will be paid out in the very near future. This is only a delay.
Q. How can I check the status of my registrations and payments?
A: You can log into your Songtrust dashboard at any time to see the status of your account. We pay out royalties quarterly (with a one quarter delay).
Q. When will I know that this hold is lifted?
A: We will proactively communicate with all clients affected by this situation with updates and timing as we progress via the email you have associated with your Songtrust account. We are confident that this will be resolved very soon.
Q. Is this happening with any other societies?
A: PRS is the only society which has paused new registrations and outgoing payments. We did initiate proactive outreach to our largest society partners to share with them the data integrity initiatives we have implemented at Songtrust. These societies were appreciative and impressed with the proactive stance Songtrust is taking on this industry-wide challenge. A couple societies came back wanting more information, but no one has stopped issuing us payments. We, as always, strive to be the best partner we can be to the collection societies.