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AFTRA, SoundExchange to Match Artists With Unpaid Royalties

'Many don't know about the law that entitled them to these royalties'

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and SoundExchange are trying to match AFTRA members with their unclaimed royalties for recordings that aired on satellite radio, Internet radio or digital cable services.

SoundExchange is a digital performance rights organization that’s authorized by federal copyright laws to collect royalties for the digital performance of sound recordings. It says it’s collected millions of dollars in royalties from digital services that have streamed the recordings of some 6,000 AFTRA members online.

Yet AFTRA members due royalties need to register with SoundExchange to get those funds and may not know that. It can be difficult to get them to register, according to SoundExchange Executive Director John Simson. “Many don’t know about the law that entitled them to these royalties, or believe it’s too good to be true.”

Starting June 2, AFTRA began notifying those members that they are due royalties and that SoundExchange has their money. SoundExchange gave AFTRA a list of artists who are union members but who are not yet registered with the digital performance rights organization.

Recording artists can register with SoundExchange to receive royalties.