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  • stephenmarkmaughan

Be aware, be very aware.......

I should have read the small print, but I thought I'd entered into a deal that was mutually beneficial with a company that seemed genuinely up front. Ah well - live and learn.

I currently pay my distribution agent $5.00 a year for each and any of my tracks to check if they are being used on Youtube. If they are then my agent requests the royalties from the person using the track and pays them to me. Unfortunately, the royalties are much less than the $5 I pay for the service. So, when I came upon 'IDentifyy', a company who offered this service for a percentage of royalties recovered, I thought it was a much better deal. I created an account, had a very positive conversation with their rep and duly uploaded the majority of my music catalogue onto their site for them to scan and collect royalties for me.

However, circumstances change and I have since found a music agent that likes my music and thinks his company can sell it for film and television. The deal is that they have to be able to sell it without it being subject to content-id checking (the service I'd just signed up for). With this in mind, I went to the Identifyy website and looked for a means of taking my music down, at least the tracks that I want to put with the new agent. There was nothing apparent so I contacted their rep and had a somewhat less positive conversation. I was abruptly directed to their Terms of Use item:6.3.1 which stipulates that on opening an account, I had agreed to a minimum term of 3 years in which they could do their business and claim royalties on my behalf. Therefore effectively leaving me unable to sell any of my existing music to anyone who wants to use it on the internet (in any shape, form or manner). Hmmmm

Unfortunately every attempt at an e-mail conversation with said rep is now met with a reference to 6.3.1 and stony silence. I don't even want all of it back, well I do, but I'd settle for a dozen pieces released to be able to get the ball rolling with the music agent and perhaps start getting paid properly for what I love doing.

So the moral of this story is ALWAYS, ALWAYS read the T&C, TofU, whatever they call it. However tedious it may seem and however long it takes to scroll those pages, you are the only one responsible for ticking the box and accepting those conditions.

There is also a warning to any other budding composers out there to be careful before entering into a contract with Identifyy, make sure you are happy to no longer have complete control over your music catalogue.

I'll let you know if the situation changes.

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