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Digital Music Catalogs Help Protect Artists + Week 40 Charting Artists: Angela Talks (Pt. 4)


Posted By : IHM, Posted On : October 12, 2017

Digital Music Catalogs Protect Copyrights and Keep Your Music Safe: Angela Durden Interview Pt. 4

digital music catalogs like mydigitalcatalog protect your music

Angela K Durden has been an invaluable resource, providing information on how to keep your music copyrighted and safe, and insight into topics such as streaming difficulties, digital aggregation, the value of selling direct-to-fan, and why you need to add your work to any of the digital music catalogs in case of a crisis like the Soundcloud scare. Here is the last part of our interview with Angela where she gets into depth about the ways her website MyDigitalCatalog.com can help you.

Indiehitmaker.com: How does being a user of MyDigitalCatalog.com or any one of the online digital music catalogs help protect intellectual property?

Angela K. Durden: As we talked about previously, there is more to proving ownership than simply a PRO or Copyright.gov registration.

IHM: Why is proving ownership so important?

AKD: Content creators make money on ideas they put down in a permanent form. These include authors of books and columnists, cartoonists and photographers, painters and sculptors, songwriters and musicians, code writers, tool makers, clothing and car designers — the list goes on and on of those who have an idea, and who then use their honed talent to put it in a form others can touch, see, or listen to. Imagine having not only your idea stolen, but the very thing that took you hundreds or thousands of hours to make. That’s why you need to work with any of the Digital Music Catalogs available online.

IHM: How can you feed your children or pay your bills if you don’t protect your rights?

AKD: That’s exactly the point. I talked with the founder of Content Creators Coalition about this subject. Their organization found out that all the issues around copyright infringement that exists in the list above were all included in one industry: Music. So they focus entirely on the music business and by doing so they are helping to protect all content creators.

IHM: Google?

AKD: Don’t get me started on them. Let me summarize what is going on with copyright around the world. This is what Google, other tech giants, and The Majors and The Bigs are pushing right now.

Imagine this: You have a car. It is in a parking lot full of other cars. A man is walking around with a computer. He looks at a car and says, “Let me see if this car is in my database.” He looks in his database and does not see the car in question. He says, “Aha! This car is not listed in my database. That means nobody owns it. I now claim this car as my own. Finders Keepers!”

IHM: In this illustration the cars are songs?

AKD: Yes! Google and all those others are trying to get governments to pass a law that says if a song is available on the Internet in any way shape or form, or if it is available for sale anywhere in any form, and Google cannot find that song in their database, they will consider that song as “lost” and they will claim ownership.

IHM: That’s just wrong. Makes me want to cuss.

AKD: I’ve been cussing for a long time. So back to your original question: How can MyDigitalCatalog.com or any of the online digital music catalogs help?

MDC is considered a third-party validator of the basis of your deal. Simply put that means MDC does not own your song, is not the publisher of it, will not help you sell it, does not want to distribute it, and in no other way will be your business partner in the marketing of it. That leaves MDC free to be the disinterested party in a dispute when it goes to court or arbitration.

Online Digital Music Catalogs like MDC act as  a third-party validator that you own your music copyrights and intellevtual property.

– Angela Durden, founder & CEO mydigitalcatalog.com

IHM: How does that work?

AKD: When you sign up on MDC, you will begin by entering in the title of one of your songs. You’ll document your ownership stake as writer and publisher. That includes inviting your co-writers and co-publishers to “share” the record for that song by putting in their ownership percentage also. We walk you through it.

IHM: These are the two categories tracked by PROs, right?

AKD: Yes. When your co-owners get the email inviting them to share in the catalog entry, they click a link and agree. If they do not click the link to agree, we let you know by red and yellow stars in your catalog.

MDC time/date stamps each one of those fields as it is filled out, who filled it out, who changed it, who agreed to it, who did not agree to it.

So, if someone claims you promised them a piece of the song, or if they steal the song, and you need to prove what happened with the ownership, you call me. I then tell my tech department to pull the record of the history of that documentation, including email requests for e-signature, and we give it to you. You can then show a judge that this person claiming ownership did not in fact “sign” the deal.

IHM: That’s cool. So, let’s bring this around full circle. We started with talking about Soundcloud and downloading of digital assets. How does MDC or any of the digital music catalogs online figure into this?

AKD: Remember I said to download from Soundcloud, then upload to the cloud in your own personal Dropbox.com (or Box.com) account?

IHM: Yes.

AKD: So, when you do that, instead of uploading all at once to Dropbox.com, you go into your MDC Member Portal, log in, and add a song into your catalog. Once you enter it into your catalog and you click the hyperlink for that song in the list, you will be taken to the Song Page. On the Song Page is where you will enter in other information about the song. But also on that page are two links to Dropbox.com and Box.com. Click the one you signed up with. Log into it, and from the Song Page, upload the master or demo to the cloud.

IHM: In other words, what you are saying is that this is a good time to start taking care of the paperwork that the vast majority of people lack, right?

AKD: Yes. Do a few per day and next thing you know you will see all the data about all your songs kept in one place completely under your control. Then when you do want to license that song, all you have to do is print the Song Page to PDF and email that file to agent who wants to license it so they can see you have clear license.

IHM: Thank you so much for all your help, Angela.

AKD: Thank you for asking to interview me. It was my pleasure.

Durden is the go-to source for real information about anything that attacks the rights of content creators and how those attacks affect your ability to make money with your songs. She is the author of the popular and hard-hitting “Navigating the New Music Business as a DIY & Indie: Coming Clean with the Down and Dirty.” 

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