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ISRC Vs Tunecore ID
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rikkpalmer
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8th December 2011
Old 8th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taturana View Post
and what good would that do to you?
My point is more from the standpoint "is that possible", b/c if it is there seams to be a flaw in the way we work with digital distribution. If you don't have a standard that everyone abides by and is enforced that would be chaos in my mind.

-rikk
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8th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikkpalmer View Post
Does iTunes not thoroughly check who is uploading music to there service?
It would be hard for them to know if it's legitimate or not since they get sources from everywhere. I'm in the US but work with people from other countries so I occasionally encode non-US country codes. It's not iTunes' job to check your spelling, etc. At some point they have to assume you're doing your homework.

Sending an incorrect or made-up code would eventually give someone else credit for your airplay and downloads.

GR
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rikkpalmer
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Correct me if I am wrong, but if a company uploaded a song and typed in a code, whether it’s incorrect or not, that is the code in the database. When the song is downloaded/played that code shows up and is traced as being the code that the company uploaded and they are paid.

Let say two years later a person who actually went through the right channels to get their code wants to upload. Their code, which is correct, would be invalid because it is already in the database and is being used by the company that put in the wrong code??

So in my mind it is iTunes job to make sure that those who upload music to be sold are playing by the right rules. Isn’t that why you have to fill out all the forms and it takes at least 3 months to be approved?

-rikk
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8th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikkpalmer View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, but if a company uploaded a song and typed in a code, whether it’s incorrect or not, that is the code in the database. When the song is downloaded/played that code shows up and is traced as being the code that the company uploaded and they are paid.

Let say two years later a person who actually went through the right channels to get their code wants to upload. Their code, which is correct, would be invalid because it is already in the database and is being used by the company that put in the wrong code??

So in my mind it is iTunes job to make sure that those who upload music to be sold are playing by the right rules. Isn’t that why you have to fill out all the forms and it takes at least 3 months to be approved?

-rikk
you most likely have to also register the phonogram in whichever perfoming rights society you are part.. they give that 3 letter code. it's worthless unless registered into the system. at least that's what happens here... nowadays the songs also get given a ISWC code after they are registered... it's quite cool as it also has the credits and % of rights earned by the musicians, arrangers, producers, etc... for that you need the software which they supply.
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9th December 2011
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I would hope ISRC would take the next logical steps to become the universal ID for songs, such as:

Embedded and secret ID code inside digital content hard to rip out, if so the audio will become scrambled.

Web site registration with all ISRC songs available for lookup for getting info about the artist/song/songwriter/label and so on and so on.

I got my label ISRC in the early 2000 as at that time any label could ask for one. It's basically a country code + unique label code. And the rest of the id is then reserved for individual songs.
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9th December 2011
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what i do find annoying, and is against the ISRC rules, is when recording companies, for example try to change the ISRC codes when you sign with them... to their own numbers.. i always check that on any contracts.. the ISRC is supposed to reference that version of the recording, with that timing, so if there's no change in the master there will be no change in the code.

In that case though, I will have to add the recording company as producer with the respective royalties later though...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
This is normal, because you signed the distribution to that particular record company, and the company must be coded in the ISRC code, or your royalties will not find the way to your author society account.
That's not the way the system is intended to work. From the IFPI site:

-----
Q: Our company has just acquired the rights to a recording that already has an ISRC. Do we have to apply for a new ISRC for this recording?

A: No. The ISRC remains the same, regardless of changed ownership.

The first owner of the rights to a recording normally assigns an ISRC. Once assigned that ISRC identifies the recording throughout its life. Changes in ownership do not affect the ISRC. However if changes are made to the recording that involve new artistic input and these affect the rights associated with that recording, and it is re-issued, the new owner must assign a new ISRC, using their Registrant Code.

-----

So, short of changing the song is some way, it should remain the same. It's probably not a big deal for an indie artist who sells a few thousand copies but anyone selling larger numbers will want their songs counted consistently.


GR
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9th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
That's all. Nothing more!
Yes, exactly. No need to change the ISRC with transfer of ownership.


GR
Bob Olhsson
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9th December 2011
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Lots of distributors insist on assigning their own codes. It's really too bad that following the rules isn't legally required. The whole point is to be able to identify and pay royalties to the copyright owner years later. The owner in more cases than not is the artist especially as the reversions in ownership called for by copyright laws take effect.

You'll notice a lot of tech industry types will never tell artists what their rights are or how to collect royalties. They just whine endlessly about copyright and would have people believe it's only about the "evil" RIAA and major labels. Meanwhile their guns are actually pointed at the artists' heads.
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rikkpalmer
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Sounds like there really needs to be a better resource for understanding the way digital distribution and coding really needs to work. Globally. Perhaps a completely new forum in gearslutz because this is starting to grow beyond the Mastering forum.

-rikk
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9th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
I sold my record company 7 years ago, and the whole music catalogue where allocated with a new client code.
But doesn't that dilute the actual numbers? And I realize we are talking about artists who sold more than a few thousand copies After changing its ISRC, a song now has two identities - two separate lives. Seems like a recipe for a lot of confusion.


GR
Bob Olhsson
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"Not my problem" is the usual excuse given for screwing artists and songwriters.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
...If one believes he can manage his rights without consulting an entertainment law office, and simply signes whatever agreement without controlling, I would say he is a fool then...
I think people ought to learn at least enough about their rights that they have a better idea of when they have probably encountered a hustler, when they need a lawyer and so that they can have a basic understanding of what their lawyer is talking about. It really isn't mystical rocket science!
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10th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
The old, first code is not valid anymore.
This is the part I don't understand. ISRC don't expire.


GR
Bob Olhsson
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10th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
Yes, the per song unique ISRC code never expires.

But you can/could assign as many ISRC code as you like to one and the same song.
You can but you are not supposed to.
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10th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
From the IFPI handbook, translated into English by me for you.
...A re-release (or rerelease) of a title, a "back catalog" always requires a new ISRC number...
Thanks, that never made it into the translation I read.
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An ISRC code may be the accepted way of identifying digital music, but there doesn't seem to be a standard way of implementing it:
(1) The ID3V2.3 standard provides an ISRC field, but there is no way to enter it in the mp3 export for Pro Tools or Cubase or any of the the free tag editors that I tried.
(2) The Gracenote documentation for entering song info doesn't show an entry for it.
So is it just on a case by case basis depending on where you upload your music?
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10th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
How to implement the ISRC code is clearly defined by IFPI.

The software to implement the ISRC code in batch processing is special software. I.e. one of this software is by a Taiwanese software company, another software by a Swiss software developer which also has the capability to implement the titles and artist names in 127 languages,

as well there is other software developed by other companies publishing houses, record companies and mastering engineer use.
And what about the thousands of independent artists that upload their own songs? I accept what others have said that the ISRC code is the standard identifier for digital distribution. However, there is very little evidence that the implementation is consistent or that the code is actually embedded in the file metadata.
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11th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Thanks, that never made it into the translation I read.
And it contradicts the FAQ from the IFPI that I quoted earlier.


GR
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11th December 2011
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WHERE'S JEFF?

Comes in...rustles some feathers and doesn't return...........


a true artist........leave them wanting more.





Thank you for the read all!



will be watching
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11th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Price View Post
ISRCs are a bunch of number and digits that you can choose to have associated with a song. Sort of like a UPC for a song

The RIAA sells them to artists for a fee

they claim this allows songs to be tracked in the digital music industry, they are wrong (and this would also mean that every artist in the US would have to pay the RIAA money for a code so they could "track" their sales).

The truth is as follows

Currently,

- ISRCs are not used by digital music stores for tracking of information
- ISRCS are not used by any Performing Rights Organization to track public performances
- ISRCS are not used by any mechanical royalty collection agency for collection or administration of royalties.
- ISRCS are not required by any law – be it state, federal or international
- Entities like an iTunes do not require ISRC codes in order for a song to be made available to buy and accounted back on
- There is no central database of ISRC used by any entity for tracking or royalty payments
- SoundExchange does not use ISRC codes

IN other words, they serve no purpose beyond you paying the RIAA some money

Jeff
Wow, I'm with the others. Thanks, Jeff, for posting this & showing true colors. I'll stop recommending clients to Tunecore effective immediately. (Just did exactly that 3 days ago - already sent an email retraction with reference to this thread)

So, if iTunes requires ISRCs, and Tunecore is distributing your material through iTunes, yet Tunecore claims to not use ISRCs, does that mean that Tunecore has some special agreement with iTunes foregoing the requirement or that Tunecore is assigning their own ISRCs to your songs with themselves as the publisher, thereby (as the OP eluded to with his "scary conspiracy undertone" comment) owning your digital distro rights forever unless you pay them every year?
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11th December 2011
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After a little looking around on TC's site, I think these faq items answer a couple questions that were asked:


Quote:
How do I get my free UPC/Song IDs from TuneCore before I upload?
We provide you with free UPCs and Song IDs if you leave the optional ISRC field blank...
So, the only way to get a "free" UPC code is to NOT have an ISRC?

Quote:
How do I take down my music from stores?
If you decide to remove your music, please know that:
All stores will permanently remove any reviews and comments
Your songs will be removed from any store playlists that include your music.
This music will be removed from your TuneCore Media Player(s).
If you decide to re-release this music you cannot use the same UPC/Song IDs as stores consider each release to be a new product.
So, you can take down your material, but the UPC is no longer valid.

And, finally, if you don't pay your renewal fee...

Quote:
Why was my music removed from stores?

In order for your music to remain live in stores for another year, you have to pay for its renewal fee. If the renewal fee has not been paid for 42 days after the renewal date, we automatically take down your music from stores.

We do send notifications to your account's registered email address before and after the renewal date, giving you a 42 day grace period to pay.

Once a release is removed from the stores, it is considered final and cannot be reversed.
So, to stay on topic (and maybe even answer the OP's original question?), I suppose it appears that the TC "Song ID's" are valid only for digital distribution through TC, and ISRC's are valid everywhere.
rikkpalmer
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11th December 2011
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Granted this is not from Jeff, but this is what I was told on the tuncore forum if you would like a good read.

ISRC vs. TuneCore Song ID - TuneCore Message Board

I think iTunes is doing a disservice to the recording community and independent music society as a whole if they allow tuncore to distribute using these made up non standardized codes. Especially when there is so much evidence that it is occurring.

I really don't understand how the RIAA allows them to be a member?

RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America


As for Tuncore, Every reply I get from them is filled with contradictions. It just reminds you that they are just another big business looking to make a quick buck at any cost possible. I most certainly will never recommend them to my clients again and hope to pass on all the information I find to as many people as possible.

This went from a very innocent question to a flood of WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!

-rikk
rikkpalmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
After a little looking around on TC's site, I think these faq items answer a couple questions that were asked:




So, the only way to get a "free" UPC code is to NOT have an ISRC?



So, you can take down your material, but the UPC is no longer valid.

And, finally, if you don't pay your renewal fee...



So, to stay on topic (and maybe even answer the OP's original question?), I suppose it appears that the TC "Song ID's" are valid only for digital distribution through TC, and ISRC's are valid everywhere.

Thanks for this tho!

-rikk
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12th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post

- All major record company's tracks have the USRC code, as well all label which get distributed thru a major also have thew ISRC code. Also most independent label have th ISRC code in the sub-data, it would be not smart to not having the ISRC code in the sub-data, because then nobody ever sees a cent of air-play royalties.
No argument about CD's but I still haven't found any evidence of ISRC's in download file metadata. I used the Jaikoz tag editor (mentioned in several other threads here) to look at several download tracks from Amazon and several from iTunes, all published by major record companies. There were no ISRC codes in any of them.
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12th December 2011
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i would add that there's is a way to encode the ISRC code into the id3 tags on an MP3 file... if it's any use, that's a different bag altogether...
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13th December 2011
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“So you tell me, what value is there to an ISRC - a made up name for a bunch of numbers that you have to pay the RIAA for that serve no purpose,” – Jeff CEO tuncore

So much needs to be said here.

What value is there to an ISRC? What value is there to the dollar? The answer to both questions is none. There is no value unless we believe there is value. The code is not what I am defending it’s the ideas behind it.

What the ISRC code does for me is it puts me on an equal playing field, the same as “Big Label Artists”. Before the Internet, artists were paid by the CD sales and if the song was played on radio the artist would receive royalties. That’s why you joined BMI, ASCAP. To get paid. The problem was how music was tracked as being played. It was impossible for them to make sure each play was accurately tracked. The system allowed those who had the majority of plays to receive all the money while the little guys were lucky to see anything.

Fast forward to today. Now we have radio, Internet radio, streaming, digital downloads, and guess what… your music is now global once it hits the Internet. So-many more opportunities for your music to be heard internationally, so-many more ways for an artist to make money.

Enter ifpi (IFPI), & iso (ISO - International Organization for Standardization), and an International standard was born. The ISRC code (International Standard Recording Code). NOTICE NOT DEVELOPED BY THE RIAA. In 2000 the RIAA adopted this standard, and to obtain this code you can go through (ISRC - International Standard Recording Code). You will receive a code that starts with US for United States or now QM is also used.

Imagine this… An artist releases their track, it’s played in Germany – they get paid, it’s downloaded in Japan – they get paid, it’s streamed on a podcast in Oklahoma – they get paid. Every time the song is listened to or downloaded it is registered and entered into a database and the artist gets paid. If we can clone animals, make invisible fabric, split atoms… we can do this! With the social media revolution and friends sharing what they believe is quality music. This will allow music to be judged on the quality of its content, not the depth of the pocketbooks behind it or efficiency of its marketing team.

But if large players in this game make up their own rules…

“-ISRCS are not required by any law – be it state, federal or international”-Jeff Founder tuncore.

It’s too bad we have to make laws to make people play by the rules. When we used to play games my little niece would make up her own rules as the game went on, so she would always win. Fun for her, but that doesn’t make for a good (fair) game, but then again she was five.





“- SoundExchange does not use ISRC codes to track or make payments” –Jeff President tuncore

This is a lie or a severe skew of the truth. SoundExchange does not solely use ISRC codes; album title and label must be used if ISRC cannot be found. So I agree some work needs to be done here. Broadcasters must be provided with information on how to correctly read ISRC codes off of their media so it can be reported accurately. This is an area where if we address there is a problem, it can be fixed. Remember we are the atom smashers, so it can be done.

“A distributor can distribute a track to iTunes without an ISRC code and simply fill in a unique vendor ID field which is comprised of up to 256 alphanumeric characters” –Jeff CEO/Founder tuncore

Why then does iTunes ask for ISRC codes and not “unique vendor IDs”*? And why then do you fill out your codes to the same format as an ISRC code if you have 256 alphanumeric characters to choose from? TC8FF110001 is an ISRC code from the Turks and Caicos**. I find that interesting/confusing/scary.

*(Apple - iTunes - Partner Programs - Content Providers)
**(ISO - Page not found elements.htm)

What I don’t understand is why you have not been kicked off of iTunes.

“Our legal agreements with the digital music stores state we use TuneCore song identifiers, not ISRC codes, as the identifier” - Jeff President/CEO tuncore

If this is true, (I haven’t read your legal agreements) this is sad for the future of the independent musician and another victory for big business. I would recommend anyone who believes in this concept complain to your distributors for not enforcing INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS. In this case I believe that if iTunes is aware of what you are doing, they are doing the music industry a disservice.

To make this concept work we all need to work together. If you champion for independent musicians why would you act in this fashion, Jeff?

“No little red riding hood - I am not a wolf, I am your grandma.” -wolf

Jeff I realize you’re a CEO and this is your job, but sometimes there is more to it than saving a couple bucks in fees. You have to think big picture.

-rikk palmer
rikkpalmer
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13th December 2011
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13th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
Does RIAA really charge a fee per allocated ISRC code?

Or is it in the USA the same as elsewhere, you pay a one time restristration fee, and the allocation of the code is free no matter how many thousands of tracks you must allocate a code to?
It's a one time $75 registration fee. They didn't even charge that until a year ago.
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14th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
that's real cost effective,

here the one time IFPI member restristration fee costs $580 USD, in Germany € 250
i paid about 50 dollars for my first code, my company's code was free...
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