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#61
15th December 2011
Old 15th December 2011
  #61
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Sorry to burst bubbles here - but what I state is dead on, 100% accurate and true. You have been misled.

iTunes does NOT require ISRC codes - you can leave the metadata field blank and it will accept the track.

How do I know this? We have done it. I also spoke directly with Apple about it before we did it.

In regards to how how do I know the RIAA make money off it, they contacted me directly about two and a half years ago and threatened to sue TuneCore unless TuneCore bought ISRC codes from the RIAA. In the words of the person that contacted me it was a "shakedown" as they said TuneCore was "taking money out of their pocket".

I stated to them what I have posted here - there is no value nor functions to ISRC codes.

They are not used by PROs to track public performances, they are not used by SoundExchange, they are not required for digital distribution, there is no law that requires them, there is no central database that is used by all. They are simply arbitrary numbers that do not serve the purpose they were intended.

Further, there is a charge for these codes that do not serve the purpose they intend

As one hard example, I literally could use the ISRC code from "Beat It" as the ISRC code for my own song, send it to iTunes and iTunes will accept the track and still pay me, not Columbia Records.

Same on the publishing side.

In regards to costs, they use to charge by the ISRC - they have gone through some different pricing models over the years

BUt this I can assure you - TuneCore does not use ISRC codes, never has, and yet it is the largest music distribution company on the planet. Every single one of our customers has been paid every penny of their money.

Ober 12% of the music in iTunes was placed there by TuneCore.
Over 500,000,000 tracks have been sold or streamed from these tracks across all global music services
Over a quarter billion dollars has been earned by our customers

There also have been no conflicts with PROs, licenses, SoundExchange or anything else you can fathom

And over 99% of these tracks have no ISRC code.

Why?

because ISRC codes do not do what they tell you they do

You have simply been misled

There is no TuneCore song ID vs. ISRC - someone on this group made that up to try to be inflammatory

The truth is there is a system for the PROs governed by CISAC that issues unique identifiers at the song level that are not ISRCs

The digital stores issues their own identifiers

Thats it

My anger with the system is the made you pay them for something that simply does not do what they say.

In my opinion, they fooled you and took your money and it makes me sick.

Jeff
TuneCore
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#62
15th December 2011
Old 15th December 2011
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Price View Post
Sorry to burst bubbles here - but what I state is dead on, 100% accurate and true. You have been misled.

iTunes does NOT require ISRC codes - you can leave the metadata field blank and it will accept the track.

How do I know this? We have done it. I also spoke directly with Apple about it before we did it.

In regards to how how do I know the RIAA make money off it, they contacted me directly about two and a half years ago and threatened to sue TuneCore unless TuneCore bought ISRC codes from the RIAA. In the words of the person that contacted me it was a "shakedown" as they said TuneCore was "taking money out of their pocket".

I stated to them what I have posted here - there is no value nor functions to ISRC codes.

They are not used by PROs to track public performances, they are not used by SoundExchange, they are not required for digital distribution, there is no law that requires them, there is no central database that is used by all. They are simply arbitrary numbers that do not serve the purpose they were intended.

Further, there is a charge for these codes that do not serve the purpose they intend

As one hard example, I literally could use the ISRC code from "Beat It" as the ISRC code for my own song, send it to iTunes and iTunes will accept the track and still pay me, not Columbia Records.

Same on the publishing side.

In regards to costs, they use to charge by the ISRC - they have gone through some different pricing models over the years

BUt this I can assure you - TuneCore does not use ISRC codes, never has, and yet it is the largest music distribution company on the planet. Every single one of our customers has been paid every penny of their money.

Ober 12% of the music in iTunes was placed there by TuneCore.
Over 500,000,000 tracks have been sold or streamed from these tracks across all global music services
Over a quarter billion dollars has been earned by our customers

There also have been no conflicts with PROs, licenses, SoundExchange or anything else you can fathom

And over 99% of these tracks have no ISRC code.

Why?

because ISRC codes do not do what they tell you they do

You have simply been misled

There is no TuneCore song ID vs. ISRC - someone on this group made that up to try to be inflammatory

The truth is there is a system for the PROs governed by CISAC that issues unique identifiers at the song level that are not ISRCs

The digital stores issues their own identifiers

Thats it

My anger with the system is the made you pay them for something that simply does not do what they say.

In my opinion, they fooled you and took your money and it makes me sick.

Jeff
TuneCore
absolutely unbelievable...
rikkpalmer
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#63
15th December 2011
Old 15th December 2011
  #63
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Am I wrong to think that it would be in the independent artist’s best interest to be represented by ONE international code and database. EVEN if we are not truly there yet with the ISRC.

You get play, you get paid. Regardless of where you are… I’ve seen great artists and songs not get what they disserve, and have seen crap thrive because of the business and marketing power behind it. This seams like the way to go. With Spotify for example if you are integrating social media and music - people will listen to what is good and recommended by their friends. Not just what ever can afford to make it to the radio.

You make the recording, you get the code, you encoded it to your physical and digital media, and then whatever music service - be it broadcast or download, would be able to efficiently and accurately track it back to the artist.

What benefit do we as artist’s get out of having everyone (Especially “the largest music distribution company on the planet”) using whatever system they feel like?

It doesn’t feel like “Big Brother” to me, because this is something we want to track… Right? Wrong?.....


-rikk palmer
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#64
15th December 2011
Old 15th December 2011
  #64
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My understanding is that ISRC was widely adopted by broadcasters outside the United States. I also understand that US music that is getting worldwide exposure should expect more than 2/3 of its income from outside the United States due to much higher royalty rates. I also know that my friends who programmed music for satellite radio needed to provide ISRC codes to XM.

Now it is true that PROs have begun using "fingerprinting" technology to identify music that is being streamed and broadcast however I still have serious doubts about ignoring ISRCs being a very good idea for artists.
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rikkpalmer
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#65
15th December 2011
Old 15th December 2011
  #65
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"There is no TuneCore song ID vs. ISRC - someone on this group made that up to try to be inflammatory" - jeff ceo tuncore

"No actually a client asked me and was concerned about the difference and this is me trying to get answers, because I had been recommending your services." -rikk palmer


"BUt this I can assure you - TuneCore does not use ISRC codes, never has. " - Jeff

This is why I think your sketchy because you say things and then I keep finding contrary statements.

via this site. peter wells claiming tuncore did use ISRC codes in 2007.
What is an ISDN# and how does one obtain one?



-rikk palmer
#66
15th December 2011
Old 15th December 2011
  #66
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Hey guys! Well I just uploaded a song to Tunecore a month ago. $9.99 a year fee. NO ISRC required, although they give you the option to write it on there.

Hope i made a good choice. Have an album almost done...so now I'm not sure where to publish it. Thanks for this thread!

-Bex
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#67
16th December 2011
Old 16th December 2011
  #67
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Twitter Wuhhhh?


Posted by: @TuneCore Peter Wells & Chris

@MasterMarsh posted another lenghty reply in Gear Slutz. Im truly sorry, but they took your money for a useless code. They screwed you.
21 hours ago

Posted by: @TuneCore Peter Wells & Chris

@MasterMarsh I'm sorry, but you have it dead wrong. I know its confusing, but Im dead on right. - Jeff
21 hours ago


Sorry man, this is the first I even *posted* to this thread so I'm not sure why I'm drawing your twitter fire. As I've not put forth an opinion on the subject - I cannot be 'dead wrong' and as I've never purchased an ISRC code - I likewise have not been 'screwed' by anyone from the RIAA though I do appreciate your concern.

Thanks for blowing up my Twitter page though!
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#68
16th December 2011
Old 16th December 2011
  #68
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I want some twitter action... I barely use my account. Kinda like my ISRC registrant code which I paid a whopping $0 with $0 renewal fees for. Tune Core is probably cheaper, since they don't take my money like the RIAA did.
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#69
16th December 2011
Old 16th December 2011
  #69
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Funny how this thread gets even more bizarre..

there's an old saying round here.. "the fish dies by the mouth"

I am definitely not doing any business with Tunecore... what an act..
#70
16th December 2011
Old 16th December 2011
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
As long it sells and you get your sales statements and money transferred, you can't do anything wrong.

I am rather curious what this firm does in promoting their clients who pay $9.99 per song and year.
There seems to be a lot of options for promotion (e.i. getting played on internet radio etc etc) but all comes at a price. Which I understand. I dont expect anyone to help me out for $10 LOL...although it would be nice.

It seems that you can get rewarded by being on their top 20 charts- as that would also add to your promotion. Unfortunately by that point you probably dont NEED additional promotion XD

I am also curious about the statistics in which you receive two months after your official launch on the internet stores. I have heard that the analytics aren't that great through tunecore.
But I think that is what Jeff was arguing originally...that ISRC data was null? I'm way too new to say either way, but as a new producer I REEAAALLY want to know!


Also, someone really should clear up the ISRC payment thing, because it directly states on Tuncore's page:

"We provide you with free UPCs and Song IDs if you leave the optional ISRC field blank.

To get your UPC, just click to create an album, single or ringtone and once you enter the album title, artist name, etc on the first page, a UPC will automatically be generated for you if you do not have your own. To get your Song IDs, go ahead and enter the song names on the "My Songs" page. Once you click save after entering each song name, a Song ID will be automatically generated for you.

This information will be saved in your account until you're ready to upload.

You do not need ISRC codes to use TuneCore. They are not required for digital distribution, publishers or public performance agencies. TuneCore song IDs function just the same as ISRCs and are used with the stores to track your individual song sales. If you want ISRCs, you may need to pay a fee to the USISRC organization (in the U.S.) and register for them.

You Might Also Find This Helpful: (cont'd)"

If that isnt true that is pretty misleading. I can see it though because to publish anything, in order to copyright the material you always have to pay a fee right?
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#71
16th December 2011
Old 16th December 2011
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
Now that's a cozy place.

Love it!
Thanks Angelo!
#72
17th December 2011
Old 17th December 2011
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeloClematide View Post
The ISRC code is only used for data accumulation by radio stations, how much time in seconds the radio aired your songs, and this data is forwarded to the author societies.

Then the author society makes the payment of the royalties to the composer/lyricist/publisher on the base of this data, and this only in countries where the radio station collect the ISRC data, in other words, in the USA no ISRC data is collected by radio stations.
Very good to know! thanks a lot
#73
20th December 2011
Old 20th December 2011
  #73
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@rikkpalmer

I have to admit, Im just not following. You seem to be at war with, well, Im not sure. I have to assume its not with TuneCore as its our mission in life to make things better for musicians.

This thing with ISRC codes as a rally point is not something I understand. That is, they do not serve the purpose the seller of them says they do.

And this upsets me as people paid for something they did not need to pay for.

jeff
#74
20th December 2011
Old 20th December 2011
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Price View Post
@rikkpalmer

I have to admit, Im just not following. You seem to be at war with, well, Im not sure. I have to assume its not with TuneCore as its our mission in life to make things better for musicians.

This thing with ISRC codes as a rally point is not something I understand. That is, they do not serve the purpose the seller of them says they do.

And this upsets me as people paid for something they did not need to pay for.

jeff
I think the point where you have turned everyone against you is you are repeatedly lying to us. Many if not all of us on this thread have dealt with ISRC on a daily basis. You keep talking about money changing hands which you, I, and any musician who's been around for more than 5 months knows is untrue. I have a registrant code, and it was certainly free. I can point my clients to free ISRC codes, and if they're a heavy user it's worth the ONE TIME $75 application fee for their own registrant code.

Anyhow, rikkpalmer clearly isn't fully educated on the subject and was curious if he should invest in your product, so came for some advice. It would have been great if someone from the company came and explained the benefits of Tune Core, but instead you decided to go off about ISRC's and in the process clearly lied at several points, all the while never saying a thing about your company. This is why people are upset, and you have clearly lost a few supporters here.

By the way, in the future there are much better ways to argue than repeating the words "you are wrong" and "I am right" the facts are out there and that's simply inflammatory. I also haven't seen one person connect ISRCs and royalties here, but you keep arguing about it.
#75
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
  #75
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@ Rob Murray

Sadly, prior to posting here, Rikki came to the TuneCore forum and began a pretty aggressive onslaught against us there. he then expand to Twitter and then began the attack on this board.

Im usually a Gear Slutz lurker (been on it for over eight years), but have had the opportunity of being invited as a guest contributor and do post from time to time.

In regards to ISRCs and the music industry, some background may help? I ran spinART Records from 1991 - 2005 with my partner Joel (releases from the Pixies, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Church, Clem Snide, Camper Van Beethoven, Apples In Stereo and about 220 others)

I got lucky, I got to be involved in something I loved and have a career. We did not own masters or publishing, did 50/50 Net profit splits.

In 1997, I got lucky again and met Gene/Bob, they had a new idea, they wanted to make music available for people to buy on line as MP3s and eMusic was born; the first on-line digital music store. I ran their NY office and was in charge in licensing music from labels. It was one hell of a learning experience and I got into the digital sector at the birth of it.

Then came TuneCore. In 2005, I was tired of watching artists and musicians get screwed. That is, before the launch of TuneCore, all artists had to give up rights and a % of their money in order to get their music onto the shelf of iTunes.

It used to be when you recorded an album , you wanted it on the shelves of the places people went to buy it (i.e. Walmart). Walmart only took the call of the majors. The majors had bloated inefficient infrastructures that made plastic discs and packed them onto trucks and shipped them to Walmart. When the CD sold, the artist made no money as they were still recouping the advance given to them to record the masters that they than had to assign ownership of to the label.

The barriers to access to place a media file on the iTunes server are very different, but the old business model still existed. None of the efficiencies were passed onto the artist. This infuriated me and I wanted to change it, so I did

I started TuneCore. It allows anyone that creates music access to distribution under a new model – you go to a website, upload a file, pick the stores you want your music to be distributed to. You keep all your copyrights, and when the music sells you get 100% of the revenue (TuneCore takes no % of the revenue). TuneCore charges a flat fee for this service.

For the first time all artists could have access to distribution and have a clear flat rate as to how much it would cost to distribute. From there it is up to them to determine if we are a fit.

In addition to launching TuneCore, I also played an active role in founding A2IM – a counterpart to the RIAA representing Indie labels. I sat on the new media committee for years and resigned about 2 years ago as I believed A2IM was not treating the artist as label properly.

My single passion in life is to stop artists from getting screwed. Provide information and knowledge to allow the artists/songwriter etc to make their own choices and provide options

This is a tough tough industry, and anything I can do to level the playing field and improve things I will do, no matter how small the impact.

In regards to ISRC codes, what I have written is correct. It upsets me quite a bit that anyone has paid anything for them. They do not serve the purpose the entity they claim to.

IN regards to the costs, if you look over the history of ISRCs over the past five years, you will note a change in how they charge for them. They did use to charge by the code, then they moved into allowing bulk purchases at a discount and now have this new model.

in addition, they were sold but the RIAA directly and over time they shifted the name of the entity that sold them.

What upsets me is any of you paying for them as they do not do what they say they do. There is no advantage or purpose to them. I could re-list what I wrote before, but it seems a bit redundant.

They concept behind them is a good one. There should be one central database allowing all tracking of all songs at both the master and composition level. There is not.

PROs (ASCAP/BMI/PRS/APRA/GEMA etc) do not use ISRCs as an identifier to track or report revenue. SoundExchange does not use them. The digital stores do not use them. Radio stations are now monitored via digital fingerprinting and they do not use them

And so yes, it confuses me why this information, which is valid, solid information that provides transparency into this industry is rejected so quickly

You should be told the truth – and with this information you make the decisions you deem appropriate.
rikkpalmer
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#76
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Price View Post
@ Rob Murray

1) "Sadly, prior to posting here, Rikki came to the TuneCore forum and began a pretty aggressive onslaught against us there. he then expand to Twitter and then began the attack on this board."
-FYI this thread was my first post... when you dropped the bomb about ISRC codes being bs and then and left I went to your forum to get answers... and if you can read I got lies. You called it "The ISRC" Like it was some evil empire, not a code. Clearly to confuse people who do not know what is going on. I have no idea what the twitter thing is you are talking about. I always thought twitter was lame, but I do think it is awesome other people obviously are chiming in then!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Price View Post
2) My single passion in life is to stop artists from getting screwed. Provide information and knowledge to allow the artists/songwriter etc to make their own choices and provide options
Doesn't have to be correct information and knowledge apparently. Or you at least think you have free range to skew it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Price View Post
3) "They concept behind them is a good one. There should be one central database allowing all tracking of all songs at both the master and composition level. There is not."
- Maybe it's because people like you make up their own codes? THAT is my point. I am glad that I am starting to at least convince you of the benefits. Now If what you say in quote 2 is true, use your effluence and help establish and adopt global standards. You will seam much less like a scam. Please and Thank You.



-rikk palmer
#77
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
  #77
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At least the awareness of the subject had been brought up a bit . Our fearless legislators seem to be finally getting around to an attempt of dealing with all the rapid changes that tech has brought ...( SOPA)


I appreciate Jeff sticking to his beliefs in a hostile environment ; every artist should do his/her due diligence and investigate this ... Of course that"s the flip side of this brave new age ; maybe the bad old days saw lot's of artist getting screwed , but now all artist are probably producing less viable art because they have to wear so many varied and broad hats. How many folks can pull off the MBA crossed with legal eagle balanced with an artsy-fartsy creative streak ?? Not many I suspect .
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#78
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
  #78
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Hi everyone,

I’m new to Gearslutz and I’m glad that one of the regulars alerted me to the thread on ISRC because I am the Executive Director of both the International ISRC Agency and the US National ISRC Agency. I do this on contract to the bodies that have been appointed to these roles: IFPI (appointed by ISO) and RIAA (appointed by the International ISRC Agency) respectively. I’ve been doing the international job for 15 years and the US one for five.

I wanted to note here that we disagree with Jeff Price on much of what he says – either as a matter of opinion or of fact. I haven’t wanted to set up a slanging match in a public forum as Jeff and I are due to chat informally but that hasn’t happened yet.

The ISRC is the ISO standard identifier for sound recordings and music video recordings. That doesn’t itself mean it’s useful but it is widely accepted that it is the preferred identifier for such recordings. Don’t confuse them with musical works (songs or compositions) which have their own identifier – ISWC – which is administered by CISAC (not to be confused with SESAC) and its network of music rights societies.

ISRC does date from a time when there was a little more self discipline in the industry and does not have good checks against abuse. That is something we are working on (see below). However it is basically sound and works while people don’t try to break it, whether through ignorance or mendacity.

I’m very happy to answer specific questions whether posted here or sent to isrc@ifpi.org. However let me address a few of the points that have come up.

Costs

The US National ISRC Agency has never to my knowledge charged by the code. RIAA used to swallow the entire cost of operating the agency but the launch of the iTunes Store created a massive demand for registrant codes and we reluctantly introduced a $75 fee to issue a prefix. That prefix allows you to assign 100,000 codes a year without further cost so we’re proud that it’s the least expensive media identifier out there.

Many countries operate their agencies without making a charge. Typically it is the Music Licensing Company (the entity that collects from radio stations, clubs, bars etc and distributes to recording owners). It says something about their enthusiasm for ISRC that they do this.

Other countries make a nominal charge to cover costs. Note that ISO does not permit charges that do more than recover costs.

Implementation

Most music services and licensing entities will accept an ISRC as part of the metadata record for a track. Typically they do not use it as a primary identifier (just as a retailer may know your home address but will still allocate a customer number to you). It does become very useful in de-duplicating multiple registrations – for instance when a track is registered with Music Licensing Companies in several places.

Services will almost always report your sales against the ISRC of the track – which is easier for your computer to deal with than track names, and will avoid ambiguity when there are radio edits, live versions etc.

We expect that in time more services to place more reliance on ISRC - and we believe that will be good for discovery (finding new music that your friends have recommended), efficient royalty processing and interoperability. Many big names in music are pushing for global registries of music right now and while some of what they are proposing is controversial, the “identity management” layer of having a unique identifier for each recording is widely accepted.

ISRC Managers

We recognise that small labels and independent artists are much better at making music than at doing the admin. For this reason we authorise a number of entities to assign ISRCs for them. This works really well though we are always a bit worried that new codes are being assigned to tracks that already have them.

To make sure no-one is a free-rider, we make a charge for this facility on a sliding scale that accommodates neighbourhood studios and multinational aggregators. Because the charge is reasonable and the small labels are saving the $75 fee, this is all pretty equitable.

Tunecore

I first came across Tunecore when they started assigning their own “ISRCs” without reference to the folks who run the ISRC system. Unfortunately they decided to allocate codes using “US-TC1”, “US-TC2” etc. without realising that this trampled all over some legitimate indie labels that had already been allocated them. We sorted that mess out by apologising to the affected labels and giving them new codes. At that point our lawyers talked to their lawyers and asked them to “play nice”. I don’t know how a “please get your tanks off my lawn” message was received as a “shakedown” threat. I was much more concerned to get them to stop colliding with legitimate users, though they were of course free-riding on the ISRC Manager system.

Tunecore agreed to stop calling its codes “ISRC” and to change the code syntax to avoid confusion. They did the first but their actions on the second meant that instead of trampling on a few indies, their landing craft occupied the whole of the Turks and Caicos Islands! They used the same syntax with a “TC” prefix where the ISO country code lives. That is allocated by ISO to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Now I’ll be happy to meet fellow Gearslutz members in the Turks for a "fact finding" visit but that proud territory has a great musical tradition in ripsaw music. We cannot now issue registrants in the Turks and Caicos with the correct country code because Tunecore has polluted that part of the country code namespace.

I don’t know why Tunecore see ISRC as “the man”. Nothing could be further from the truth and even though RIAA provides the service in the US, it does so on the basis of non-discrimination. I work closely with indie organisations and take their views very seriously. We do not get complaints from actual indies.

Evolution

For years I have been pressing for a central registry of ISRC codes and I have now got approval for a revision of the ISO standard to implement one. I’ll be happy to explain this to anyone interested but it will not be a rights management database – it will just record the ISRC and some basic data about the track so that the assignment is clear and unique. Other people who want to track ownership, royalties etc., can do so using the code, secure in the knowledge that everyone is using the code to refer to the same track.

Finally, as well as taking questions here or by email, I am happy to be invited to industry events (especially the interesting ones) to give a tutorial on ISRC, though it sounds as if most of the good folks here are already well briefed.

Best regards for the festive season,

Paul

Paul Jessop
Executive Director, International ISRC Agency
Executive Director, US National ISRC Agency
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#79
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
  #79
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I appreciate Paul adding more information to this conversation. It's good information, and all artists should have access to it in order to then make the decisions they deem best suited for their goals.

Paul, unfortunately, has stated somethings that are false - I don't think he has done it intentionally, but nevertheless its incorrect.

In regards to the RIAA threatening TuneCore and the word "shakedown", I wish I could have made this stuff up.

I was at a meeting a major label. I was stopped in the hall on the way out and was told in person by a sitting member of the ISRC board of directors (who also is an high level exec at one of the majors) that TuneCore was going to be sued by the RIAA unless TuneCore agreed to pay the RIAA for ISRC codes that it did not need. He then stated it was a "shakedown as we were costing them money as people were discovering they did not need ISRC codes for distribution".

There was no lack of clarity in what he stated. At that point, I was forced to bring in out of house legal council to respond to the RIAA's threatened litigation.

As one can imagine the follow up phone call from the RIAA to TuneCore's council was not friendly.

Next, what Paul states is just plain and simple factually correct, TuneCore could not exist nor function if what Paul states is true.

The simple truth remains:

ISRCs are not used by digital music stores to track sales. Each store use its own unique identifier to attach to a song. They do not use ISRC codes.

You do not need an ISRC code to get into a digital store nor to assure you get payments.

ISRC codes do not direct money to a rights holder from a digital store.

As one example iTunes does not require ISRC codes in a metadata field to include the track in its store.

We have done this. We know it to be true.

Further, the new Google music allows any musician to go to Google and upload songs directly to its system. The song must have an identifier, but it does not have to be an ISRC code. The field is called "Sound Recording Identifier", not "ISRC".

To repeat, both Google and Apple do not require ISRC codes for distribution.

This quite clearly contradicts Paul's statements.

Further, SoundExchange does not use ISRC codes to track or remit payments. This is not speculation, it comes straight from SoundExchange not to mention it makes logical sense. Pandora reports a playlist of songs not at an ISRC level but at a artist name, album name, label level. In addition, SoundExchange also pays lead performers, not just the owner of the master. On many occasions, there is no connection between the lead performer and the owner of the master.

Third, PROs do not use ISRC codes to track or administer public performances. This again is not speculation. THe parent organization to the PROs (called CISAC) has crested its own unique identifier - called an ISWC code - that it uses with their registration of compositions (songs)/ They too do not use ISRC codes. All the PROs globally use the ISWC code for tracking.

In regards to Turk and Caicos, I have never been, but it sounds cool. But for me, TC =TuneCore.

My education in the world of ISRCs was a journey. It did not start this way. I, like many of you, accepted the information being given to me by one entity - at that time it was the RIAA

Over time I tripped over things - I learned (quite by mistake) that an ISRC was not needed for digital distribution. This confused me as it went counter to the statement that was made to me, that ISRCs were needed for digital distribution

So I asked people at the digital music stores. I learned about their systems. I came up with scenarios and asked them what would happen in those scenarios. I was honestly stunned by the response, ISRC codes were just served no purpose for them. They actually made things worse, not better.

As an example, the same recording of a song could appear on two different albums (i.e. a soundtrack and an original album)

If the ISRC was used, then it would not allow the right entity to be paid as the ISRC mapped to just one entity.

Then came the journey to understand how this all came about. I learned there was no law requiring them, I learned there was no central ISRC code database used by any entity.

I found this hard to believe, so I dug further. I learned the PROs do not use them. I learned SoundExchange does not use them

And still, it left me confused, how can this thing I was told was a unique identifier to a specific song be meaningless. This made no sense, it went against everything I was told

And so I dug deeper, trying to understand if what I learned could be correct. Could the RIAA's statement that every musician in America must pay the RIAA (at the time they sold individual codes) money in order to have the RIAA issue them an ISRC code so they could be tracked (which I did find kind of scary as the RIAA represents the labels, not the artists) be wrong?

And then I thought about cover songs. If I record "Let It Be" and got an ISRC it would have a different ISRC than the original. Therefore, it could not be linked back to the songwriters

Then I realize, how in the world do you know if "Let It Be" is even a cover of "let It Be", it could just be a song with the same name.

What concerns me is not that someone is the man or not - what concerns me is not telling the truth.

The RIAA, and Paul, need to be honest about how things work vs how they would like them to work

They need to acknowledge that yes, all of you can create a song and put it into the ecosystem of distribution and publishing without an ISRC and you will get paid, there are no conflicts, there is no harm

They should not use fear as a tactic to get your to do what they want you to do. They should be transparent and say "we have a goal of ABC. This is why that goal is important, and this is how we may be able to get there"

Then, with transparency, artists and entities like TuneCore may come to the same conclusion and work together to a common goal.

And so I end where I began, sadly, Paul is not providing all the information, he has an agenda - and there is nothing wrong with that.

The problem I have is not being open about the goal but instead providing false and/or incorrect information to attempt to get artists to do what they want.

The truth is, if you bought an ISRC code, actually paid money for it, as you thought it was needed for digital distribution, SoundExchange or the PROs, you bought something you did not need.

And thats my issue - artists have gotten treated poorly over the years. They deserve the truth, they are smart enough to make the right decisions. Give them the knowledge and allow them to make their own choices.

I believe you have the right to choose what you like.

jeff
#80
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
  #80
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Jeff,

I wanted to read your post a few moments ago but the black helicopters were hovering so close that I couldn't focus. I now understand that you really believe that ISRC is part of a giant conspiracy to make every independent musician pay the RIAA for the right to be tracked by them.

I repeat we have have never made a charge to registrants based on the number of codes they allocated. I'm sure the wayback machine will allow you to see this. We went from totally free of charge to $75 for a registrant code for life.

I do have a goal but it is not the one you accuse me of. If you had sat with me at dull standards meetings you'd recognise it. The goal is that a readily and cheaply available code can voluntarily identify every recording whose owners want it identified so that people can identify it to buy/rent/subscribe/listen to it, owners can get paid when people do so and they can know what they are being paid for, owners can readily licence their recordings if they want to and money can reach the right folks quickly.

By the way, there is no ISRC Board of Directors (except the one that meets every Feb 30 in Area 51).

Paul
#81
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
  #81
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@ Paul

I know its fun to try to knock me personally, but can we please stick to the facts and not sidestep the issue

My issue is the information you state (and imply) is incorrect.

ISRC codes are not required for digital distribution, SoundExchange and PROs.

The suggestion to artists that they will only get paid if they use an ISRC code is false. The statement they they need them for digital services, SoundExchange and PROs to pay them is false.

So, for the record, is it factually correct to state that: an artist needs an ISRC code to get paid from digital distribution services, SoundExchange or the PROs.

This is a simple yes or no question. (feel free to answer from your black helicopter)

(On a side note, when I had my label spinART Records, we actually paid a per ISRC fee directly to the RIAA. Actually did the process on-line via its website.)

I understand your goal is to discredit me.

I think the best way to do that is to answer the above question and evidence to back it up

From my side, my opinion is moot. The facts are:

TuneCore customers sold over 500,000,000 units of music and earned over a quarter billion dollars. Over 99% of the tracks distributed had no ISRC code

Im sorry Paul, no matter how you want to frame it, ISRC codes are not needed and thats my issues.

You, and your organization, clearly and loudly imply they are needed (required).

So were you being honest when you stated artists needed them?

jeff
#82
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
  #82
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On a quick side note, although I know Paul's postings here suggest otherwise, he has been in direct contact with me since February 26th, 2009 - all via email to my TuneCore email address

Despite my disagreement with him, Paul did not send me those emails to display publicly.

With his permission, I would like to post them all here so those in this forum will have a more complete understanding of the issue.

The emails show that Paul was aware of the threatened litigation against TuneCore by the RIAA in regards to ISRC codes.

Again, my issue is not about central databases etc, the mission of TuneCore is to get all artists and songwriters paid.

My issue is about an entity charging a fee for something that does not do what it states it does. I would just like for there to be honesty and transparency. An artist should not be coerced into paying for something he/she does not need. They should be told the truth and allowed to make their own decision

The truth is, you do not need ISRC codes for digital distribution, the PROs and SoundExchange. Therefore, if you imply an artist does need them, and charge for them money for an ISRC, you have sold them something they did not need.

below is also an email date March, 2010 from a litigator at OMM - the firm we hired to represent us in regards to the RIAA's threatened lawsuit - I have scrubbed out the information I am not legally allowed to share

XXXX is the high level executive that sits on the board and was the messenger regarding the lawsuit. xxxx also represents the label he/she works at.

I cannot speak to how the RIAA was going to tabulate the charges to TuneCore, only that it was attempting to leverage us to get money out of us.

If Paul is correct, and there was no charge for ISRC codes, then I am not certain how they could have charged us.

From: "@omm.com>
Subject: RE: TuneCore
Date: March 12, 2010 12:05:58 AM EST
To: 'Jeff Price'
Cc: @OMM.com>

I spoke to xxxxx tonight. I've still not spoken to council at the RIAA, but likely will in the morning.

· He said the RIAA is upset because some of the numbers you are issuing are identical to "real" ISRCs issued by others. I asked whether that was true with regard to all 12 digits or just the last 5. He said that it was all 12. I said that didn't seem possible, and that TuneCore doesn't use a comparable numbering system any more. He did not respond.
· He said that some see TuneCore as a polluter for using its own numbering scheme. I said I didn't get the analogy. I said that the analogy that was more apt to me was that xxxx and its trade association were insisting that we purchase numbers for a numbering scheme that has no utility, and that it was anti-competitive and without justification, and seemed like someone going down the freeway and erecting their own toll plazas and raking in money they have no right to get. I mentioned the Sherman and Clayton Acts and the anti-trust laws.
· I said that one reason why you didn't want to adopt these was because the user data and compilations of it were proprietary and of value to the company. He said that the RIAA would issue you a series of numbers and not associate or "register" a given ISRC to a specific recording. I said that, if that's the RIAA's approach, why do they even care if TuneCore uses them at all. He said it was about "good will".

· He said that xxxx will pay the charges imposed by the RIAA. I said that there were a lot of non-xxxxx songs involved.
· He said I should have the conversation with the RIAA and then he, you, and I ought to talk further. I said that sounded fine, for now.


Let's talk tomorrow (Friday).

Last edited by Jeff Price; 22nd December 2011 at 01:48 AM.. Reason: typo
#83
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
  #83
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Jeff,

My post neither said nor implied that an ISRC is necessary to get a track into digital distribution. The US ISRC website just says that most digital distribution companies require it. That is what they have told us.

There are places where ISRC is mandatory: Brazil and Turkey at least. And I believe that Japan will only distribute performance royalties if you have an ISRC for the track. Do I hear screams of pain from those places? Not at all because it doesn't hurt.

I don't know who you were paying by the code for ISRCs. It wasn't RIAA because when I took over we were still receiving application forms by fax and the newish website has only ever been for allocating registrant codes. If we had a sophisticated ISRC allocation engine which could charge by the code I think I'd have found it by now.

Really Jeff, what is easier? Inventing a brand new code of your own which will never interoperate with the rest of the industry or fitting in with industry practice and being part of the community of music.

I am not trying to discredit Tunecore. I'm glad you are doing as well as you say and I'd really like to bring you into the fold. I think we can square the Turks and Caicos problem and make all those codes assigned to your clients work alongside the millions of ISRC codes that are assigned every year. This world is moving towards standards and interoperability - it needs to for cost reasons alone. The offer is there. I'm always happy to talk.

Paul
#84
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
  #84
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My issue still remains, the RIAA charged and charges for ISRC codes.

Its sales pitch on them implied quite strongly that all artist needed them to be able to get paid via the digital services, SoundExchange and the PROs.

This is simply false.

Therefore it was selling something that did not serve the purpose it claimed.

When it got caught for selling something that did not do what it was claimed it would do, it did not acknowledge the truth. Rather, it doubled-down and attacked my business by threatening litigation and demanded payment for useless ISRC codes.

A sitting board member of the RIAA that was part of the ISRC committee told me it was a "shakedown", his words, not mine.

THis concept was repeated to our lawyer

When we refused to be bullied into paying for a code that did not do what it claimed to do, and brought in a litigator to respond to the threat of being sued by the RIAA, the organization you work for asked for a payout to make it go away.

When we refused to do that, your organization began to insinuate to our customers that we were doing something wrong and they would not get paid (I have the original email from our customer when you and I first met around this issue as well as your responses that I would gladly post if you say its OK)

When we told our customers what you were telling them was not accurate your organization than began the sort of campaign and postings you see now on this forum

I do have the emails around all of this, and its quite unsettling to say the least.

The concept of all copyright holders being properly paid is something I adamantly believe in and support.

What I don't support is charging people for something that does not do what others say it does.

The challenge behind getting copyright holders is far far greater than this issue.

But lets start with the truth. Any of you that have paid any money in order to get an ISRC code as you believed you needed one for digital distribution, SoundExchange or to get paid via a PRO were misled

From here - we can begin to have a honest conversation on what/how we can do things. A pre-existing system is not right always the right solution just because its legacy....

jeff
rikkpalmer
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#85
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Price View Post
But lets start with the truth. Any of you that have paid any money in order to get an ISRC code as you believed you needed one for digital distribution, SoundExchange or to get paid via a PRO were misled


jeff
But if it is law in other countries already to have an ISRC code to get paid and you think your music has global appeal this is the benefit of an ISRC code!!! holy crap I finally got my answer!!!! TCSI codes wont bring me the japan audience.

Thanks guys!

-rikk palmer
rikkpalmer
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#86
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Price View Post

And then I thought about cover songs. If I record "Let It Be" and got an ISRC it would have a different ISRC than the original. Therefore, it could not be linked back to the songwriters

Then I realize, how in the world do you know if "Let It Be" is even a cover of "let It Be", it could just be a song with the same name.

jeff
(ISRC) International Standard Recording Code. The code identifies the recording not the song and this is precisely why we need a standard code to be able to identify one recording from another. Don't want to mislead people.


-rikk palmer
#87
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
  #87
Founder, CEO, President - Tunecore
 
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@Rikkpalmer

no, you do not need an ISRC code for Japan. There is no law that requires it.

As an example, if you use TuneCore and no ISRC code, and your music sells in Japan via iTunes etc, you still get paid.

Apple tracks the sale of your recording using its own unique identifier, it does not use an ISRC code. Apple must pay both the entity that owns the master and the songwriter/publisher. The laws in Japan only state how much must be paid to the songwriter/publisher, Apple then has to comply and assure they pay the songwriter. ISRCs play no role in this.

Artists are free to pay money for an ISRC code or are free not to pay money for an ISRC code and there will be no difference. Either way, you still get paid.

Further, Paul is wrong when he states you need a ISRC code to get paid as a songwriter from Japan. We know this as TuneCore collects and administer payments back to songwriters from Japan (TuneCore has a global publishing administration and songwriter service).

ISRC codes do not serve the purpose you are told they serve.

Once again, an incorrect statement has been made, this time claiming songwriters will not get paid in Japan if they do not use an official ISRC code

once again, this is wrong

An outside entity should not need to correct the governing body that issues ISRC codes.

Either they do not know the information, which means they are not educated in the sector, or they do, but choose to knowingly misrepresent.

jeff
#88
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
  #88
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Jeff,

This thread has become pointless as you misrepresent what people say.

I did not say you "need an ISRC code for Japan" or that "you need a ISRC code to get paid as a songwriter from Japan". What I said was "I believe that Japan will only distribute performance royalties if you have an ISRC for the track".

(i) this has nothing to do with songwriters. As I mentioned at the outset, musical compositions have a different indentifier scheme. ISRC identifies recordings not works.

(ii) I didn't say you need an ISRC to get paid for downloads etc.

(iii) I referred very clearly to "performance royalties" - monies distributed to labels from public performances (radio etc.)

I didn't represent this as gospel and I will check it out when I visit Japan in the New Year - but they have told me that having an ISRC for a track is a prerequisite to getting a distribution for airplay etc.

I am going to wrap some presents now and thank the studio professionals here for their interest.

Paul
#89
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
  #89
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Unfortunately, your incorrect comment caused Rikki to state:

"holy crap I finally got my answer!!!! TCSI codes wont bring me the japan audience."

so I responded to that

This is my point. The statements made by your organization are incorrect and/or misleading.

This means that either you do not know the answer or you are choosing to willfully misrepresent things. Either scenario is not too good.

This misinformation causes confusion in the market while simultaneously getting your organization paid for something that is not needed.

When this point was brought up to you - the response was not to work collectively to see how we could sort things out, it was to attempt to sue TuneCore to pay your organization money

When we would not do this, your organization then began to tell our customers things that were not true (i have the emails from our customers that you were CC-ed on and that you responded to)

When this did not work, you then began to post things like you see on this blog where you misrepresented the facts and, rather than answer the questions, chose to try to attack me personally.

And for the third time - may I post the emails that we have had between us dating back a few years that will once again show you were aware of many of these issues despite claiming in these postings you were not.

I have no personal grudge against you, I do not know you personally, and I will not resort to calling you names or suggesting you personally are crazy (I don't think you are)

Its the facts I have issue with.

Your organization and the RIAA have not been clear in providing correct information.

For example, an artist does not need an ISRC code for digital distribution nor to get paid from SoundExchange or a PRO

Prior to my posting here, most did not know this.

And these people paid you money for these codes. They did not need to do this. But your organization did not tell them this.

in an attempt to discredit me, you then suggested I lied in regards to the RIAA's threats against TuneCore unless it paid it money for ISRCs .

I then posted the exchange between our litigator and the opposing side that shows your organization asking to be paid.

I also have the previous correspondence between us where you state things that are not true and attempt to coerce TuneCore to do what you say or face some sort of consequence.

Again, with your ok, I can post those emails here.

But the root of the matter is this. The major labels, publishers, RIAA, IFPI, CISAC, PRS. APRA, SOCAN etc and every other major music organization were built for the world of the physical - plastic discs, vinyl, trucks, shipping, returns, AM/FM radio, analog broadcast TV.

They were not built for the world of digital. They do not work well in the world of digital - actually in many cases they do not work at all.

You system is broken. It needs to be fixed. The path you are down does not fix it. It represents what the industry was, not what it is.

You just cannot jam a square peg into a round hole and expect it to work. And when someone states your system does not work, provides clear logical reasons as to why, shows you how Apple/Google etc do not even use your system you threaten to sue and bully and intimidate us to pay you money.

you send lawyers and threaten to "shakedown" those that see problems with what you are doing

and when that tactics do not work, you attack the character of the person that had the nerve to point these things out

All the while continuing to take money out of the pockets of artists for a code that is not needed in the digital world

This is, and has always been my issue.

From my side, 500,000,000+ units of music have sold from TunCore customers in the past 3.5 years earning them over a quarter billion dollars. 99% of those songs did not have an ISRC code and yet there were no issues or conflicts and all got paid on the master side

Further, TuneCore also does global musical publishing administration. There are no conflicts or issues on the songwriter side in being able to get them their money

Therefore, what you state does not line up. Its just wrong.

Rather than attack me personally, perhaps your organization should be willing to listen to the facts and work these points into conversations while simaltaneously not charging people for a code that is not needed.

I bet a lot of people would love to have the extra $75 right now so they could get more presents to wrap as well

jeff

Last edited by Jeff Price; 22nd December 2011 at 05:53 PM.. Reason: typo
rikkpalmer
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#90
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
  #90
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jeffi,

So you are saying that if I use tuncore, and embed a TCSI code into the master disc. Then when that disc goes to a country Like Germany or Japan and they use it for broadcast on one of there local stations, That TCSI code will allow them to properly distribute funds allocated for broadcast back to me?

Because If I understand Paul right, That is what the ISRC code can do for me.

-rikk palmer
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