The famous old Russian proverb reminds us to trust but verify. That’s been the story in the record business since the cylindrical disc. All the “modernization” in the world will not soothe songwriter’s genetic suspicion of their accounting statements. Unfortunately, the controversial Music Modernization Act creates a quasi-governmental organization with no oversight, and that has weak and punitive audit clauses for songwriters. We are told that songwriters should appreciate what they’re given because they never had audit rights under the current statutory license. Of course, if you run the risk of being financially punished if you exercise a right, that’s not much of a right at all. So let’s not do the usual two steps forward, three steps back.