Whoever you are…I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
From A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams
From Highlights of Managing Change under the Music Modernization Act’s Mechanical Licensing Collective (footnotes omitted. A version of this article appears as How Will the Music Modernization Act’s Mechanical Licensing Collective Work? in 34 Entertainment Law & Finance 1 (No. 9, Dec. 2018.)
Audits: Only the MLC may audit the blanket licensees. Only copyright owners may audit the MLC. However, audits must be conducted by certified public accountants and those auditors are obligated to look for overpayments—which probably violates a CPA’s duty of loyalty. As Warner Music Group’s Ron Wilcox testified to the CRJs, “Because royalty audits require exten- sive technical and industry-specific expertise, in WMG’s experience a CPA certification is not generally a requirement for con- ducting such audits. To my knowledge, some of the most experienced and knowledgeable royalty auditors in the music industry are not CPAs.”
It is also important to note that the collective may only audit once a year for the prior three years. Given that there will be bil- lions of transactions subject to audit (and eventually trillions in a three year period), it is unlikely that CPAs will be conducting census level audits. Projections and lump sum payments are likely, and lump sum payments tend to be distributed in the old- school method of market share distributions.
Is Self Auditing Hazardous to Your Health? musictechpolicy.com/2014/06/01/is-s…to-your-health/
Songwriter Liberty and Audit Rights Under Section 115: Music Licensing Study Filing musictechpolicy.com/2014/06/10/song…g-study-filing/
Attestation Agreements AICPA
How to Fix The Music Modernization Act’s Flawed “Audit” Clause musictech.solutions/2018/03/12/how-…d-audit-clause/
Five Things Congress Could Do for Music Creators That Wouldn’t Cost the Taxpayer a Dime Part 3: Create an Audit Right for Songwriters artistrightswatch.com/2018/12/29/pos…r-songwriters/
Guest Post by Keith Bernstein: Holy GAAP! Publishers Not Getting the Upside musictechpolicy.com/2016/02/22/gues…ing-the-upside/