Spotify has been in running battles with songwriters and publishers for the last year over the fact that the platform was playing music without complete copyright information, and therefore without a license. This has resulted in several lawsuits against the streaming giant, with more threatened. A new free service launched recently by SXWorks, a subsidiary of SoundExchange, called NOI LOOKUP may change all that and ultimately make it easier for to get paid.
One of the big problems for any music distribution service is incomplete metadata information attached to a song. If a music service like Spotify can’t locate the copyright owner in the registration or other public records of the U.S. Copyright Office, it’s supposed to file an address unknown Notice of Intention to Use (NOI) notice with the Copyright Office. That gets them off the hook, since if the service files an NOI, they can use the song without paying a royalty until the copyright owner is identified.
The cool thing about the NOI LOOKUP service is that it finally makes it easy for both publishers and songwriters to search the more than 60 million address unknown Notice of Intention to Use (NOI) filings made with the U.S. Copyright Office to see if their songs are included.
The scary thing is that, according to a post in Hypebot, music services filed an average of 2.5 million NOI notices a month last year. What the NOI LOOKUP tool does is index them all to make them easily searchable. You can then export them to a CSV spreadsheet file and send to your attorney or publisher.
The best part is that the NOI LOOKUP service is free, although some additional premium tools may be introduced by SXWorks at a later time. Check out the video below for another look at how it works.