One of the most common problems DJs and Producers face is licensing remixes or recreations. There are an incredibly active community and culture around remixes. Remixes not licensed directly through the label and publisher(s) of record are considered by rights holders to be “unofficial” remixes. Until recently, the only place a DJs/Producers could share these were either illegal streaming and download sites, YouTube, or SoundCloud. In the case of the latter two, uploading without license meant a risk of takedown and removal of the DJ/Producer privileges from the site.
With an idea to help DJs access music distribution services legally, and build the foundation for new royalties through online streaming, Dubset has started a new marketplace for mixes & remixes. They achieve this by deconstructing the content uploaded to their service and identifying the appropriate rights-holders for each bit. This makes it possible for rights-holders to earn royalties from this content.
Music Plus got in touch with Dubset Chief Strategy Officer and SVP Global Licensing Bob Barbiere to shed more light on this process and their tie-ups with major streaming platforms.
So what does Dubset exactly do?
Dubset receives mix and remix content from DJs/Producers and artist services platforms. The company analyses the content for instances of underlying recordings of other artists. Dubset delivers the mixes and remixes to major music services. We ensure proper royalties are paid to the underlying recording rights holders. The company has three primary users – labels, publishers, and content creators (most often DJs/Producers). Each user has their own set of tools and data that interlock. This allows for the attribution of rights and distribution of content. DJs, too, determine where the content is distributed.
Additionally, the music that Dubset distributes to service providers like Apple and Spotify requires clearance from both labels and publishers. For this we have secured the clearance via its MixBANK licensing and distribution platform. 7digital has signed with Dubset Media for a one-year partnership allowing it to enhance its proprietary ‘Mixscan’ recognition technology.
Breakdown of Licenses/Rights in case of mixes/remixes
There are two rights/licenses that must be secured in advance, recording and mechanical. The recording rights are secured by Dubset from the label. The mechanical rights are secured by Dubset (or the Music Service) from all participating publishers. There are often multiple publishers associated with a single track.
There is no transaction of the license on Dubset’s platform. The beauty of our platform is that it is a “right to distribute” platform. DJs or Producers upload their remix and Dubset looks at the right-to-distribute rules for the track or tracks. If there are no rules against distribution, Dubset delivers the remix (or mix) to the music service. There is never a grant of ownership or license, simply the right-to-distribute without liability to the remix creator.
Riding on new partnerships
Dubset allows any streaming platform to connect for delivery of content. The platform provides royalty rates for labels and publishers. Dubset shares them with labels and publishers across the 60 million-track catalog. The company makes it easy for music services to receive and offer mixes of all genres for their distribution libraries.
The partnerships with Spotify, Tidal, Apple, Claro, and others are direct distribution programs. Dubset is responsible for identifying what’s in the mixed content. We ensure it is all pre-cleared and deliver it liability-free to the service.
Dubset is also responsible for administering royalty payments to labels and/or publishers. In the case of SoundCloud, the partnership allows the companies to work together to identify content already on SoundCloud. Content which is classified as “Unknown” (UGC) and identify any copywritten recordings in it. Once identified, Dubset can then clear the content and make it available for subscription-based music services.
The Road Ahead
Dubset has already begun identifying “unknown” content on SoundCloud. There is a significant demand from both labels and publishers to convert what’s “unknown” to the “known”. Once that conversion takes place, SoundCloud can begin to better monetise the content and increase the royalty payouts. This is a win-win-win for labels, publishers, and SoundCloud. The expectation is that the program will accelerate quite rapidly.
Your advice to DJs and Producers who wants to make remixes.
The most important thing any DJ or Producer must remember is that it is illegal to distribute any remix unless they utilize Dubset or have explicit authorization from a track’s label and all of its publishers. While it may seem easy to do, there are very severe financial penalties imposed for distribution without complete authorisation.