London-based startup Paperchain to tackle $2.5bn in music royalty black boxes from 46m NOI filings to US Copyright Office

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London, UK – Paperchain, a global music technology company, is aiming to solve the music industry’s problem of unpaid royalties by going after the growing amount of unidentified copyright owners.

There have been more than 46 million instances of unidentified authors or unknown copyright owner Notice of Intents (NOIs) digitally filed to the US Copyright Office by streaming services since April 2016. These are filed under the Notice of Intention to Obtain a Compulsory License - Section 115 clause in the US Copyright Act.

These filings are the result of streaming services being unable to identify the author or composition right owner for a given song. The subsequent song royalties are then held in “royalty black boxes”, until the songwriter or rights owner can be identified. If they are not identified, the royalties are absorbed by the holding company or dispersed into the industry based on market share.

The total global value of these royalty black boxes is estimated to be $2.5bn.

Paperchain founder and CEO, Daniel Dewar, says identifying and connecting the rights owner to the streaming service will mean royalties can start flowing back to songwriters and their publishers. “We now have 46 million instances of ‘author unknown’ from the US Copyright Office ingested into our database and we’re helping publishers find out if their catalog has been affected and what the financial impact is. With the industry’s digital transformation and adoption of streaming, there have been growing pains around collecting and processing the sheer amount of sales and royalty data being generated.”

Paperchain’s co-founder and CTO, Rahul Rumalla, adds, “our focus is not to replace the current digital supply chain, but to make the flow of rights data work better.”

Paperchain has been running closed beta testing with select labels, publishers and intermediaries for the past 12 months.

Founded in Sydney, Australia, Paperchain will be based out of London starting from August 2017 as the company grows its client base and finalizes its seed fundraising round.

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Media enquiries Tanya Niesvizky

About Paperchain

Founded in 2016, Paperchain Inc. empowers music copyright owners with products and services to solve the problem of unpaid royalties. With focus being on the convergence of copyrights, royalties, data and technology, Paperchain’s core product engine allows rights owners to identify and claim unpaid royalties, lookup and validate catalogues against industry databases, and link composition rights data to master rights data.