Digital distribution of my own album from 20 years ago

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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Digital distribution of my own album from 20 years ago

Post by miloslummox »

Hi there,

I released an album through a small indie label 21 years ago. That label is now defunct as far as I can tell (according to Discogs, they have not released anything since 2000 - I would like to put the album on Spotify using my my current digital distributor, but I'm not sure if this is okay or not?

When a small indie record label ceases trading, do the rights for their catalog pass to someone else? If so, how do I find out who currently owns their back catalog?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Digital distribution of my own album from 20 years ago

Post by AndyJ »

Hi miloslummox,

You need to refer to your recording contract if you still have a copy of it. That should detail exactly what happens to the rights in the sound recording in the event of the music publisher/record label ceasing to trade. Did you have a manager or agent at the time you signed to Liquefaction? If so, try contacting them.

I think it is almost inevitable that another label will have bought up Liquefaction's existing rights, including your back catalogue. I suggest you try contacting PPL. You will need to give them the name of your album. They don't have a corporate membership registered for Liquefaction Empire, but they may have other records which aren't accessible online. Ask them if they can also check the PRSfor Music database for any mention of the current rights holder for Liquefaction Empire's rights. You could also ask them to check any other third party databases such as SoundExchange and Songview which they have access to, although that is probably something of a long shot, especially as discogs isn't that helpful.

There are no records at Companies House relating to Liquefaction Empire, but that is unsurprising as the label will have probably just been a trading name, with a separate company behind it.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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