SoundExchange introduced a new tool called the Music Data Exchange. This application allows labels and publishers to share their data about music in a free database. It offers a hub for real-time metadata and data requests that could make it easier to claim ownership of a recording or composition. The MDX was developed jointly with the RIAA, the National Music Publishers Association, and several senior music industry executives.
Jonathan Bender, SoundExchange’s COO, said that work began on the MDX when the NMPA was looking for a partner to build a portal for making claims on compositions. The proposed site would be a place to search for and place claims.
“We responded to the request to create such a portal, but in the process, it occurred to us that we were addressing a problem after it happened,” he explained. “We said, ‘Isn’t there a way to address the problem before it happens? Before you get to the point where you have settlements and lawsuits and unhappy writers and publishers?’”
Bender listed some of the other benefits of the MDX, including the speed of remedying cases where a song is played before it is licensed and the visibility into recordings made. He also added that the MDX could help in identifying overlapping claims, such as for compositions with multiple songwriters and rightsholders.