In a surprising turn of events, the Harry Fox Agency (HFA) has acquired Audiam, a company known for its role in exposing HFA’s lack of payments to copyright holders and revealing its involvement in widespread copyright infringement. This acquisition raises concerns about competition elimination and potential double-dipping by HFA’s parent entity, obscuring crucial financial transparency. In this blog, we delve into the details of this acquisition and its implications for the music publishing industry.
Audiam has played a significant role in auditing HFA’s payment practices and bringing attention to incorrect payment amounts, underpayments, and even a complete lack of payments to songwriters and music publishers worldwide. Their diligent work has shed light on HFA’s role in copyright infringement and resulted in legal action against HFA by Eight Mile Style, the publishing catalog of Eminem. These revelations have led to the transfer of a substantial amount of unpaid royalties to the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), only for HFA to fail in disbursing them appropriately.
By acquiring Audiam, HFA effectively eliminates the sole entity that exposes its own actions and holds it accountable. Moreover, as HFA serves as the back office of the MLC, they receive payment for distributing funds to music publishers while simultaneously charging these publishers to collect their money from the MLC. This double-dipping strategy allows them to maximize revenue. The acquisition of Audiam enables HFA to shift its publishing members to Audiam, creating the illusion of separate entities while remaining under the control of the same parent company.
The passage of the MMA has introduced changes in how songwriters and music publishers are compensated. However, this acquisition by HFA raises concerns that they may exploit the loopholes in the legislation, allowing them not to pay songwriters and music publishers their rightful earnings. Instead, this money may be redirected to major music publishers who did not generate that revenue, further exacerbating the imbalance in the industry.
The acquisition of Audiam by the Harry Fox Agency marks a significant development in the music publishing landscape. The concerns surrounding competition elimination, lack of payment transparency, and potential double-dipping highlight the need for increased scrutiny and accountability within the industry. As songwriters and music publishers strive for fair compensation and transparency, it becomes crucial to monitor the actions of entities like HFA and advocate for a more equitable and sustainable music publishing ecosystem.
Hakim Draper, the founder, and CEO of Artist Intelligence Labs, is innovating the music industry by fusing his profound musical background with state-of-the-art technology. With a diverse journey encompassing early encounters with jazz legends, pioneering endeavors in Silicon Valley, and executive roles at Warner Music Group, Hakim is reshaping the landscape by equipping creators with revolutionary tools and data-driven solutions. His leadership, unwavering commitment, and trailblazing spirit position him at the forefront of the industry’s transformation, driving innovation and empowering artists to reach new heights.