SXSW 2023

Down With the Black Box: Let's Get Creators Paid


Everyone knows “All I want for Christmas is you” is a Mariah Carey song, but most people don’t know that Carey wrote the song with Walter Afanasieff, or that it’s owned by Columbia Records. Identifying rightsholders is especially difficult for content-sharing platforms where copyrighted works are uploaded and reuploaded continuously. As a result, royalties on these platforms go unclaimed and are set aside in a “black box.” If the rightful owners aren’t found, the money is distributed to others. Why isn't there more effort to end the black box and pay creators? In this panel, we’ll talk about the challenges platforms face attributing and identifying user-generated content, why ending the black box isn’t everyone’s priority, and how rightsholders can find and claim all their royalties.

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  1. Why identifying music and other content is so challenging, especially for content-sharing platforms like social media sites
  2. What is being done about the black box of unclaimed royalties, and why there hasn't been a bigger focus on attributing creators properly
  3. What creators and rightsholders can do right now to start finding and claiming their missing royalties



Jennifer Crawford, Sr Marketing Manager, Pex

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Future of Music
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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