Instances of illegal activity like pay-for-streams, fake artists, and many other deceptive practices have been well-documented. As an independent company who truly cares about the rights of hard-working artists, we can’t stand for them being taken advantage of on such a large scale. We will continue to stay informed, spread awareness and dedicate ourselves to ensuring our practices are secure. Our artists will always get the recognition and compensation they rightfully deserve. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about this…
Protecting Rightsholders from Fake Artists
What are “fake” artists?
“Fake” artists are impersonators who steal music from real, hard-working artists and upload the tracks on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music under false names through unsuspecting distributors. This is nothing new, as these impersonators have been making millions of dollars in royalties, stolen from their rightful owners.
How do they do it?
Through independent distributors with limited oversight, these “fake” artists swindle their way through the process and upload infringing content right under the distributors’ nose. While these practices are strongly prohibited, these impersonators simply lie, using fake information along with other various tactics hoping nobody notices until it’s too late. This seems too good to be true, but it’s been working. It has been working so well that these impersonators have been making insane amounts of money off of music they have zero right to.
We can’t stand this.
Feed your brain…
What are we doing to prevent this?
At Symphonic, we are meticulous in our screening and approval process.
- We go out of our way to contact artists if we think they’re being misrepresented on an application and confirm their true identity.
- Our team uses audio fingerprinting to identify content, check suspicious data against historical archives, and pattern recognition to identify and thwart these activities.
- We listen to each song that is submitted. Yes, every single one is listened to by individuals with expertise in music both past and present and relevant culturally.
- We run the music through the fingerprinting tool to see if there is any sampling that isn’t original. This tool also lets us see if any samples are currently live.
- Not only do we check the artist names, we always ensure metadata integrity.
- We make sure any major artist releases or covers have paperwork attached to the release to verify the authenticity prior to going out and being delivered.
At the end of the day, we know our efforts won’t fix the problem for the entire industry. However, we owe it to our clients to do everything we can to prevent this from affecting them. It’s our responsibility as a reliable distributor to monitor issues like this and ensure the rights of our artists are protected.