Labels, artists have until Dec. 31.

Record companies and recording artists now have six more months to claim undistributed digital audio transmission royalties from SoundExchange for the years 1996-2000.

The artist/label collection group's board of directors revealed its decision today (June 14) to extend the deadline for releasing previously undistributed artist and label royalties from July 31 to December 31.

Under Copyright Office regulations, SoundExchange is permitted to use royalties payable to artists and labels that are unidentified or unable to be located after a period of three years to offset its own costs of operation.

Executive director John L. Simson commented, "We are feverishly trying to locate unpaid artists and record companies, and have implemented a number of strategies to do so."

SoundExchange also announced its most recent distribution of royalties for the second quarter of 2005 in the amount of $9.1 million. This amount is from an allocation of approximately $12.7 million in royalties -- the difference being the amount held in reserve for artists and labels that have not been identified or located.

Included in this distribution are webcasting royalties from 1998-2002 that had been held in reserve pending a ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on the challenge to the Librarian of Congress' ruling in the first webcaster arbitration. The court sided with SoundExchange in January.