384.7 Verification of royalty distributions.§ 384.7 Verification of royalty distributions.
(a) General. This section prescribes procedures by which any Copyright Owner may verify the royalty distributions made by the Collective; provided, however, that nothing contained in this section shall apply to situations where a Copyright Owner and the Collective have agreed as to proper verification methods.
(b) Frequency of verification. A Copyright Owner may conduct a single audit of the Collective upon reasonable notice and during reasonable business hours, during any given calendar year, for any or all of the prior 3 calendar years, but no calendar year shall be subject to audit more than once.
(c) Notice of intent to audit. A Copyright Owner must file with the Copyright Royalty Judges a notice of intent to audit the Collective, which shall, within 30 days of the filing of the notice, publish in the Federal Register a notice announcing such filing. The notification of intent to audit shall be served at the same time on the Collective. Any such audit shall be conducted by an independent and Qualified Auditor identified in the notice, and shall be binding on all Copyright Owners.
(d) Acquisition and retention of record. The Collective shall use commercially reasonable efforts to obtain or to provide access to any relevant books and records maintained by third parties for the purpose of the audit. The Copyright Owner requesting the verification procedure shall retain the report of the verification for a period of not less than 3 years.
(e) Acceptable verification procedure. An audit, including underlying paperwork, which was performed in the ordinary course of business according to generally accepted auditing standards by an independent and Qualified Auditor, shall serve as an acceptable verification procedure for all parties with respect to the information that is within the scope of the audit.
(f) Consultation. Before rendering a written report to a Copyright Owner, except where the auditor has a reasonable basis to suspect fraud and disclosure would, in the reasonable opinion of the auditor, prejudice the investigation of such suspected fraud, the auditor shall review the tentative written findings of the audit with the appropriate agent or employee of the Collective in order to remedy any factual errors and clarify any issues relating to the audit; Provided that the appropriate agent or employee of the Collective reasonably cooperates with the auditor to remedy promptly any factual errors or clarify any issues raised by the audit.
(g) Costs of the verification procedure. The Copyright Owner requesting the verification procedure shall pay the cost of the procedure, unless it is finally determined that there was an underpayment of 10% or more, in which case the Collective shall, in addition to paying the amount of any underpayment, bear the reasonable costs of the verification procedure.[73 FR 16199, Mar. 27, 2008, as amended at 78 FR 66278, Nov. 5, 2013]