Facebook going legal for music with Sony/ATV deal following Universal

Facebook have signed a new deal with Sony/ATV that brings them closer to a working music copyright system.

Sony/ATV have signed a licensing agreement with Facebook following Universal signing a multi-year deal with the social media giant. The deal will allows artists from Sony Music and ATV publishing to make money from uses of their music on Facebook which has been a long-running issue on Facebook.

Since launching their video platform a few years ago video on Facebook has exploded with millions upon million of views. With no proper copyright system however the platform has become home to rife copyright infringements and created conflict between them and various industries, particularly the music industry which was already facing minuscule payouts from YouTube. Recent major label deals seem to be rectifying the problems Facebook.

Sony/ATV’s chairman and CEO Martin Bandier said: “We are thrilled that in signing this agreement Facebook recognizes the value that music brings to their service and that our songwriters will now benefit from the use of their music on Facebook. We are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship.”

Head of music business development and partnerships at Facebook, Tamara Hrivnak said: “We’re excited to work with the largest music publisher in the world to bring amazing songs which deepen connections between friends and fans. Sony/ATV is a true leader and an absolute champion of writers in the digital space, and we’re thrilled to work with them as they grab new opportunities by the horns across all of our platforms.”

Whilst Facebook seem to be protecting their behinds with major label agreements, being chummy with the labels alone won’t help artists. Proper performance rights will need to be covered for the music industry at large to benefit from any licensing deals with Facebook so that the artists are protected and not just the labels cash-flow.

Fortunately it seems that Facebook are in discussion with rights management agencies as well. A spokesperson for PRS for Music said last month: “Conversations with Facebook and ICE, our online licensing vehicle, are ongoing and we look forward to reaching an agreement.”

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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