February 14, 2017:Rightsholders could ‘turn very quickly’ over Facebook licensing

Bloomberg’s piece on Facebook’s music-licensing efforts offers some good colour to the negotiations that are kicking off in earnest between the social network and rightsholders.

It emphasises the fact that deals covering music in user-uploaded videos on Facebook will be a necessary step towards any moves to add official music videos to the service.

There is also some familiar sabre-rattling from NMPA boss David Israelite. “We’re hopeful that they are moving towards licensing music for the entire site,” said the publishing veteran. “Facebook is a very valuable company, making a lot of money, and in part because of the music on the site… We are looking forward to being business partners with Facebook. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll see the situation turn very quickly.”

As we’ve suggested before, proper licensing to cover music used in videos uploaded by Facebook users is an essential step forwards, as is a full Content ID-style copyright detection and management system.

But the most positive opportunity comes after that, if Facebook can do something inventive (and different to YouTube) with official music content too. We are hopeful that the team it is putting in place will be able to make that happen.

Stuart Dredge
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