Musician Kate Nash has sparked a discussion about Snapchat’s music-licensing strategy, after she claimed that the company was using her song ‘Foundations’ in one of its lenses without paying her for the rights.
“HI SNAPCHAT it’s KATE NASH I can barely hear myself here on this filter over MY OWN SONG FOUNDATIONS. You know it well. So uhh SHOW ME THE MONEY MATE,” wrote Nash on Instagram under a video of herself using the offending lens.
“Haven’t been on a record label for 5 years & would really appreciate being paid for the use of my work by a giant corporation!! Google says you were evaluated at 22 billion ahead of IPO last year. So dude where’s my pay cheque…?”
Mashable reported that Snapchat “did obtain the rights” from a third party rather than Nash, adding that the song was originally released through Fiction Records, which brings it under Universal Music’s umbrella for licensing purposes.
Nash has trained her fire on Snapchat, however. “Another example of a giant corporate company using artists to make money/for an image/or their actual art and not supporting or funding artists and their community in anyway.”
The devil in this particular dispute will be in the details of which ‘third party’ Snapchat licensed (or thought it had licensed) the track from. It does beg the question of, if a snippet of an artist’s track were licensed for use in a Snapchat lens, how that would be treated under the terms of their contract with the label the original song was released through.
(Not to mention the question of how publishing and performance royalties would work for a lens that might be used by millions of people in a day on an app as popular as Snapchat…)