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Facebook signs licensing deal with processing-hub ICE


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The music agreements keep coming for Facebook, which now has a deal with online licensing and processing hub ICE – the joint venture between European collecting societies PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA.

“The licence covers Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger and provides online music licensing for over 290,000 rightsholders, across 160 territories,” explained ICE in its announcement of the deal.

Can you spot what’s missing from that last sentence? Facebook’s WhatsApp wasn’t included, and that’s not a mistake.

“We understand that WhatsApp is currently used as a pure communication tool akin to private email / messaging,” ICE’s spokesperson told TechCrunch. “This will be kept under review.”

WhatsApp was similarly missing from the announcements of previous Facebook deals – for example with Universal Music in December.

As with those, the ICE deal is focused on user-generated content, rather than a commercial streaming service. “Facebook users will be able to add music from a catalogue containing millions of works to videos they create and share with their audiences,” explained ICE.

Stuart Dredge

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