On behalf of my client, I spent the week conducting conference calls and long email exchanges with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, The Harry Fox Agency, National Music Publishers Association, Association of Independent Music Publishers, Crunch Digital, We Are The Hits, Tresona Music, and Audible Magic securing public performance licenses, obtaining synchronization licensing information, obtaining copyright identification service & royalty administration information for their UGC video hosting platform.
What I learned (or confirmed, rather) is that there is a HUGE need to streamline and make efficient the process of securing synch licenses, a HUGE need to standardized/equalize deal structures between labels and digital service providers vs. publishers and digital service providers, and a HUGE opportunity for a collective-bargaining startup to secure pass-through licenses on behalf of many music tech startups, and we should consider making some forms of synch licensing compulsory.
Nevertheless, as long as the music industry is slow to innovate in how it deals with digital startups, there will continue to be confusion and frustration among all stakeholders and work for me to do as a consultant.
It appears that Grooveshark is a platform that allows end-users to upload and share songs. The problem with that model (if early Napster didn’t teach us anything) is that while even if another end-user pays for the download; Grooveshark is still infringing on the copyright owner rights of reproduction and distribution. Further, one could argue that by allowing website visitors to stream the song before buying and downloading it; Grooveshark is also infringing on public performance rights. And that’s just the songwriter/publisher side. I do not believe Grooveshark is acquiring mechanical licenses for each song it allows to be purchased and downloaded; so they’ll also have a problem with the record labels.
I’m interested to see where this all goes. Read, “Grooveshark Signs an Agreement With the Largest Music Publisher In the World…” on Digital Music News website http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2013/20130828grooveshark