Music News 9.11.17

Facebook Offers Millions to Majors in Copyright Deal

Facebook is sticking its finger into the music business pie. The social media platform is offering major record labels and music publishers literally hundreds of millions of dollars so its users can legally use copyrighted music in videos they upload to the site. The deal is similar in nature to a deal YouTube tried to negotiate with the majors last year, and, also similarly, the deal isn’t so much about monetarily helping artists, but addressing the fact that people will upload copyrighted material anyway, so at least make it legal and let some money be made in doing so.


“We Shall Overcome” Released of Copyright Red Tape

The legal team who released “Happy Birthday to You,” of its copyright red tape celebrated another victory late last week: civil right’s anthem “We Shall Overcome.”

The lawsuit against Richmond Organization and Ludlow Music came about in April of last year from the same group who took on Warner/Chappell and won “Happy Birthday’s” right into the public domain. The foundation of the lawsuit rests in the allegation that the song emanated from an old African-American spiritual long before Pete Seeger and other picked it up to make it their own.

Currently, producers have to pay up to $100,000 in licensing fees to include the song in films and television shows.

The judge found the defendant’s evidence of copyright registrations from 1960 and 1963 to be “significantly flawed” and that neither registration clearly identifies the differences between their version and the original verse. Of the decision, plaintiff Randall Newman said, “we are gratified that the Court has put an end to this charade and given this iconic Civil Rights song back to the public.”

-Taylor Wallace

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