Music Publishing rights are no joke. No one knows this better than Fullscreen Inc, which operates thousands of YouTube channels. Fullscreen Inc. channels and videos, which feature tracks from both prominent and up-and-coming artists, pull in roughly 200 million subscribers and 2.5 billion views per month.
A group of music publishers, including Warner/Chappell Music Inc and National Music Publisher’s Association’s (NMPA), filed a complaint August 6, alleging that Fullscreen has pulled in advertising revenue from the videos without paying royalties to the songwriters and publishers behind the music. Some, such as the NMPA’s president and CEO, David Israelite, feel copyright infringement and unlicensed use of music is an epidemic among the multi-channel network (MCN) industry that needs to be corrected.
Matt Pincus, Chief Executive of SONGS Music Publishing, in an op-ed written for Billboard in March 2013, wrote “I’ve heard the media refer to MCNs as the next Cable Television. That could spell trouble. Cable TV pays millions to songwriters and music publishers every year. MCNs? Virtually nothing.”
YouTube does have direct licensing agreements with many music publishers to pay royalties from cover versions of songs; however MCNs like Fullscreen are part of a special YouTube Partner Program which makes them ineligible for coverage under those agreements.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find out if an MCN is using your work without proper licensing. YouTube’s Content Management System, which tracks content on YouTube, does not mark MCN productions. Although other technologies in place at YouTube may pick up MCN videos, findings are not disclosed to those who hold the rights to the content. Really, the only way to figure out if your music has been used illegally by an MCN is to conduct a manual search by individual video. Even then, it’s likely only to come up if the name of a song is in the title of a video.
Protecting your publishing rights is important to us; and we know it’s important to you. CD Depot Stores offers a wide range of services for Artists & the Music Business in general. Services like CD & DVD Duplication, Graphic Design and CD & DVD Replication, to name a few, are key for new and established artists alike but we also offer services such as Copyright Registration, Digital Distribution and Music Publishing. Please if you have any questions just contact CD Depot Stores. We can help sort through copyright registration, filings with the PROs, negotiation of licensing, royalties collection, and the full gamut of publishing administration.