New Boss? Sams As the Old Boss-With A Twist!
RightsFlow is a mechanical licensing And royalty service. A company that an artist/writer could use as a go-between to facilitate licensing and royalty collection.
Quick primer: In the traditional music biz, there are two main kinds of royalties; mechanical and performance. Mechanical are physical sales (CDs and now downloads, sheet music) and performance are when a song gets played on the radio or a TV show that sort of thing.
Let’s say you wrote a neat song and Bon Jovi wanted to cut it; the boys legally would have to obtain a license which, entails paying a fee up front for every copy produced (the download situation is more complex). These are mechanical licenses and traditionally the business is handled by the rights holder or an outside agency that specializes in this sort of thing such as the Harry Fox Agency.
Now, let’s say that Jovi has a big hit with your ditty and it’s played on the radio a gazillion times. There are outfits like ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC which are societies. As a writer, you join one and then the society tracks airplay and collects the money, deducts a small percentage and sends you a check. Most every writer joins one because it would require too much effort to track and collect as an individual. performance royalties…
But, nowadays, we have the web and all of these other places playing music (difficult to track) and anyone can record a cover song and inflict it on the world (hard to track). The biggest culprit in this messy accounting, collecting and tracking quagmire is YouTube.
The buzz about RightdFlow, when it started a few years back, was that this was a company that was a step in the right direction to solving the digital/web/music quagmire.
Today, we get the news that Google (who owns YouTube) has now bought RightsFlow. Rightsflow president & CEO Patrick Sullivan says…
We’re pleased to now be taking a momentous step with the team at YouTube, that shares in our vision of solving the really challenging problem of copyright management. Combined with the worldwide platform and reach of YouTube, we’ll now be able to drive awareness, adoption, and licensing success to a much larger audience — ultimately benefiting users, artists, labels, songwriters, publishers, and the entire global music ecosystem.
The “really challenging problem” is YouTube. And now they own the problem solver.
In the old days a lot of people got screwed on their mechanical royalties because the record companies got to keep score.
The performance societies really cut down on people getting screwed on performance royalties because they track ‘em down…well except for YouTube because they get to keep score.
So, good work Google; you still get to keep score! And, oh yeah…you are the ad firm that handles all of the ad revenue for performers on YouTube too…
What’s the score?