Music Mondays – Facebook to offer hundreds of millions to pay music labels for licenses for video uploads

Facebook Inc. is offering major record labels and music publishers hundreds of millions of dollars so the users of its social network can legally include songs in videos they upload, according to people familiar with the matter.

The posting and viewing of video on Facebook has exploded in recent years, and many of the videos feature music to which Facebook doesn’t have the rights. Under current law, rights holders must ask Facebook to take down videos with infringing material.

Music owners have been negotiating with Facebook for months in search of a solution, and Facebook has promised to build a system to identify and tag music that infringes copyrights. Yet such a setup will take as long as two years to complete, which is too long for both sides to wait, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing details that aren’t public.

Facebook is eager to make a deal now so that it no longer frustrates users, by taking down their videos; partners, by hosting infringing material; or advertisers, with the prospect of legal headaches.

The latest discussions will ensure Facebook members can upload video with songs just as it’s rolling out Watch, a new hub for video, and funding the production of original series. Facebook is attempting to attract billions of dollars in additional advertising revenue and challenge YouTube as the largest site for advertising-supported video on the web.

– Article written by Lucas Shaw and Sarah Frier, courtesy of Bloomberg.com. See the full article here

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