APEX TV Market: License right or face the music

Content providers and carriers should pay heed to what exactly the various rights and permissions are in relation to using and licensing music.

Ryan Homes, international licensing manager, PRS for Music says, “In the context of IFE hardware, encoding and renting, music rights licensing is a relatively small cost when dealt with properly. It is complicated.”

He explained that in essence copyright gives creators exclusive right to their creation, and “secures the ability to receive compensation for use of their work to support themselves and go on to create more.” He pointed to the international Berne Convention, which grants elements of reciprocity in the way works are protected between countries.

Using the example of singer Sinead O’Connor’s hit single, “Nothing compares to you,” he pointed to the rights involved in playing the song on an IFE system. There are composition rights, which belong to the writer and publisher – in this case Prince, and the sound recording, belonging to the record label, Chrysalis, and O’Connor herself as the performer. Airlines and CSPs must address both ownership rights, which are administered by separate sides of the music industry.

There are several companies that deal with such administration of rights via a collective licensing body. Other terms that commonly catch people out are “Royalty free,” which actually means there is a highly specific usage within the license paid for, “Out of copyright,” which, although musical works generally have a life of 50-70 years after death of author, often have sound recordings attached to them, whereby the performers are still alive.

Holmes stressed, “It is essential to clarify beforehand, and check with your suppliers before adding a piece of music to your system.”

Liz Moscrop, Inflight / Inflight-Online.com


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