Posted on: 30 April 2014
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.”