One of the headaches that YouTube has been having is keeping music copyright holders happy when someone posts a video of a song cover or has a song playing in the background. It must seem like a music free-for-all for those who created songs and are seeing others profit from them. Well, just last week, YouTube's owners, Google, just bought RightsFlow, a company that deals with specific licensing rights to over 30 million songs. This will allow YouTube to correctly identify musicians who deserve compensation for their works being used on the site.
Many Musicians To Get A Cut From Songs Being Used On YouTube
Ever since YouTube got sued by Viacom for copyright violations a few years ago, Google has been looking for ways to compensate those whose work is being used without their permission, so they set up ContentID, and it gives the option for copyright holders to get compensation or have the video removed completely.
It's pretty hard to find out exactly who needs to get paid when it comes to music licensing. That's why a company like RightsFlow is important, because they have all that information. YouTube has been trying to keep musicians happy, especially since they're trying to host a bunch of live concerts and VEVO brings in billions of views.
I don't think the acquisition of RightsFlow means that the video uploader, usually someone who isn't going to have the money to pay licensing fees, is going to have to pony up the dough. It might mean less money for the uploader in terms of ad revenue, but a great deal of the people who cover or incidentally use copyrighted music wouldn't feel the effects of that. I'm sure the licensing and the money doled out for using the song will be based on impressions or views.
If you're making videos for YouTube, it's best to come up with some original music or find a friend who will do it for you for cheap. You don't see most partners playing familiar music on their channels, they usually use something like Garage Band or some cheaper copyrighted music from providers.
This is good news for musicians whose work is being used without their permission and without compensation.