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Technology is once again helping the music industry eliminate the middle man, with new online ways to facilitate game and app music licensing and solve of termination and reversion issues.
SongLily, co-founded by industry vet Les Borsai and partner Jodi Chall, offers a “frictionless marketplace” for game and app developers where they can quickly and easily get a sync license to use major label music.
The app, aimed at curtailing music piracy, makes familiar music available for immediate use, cutting down significantly on both the length and cost of such transactions.
“The music-licensing process can be confusing to companies that are not in the sync business,” explains Borsai. “We wanted to simplify that.”
The app enables the record industry to market their catalogs for games and apps, while continuing to focus on their core sync licensing businesses — TV, film and advertising. It marks the first time major labels and publishers have allowed a third party vendor to license pre-cleared content. “To be able to mock up new apps with music from the start, knowing the music is available and the costs up front is a huge benefit for development teams.”
The user-friendly termination and reversion calculator is the brainchild of Wixen Music Publishing vp copyright and licensing Jason Rys, and can be accessed on the company’s website (www.wixenmusic.com).
Rys explains: “Due to the number of variables involved and the complexity of domestic and foreign copyright laws, songwriters and their heirs sometimes struggle to understand what termination and reversionary rights they are entitled to. In many cases, failure to exercise these rights during a certain time period causes them to be forfeited for good. The termination and reversion calculator aims to simplify and take the guesswork out of determining what termination and reversion rights are available. You simply answer a few questions about the song, the songwriters, and the grant of rights in question and the calculator returns the termination and reversionary rights available to your particular situation. We tried to make it as user-friendly as possible and present the information in plain English with examples so you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand it. There is a helpful FAQ page for some of the more complicated concepts and terms.”
With offices in L.A. and London, Wixen Music Publishing administers the song catalogs of artists including George Harrison, The Doors, Neil Young, Tom Petty, the Black Keys, Andrew Byrd and Fitz & the Tantrums.
Company founder Randall Wixen is the author of The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing (Hal Leonard), now in its third printing, featuring a forward by Petty.
“Termination and reversion are among the most complex and difficult areas of copyright law,” says Wixen. “It requires many intricate and detailed factors. This calculator helps cut through all that with an easy solution.”