British music copyright collective PRS for Music is suing livestreaming platform LIVENow.
The lawsuit was filed final month and first noticed by Law360 with a Dua Lipa livestream on the heart. In November 2020, LIVENow streamed the Dua Lipa present with stories of upwards of 5 million individuals watching it. Reaching these numbers suggests the stream was made accessible totally free in some markets as solely 285,000 ticket gross sales had been generated throughout 150 international locations.
The licensing of livestreaming occasions turned extraordinarily muddled in 2020 as many artists turned to streaming to assist themselves within the lockdown. Streaming exploits each the publishing and mechanical rights of the songs–which are sometimes managed by music publishers. The query at coronary heart right here is whether or not a livestream is extra stay or extra a stream? Rights collectives like PRS absorb 4.2% of the field workplace of a stay present. However for streaming charges, it’s nearer to fifteen% of income to societies and publishers for licensing.
PRS for Music says it has made repeated makes an attempt to get details about the revenues generated from these livestreams. That means it might work out what licensing charges are due for the present–nonetheless LIVENow has been uncooperative. PRS says that none of its members have been paid for using their songs and that features the “globally-streamed Dua Lipa ‘Studio 2054’ on-line occasion in November 2020–the best seen on-line live performance worldwide.”
PRS launched a brand new license overlaying livestreams through the pandemic–which LIVENow did not do. “PRS for Music’s function is to make sure songwriters and composers, right here within the UK and all over the world, are paid when their music is used,” says Gavin Larkins, Director of Business Improvement and Gross sales at PRS. “We take this duty very severely.”
“We offer a license for companies who supply ticketed on-line live shows and have licensed many customers underneath this scheme,” Larkins continues. “LIVENow selected to not get hold of this license previous to launching its program of on-line live shows, together with the Dua Lipa live performance.
“For greater than eighteen months, PRS for Music has positively engaged in licensing negotiations with LIVENow. These discussions stay unresolved and as such we have now taken motion to defend the rights of our members and songwriters.”