The National Music Publishers’ Association, which aims to protect its music publisher and songwriter members in copyright issues, announced yesterday a groundbreaking music video licensing agreement with Universal Music Group.
The agreement allows U.S. songwriters and music publishers with NMPA memberships to profit from their music videos, making UMG the first record label to compensate songwriters and music publishers in such a way: considering music videos not as promotional tools, but as sources of revenue in and of themselves.
The compensation deal, optional for NMPA members, lets songwriters and music publishers grant rights for synchronization of their works, and, in return, receive royalties from UMG’s videos, ringtones, dual disc, multi-session audio and locked-content products. Publishers can also be paid retroactively to 2008 for past use of their music.
“We’re all navigating through a rapidly changing business environment,” said NMPA President and CEO David Israelite in a statement. “NMPA’s job is to ensure that the rights of every songwriter and music publisher are protected. This is a model example of how record labels along with songwriters and music publishers can move forward together to ensure that the licensing process is more effective and efficient, and that all creators are fairly compensated.”
“Music videos have become an important part of the music business ecosystem,” Israelite continues. “They are not simply promotional tools to help sell recordings. The agreement announced today is an important first step in resolving industry-wide music video issues. UMG deserves credit for being the first record label to partner with the entire songwriting and music publishing community through this model licensing deal.”