Corbis’ new “GreenLight” stock/commercial music licensing service

I just found out about an intriguing new service in the digital music space.

Called “GreenLight Music” it has just launched in beta. A good friend of mine tipped me off as he is leaving his law firm to be counsel to the venture. Maybe now he’ll have time to contribute posts to this blog . . .  😉

Like Corbis other stock object services, this one will make digital music available to commercial players to use in their projects. For example, a business wants to add some tracks to a new web page on its site. Rather than having to license the tracks directly from the copyright owners, and worry about clearing both composition and digital performance rights, the business can just go to GreenLight and clear all rights to the track. Presumably even individuals can use the service for their blogs and websites. (Maybe I should set up a theme song for this blog?)

But because clearance of digital performance rights does not work the same as traditional analog and broadcast clearances there are no set rates nor rights for digital performances. This is where the heart of GreenLight comes in: it provides a “make an offer” system that essentially brokers the deal between the potential user and the rights holders. So, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll get your track for the price you want, but at least it provides a one-stop shop to try to do so.

I’ll poke around with this some more over the next week and probably have some critiques. But for now, this looks to be a cool and much-needed service.

About Sean O'Connor

Sean O’Connor is the Boeing International Professor at the University of Washington School of Law (Seattle). He is also Chair of the Center for Advanced Study and Research on Innovation Policy and Faculty Director of the Cannabis Law &B Policy Project. With a diverse background in music, technology, philosophy, history, business, and law, he specializes in legal issues and strategies for entrepreneurship and the commercialization of innovation in biotechnology, information technology, and new media/digital arts.
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