Royalty free music has become rather prevalent as the popularity of video has risen.

The reason for this is that, while you can use popular music from the likes of Taylor Bieber and Justin Swift (those are their names right?) in a video, that video will likely infringe on a copyright and either be taken down or in the case of YouTube – demonetised. Simply put it’s often easier to use music licensed under Creative Commons and credit the creator.

It’s interesting then that Facebook is offering record labels and music publishers “hundreds of millions of dollars” to allow users to legally include the latest Savage Garden (they’re still popular right?) track in their videos according to a report by Bloomberg.

Facebook is essentially trying to do what YouTube could never get right.

Should the deal go according to plan it might give the social network’s newly launch Watch platform an edge over the video-sharing juggernaut that is YouTube.

This news comes from “people familiar with the matter” and is in no way official. Despite this the music industry is starting to recoup some of the loses it has made thanks to the rise of music streaming services so a deal that could net it millions simply to allow users to include popular music in their videos makes a degree of sense.

While giving creators the ability to use popular music may seem like a small thing, it means that creators could spend more time making content and less time fighting off a record label trying to claim ownership of their work.

It might not be the key feature Facebook needs to take on the world’s biggest video platform, but creators that spends hundreds of hours making videos only to have them taken down due to a copyright infringement may welcome this news and consider jumping ship.


[Image – CC BY SA 2.0 Esther Vargas]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.