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Pan-European song rights hub ICE announces first licensing deal

By | Published on Tuesday 24 May 2016


It’s funny how you’re allowed to like Google Play Music, but any indication that you once said “hello” in something nearing a polite fashion to anyone in anyway associated with YouTube or Google Search is a big fat no-no.

I mean, I get that Google Play Music is the web giant’s one music service built around the licensing model liked by the music rights sector, but it is still owned by Google. So it’s got to be evil, right? I bet the whole Google Play Music venture is some sort of clever cover-up for a sinister conspiracy that exists solely to fuck over artists. You mark my words. One day it’ll get some users, and then the shit will really hit the fan.

Anyway, ICE – the super duper new songs licensing hub set up by European collecting societies PRS, STIM and GEMA – has announced its first licensing deal, and it’s only with the not-at-all-evil Google Play Music.

It means that the Google music service is licensed to exploit song copyrights represented by all three collecting societies under one deal. ICE will also process consumption data and royalties on behalf of all three societies (and more to come) reducing the workload of the rather laborious way in which song royalties are calculated in the streaming domain.

“This agreement with Google Play Music is evidence of the significant progress made by ICE, which follows five years investment and development by its three European collective management organisation shareholders” says ICE. And who are we to argue? I mean, I could argue if I wanted to. I could argue anything if I wanted. But I’m tired. And I might accidently diss Google Play Music in the process, and I worry some shadowy figures would disappear me.

So let’s just hear what PRS boss – and CEO of ICE Services – Robert Ashcroft has to say: “We are proud to have been able to work together with Google Play Music to launch the first ICE Services online music licence. ICE will make a major contribution to the Digital Single Market by simplifying pan-European licensing for digital music service providers and maximising value for rightsholders. We are delighted to mark the beginning of a revolution in the online market”.

Meanwhile, over at Google, Victoria Campoamor (who also has YouTube under her remit, but don’t tell anyone that), says: “We are honoured to have been selected as the pilot digital service and are pleased to be the first licensee to sign an agreement with ICE. We look forward to building a constructive relationship with ICE and to the realisation of operational efficiencies from the new platform and its benefits to composers and publishers”.

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