The brainchild of Ed Averdieck (formerly with Nokia Music and OD2) and musician Peter Gabriel, CueSongs launched an invite-only beta in late January 2012 in an attempt to save an industry currently in freefall.
With the ever-increasing ease of illegal file sharing across social networks and complications over music licensing, artists are in a constant battle to maintain rights to their work and most importantly make a living from its sale. CueSongs is the latest in a string of proposals to tackle this problem of growing severity, where artists themselves decide to whom their music is available and for what price. Largely aimed at material used by websites and digital businesses, Ed Averdieck stated CueSongs’ intentions:
“Only a relatively small proportion of copyrights earn licensing and synchronization income at the moment. But as the world’s marketing spend shifts online, we believe that, of the many millions of websites and digital businesses that exist today, a significant proportion of them would licence commercially released music if it was reasonably priced and easy to access.”
The issues surrounding media copyright have dominated the news pages in recent weeks, notably via the Wikipedia-led Internet ‘blackout’ on January 18 2012 against the proposed US SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill and the questionable shutdown of leading file-sharing site Megaupload a day later.
Ready to go music rights
CueSongs aims to offer a simple way for anyone to find well-known music recordings and immediately purchase the right to use them in digital media, e.g. on their website, on Facebook, Youtube, in apps and general online advertising.
Peter Gabriel expressed the benefit CueSongs can have directly for artists:
“Young and minority interest artists will be able to get their work in front of people all over the world looking to license something interesting and different. Successful artists will find that a lot of their catalogue that is now rarely touched can generate a lot of use, with easy access and the right price”
It is most refreshing to hear of an industry-led attempt to simplify digital music copyright before it gets completely out of hand. Already possessing music licenced by a wide range of major and independent rights holders including Sony Music & Real World, CueSongs clearly has the support of the music industry and hopefully the public alike.
Finding a middle ground between the far too sweeping terms under SOPA, ACTA etc, and the millions illegally using and downloading music would seem the proactive approach to the problem, and most importantly the one that will aid the artists themselves.
Find out more about CueSongs: http://www.cuesongs.com