YouTube acquires RightsFlow

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Google Inc.'s YouTube online video division has acquired RightsFlow, a New York company that handles certain U.S. licensing rights for more than 30 million songs.

Terms of the deal, announced Friday, were not disclosed.

Established in 2007, RightsFlow manages royalty payments for songwriters, as well as music labels and publishers. YouTube has been attempting to play nice with music and video copyright holders who have been complaining about the amount of unlicensed, pirated content uploaded by users of the site. Viacom Inc., for example, is pursuing an appeal of its copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube and its parent, Google.

Since the Viacom lawsuit, filed in March 2007, YouTube has buttoned up as many licenses as it could with music copyright holders to cover songs heard on the site, either as background music to a video or in a cover performance.

But the area of music copyrights is vastly complex, with multiple rights holders often involved in a single song. That’s where RightsFlow comes in, said David King, product manager forSan Bruno, Calif.-based YouTube.


‘By combining RightsFlow’s expertise and technology with YouTube’s platform, we hope to more rapidly and efficiently license music on YouTube,’ King said in a blog post.


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-- Alex Pham