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Facebook advertising for Legal Director of Music Licensing

By | Published on Wednesday 1 March 2017


Facebook is continuing to build a new team to sort out music licensing on the social network. Having headhunted Tamara Hrivnak from YouTube in January to work on the social network’s “global music strategy”, it’s now advertising for a Legal Director of Music Licensing.

YouTube is currently being challenged for its position as ‘music industry enemy number one’ by Facebook, as the appearance of unlicensed music in videos posted to the social network becomes a more contentious issue. Facebook is increasingly encouraging video sharing, but often those videos contain music for which Facebook contains no licence to host.

According to Facebook’s job ad, the new role will involve “helping lead negotiations across labels, publishers, and collecting societies globally” and to “lead and grow Facebook’s nascent music licensing legal team, and direct outside licensing counsel around the world”. They will also “oversee the drafting of all music licensing agreements”.

The music industry is pleased that Facebook now seems to be taking the issue of music licensing more seriously. Although, past negotiations with YouTube suggest that tricky deal making with Facebook is ahead.

Like YouTube, Facebook relies on safe harbour protection – and will likely use the safe harbours to strengthen its negotiating hand. The last thing the music industry wants is to create another opt-out streaming platform on the scale of YouTube, but it may well find itself in a weaker starting position than the social media giant.