Is Facebook starting to take music copyright seriously?
(By Tim Ingham | December 2, 2016 for musicbusinessworldwide.com)
In September, we discovered that Facebook was hiring for a Director of Global Music Rights – a sure sign that the social media behemoth was aiming to shore up its relationships with the entertainment industry.
Now, we get another clue about its intentions.
MBW has spotted that Mark Zuckerberg’s company is hiring for a Product Manager with specific music-related duties at its HQ in Menlo Park, CA.
The successful candidate will ‘will lead the strategy and execution of Rights Manager, Facebook’s rights management platform for creators to manage copyrighted music and videos’.
Rights Manager was unveiled in April, and quickly drew comparisons with YouTube’s controversial Content ID tool.
When Rights Manager appeared, the tech press suggested its main function was to help media publishers combat ‘freebooting’; the act of ripping someone’s popular video and uploading it to an unrelated channel in order to steal views.
But, for record labels and publishers, it appears Rights Manager’s functionality could go even further than that.
“MUST HAVE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE IN MUSIC AND VIDEO RIGHTS MANAGEMENT AND COPYRIGHT PROTECTION.” - FACEBOOK PRODUCT MANAGER AD
The Product Manager job ad at Facebook specifically cites “previous experience in music and video rights management and copyright protection”, in addition to an “understanding of music and video rights and copyright law”.
Cheekily, the role also requires… ‘Familiarity with YouTube’s Content ID’.
The vacancy was quietly posted on Facebook’s site in November – just one month after reports emerged suggesting that Universal Music Publishing Group was actively issuing takedown requests of cover songs by musicians on Facebook.
(Something for which UMPG’s anti-piracy boss David Benjamin was called a ‘hero’ by songwriter and musicians’ rights activist David Lowery.)
In July, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg told investors that “the big theme and strategy that we’re executing is we’re going to become video first.”
The next month, Facebook acquired the team behind UGC music video app Eyegroove.
In May, Facebook was licensed by Warner Music for a product called Slideshow that allows users to soundtrack photo albums or videos with music.