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BMI’s Digital Licensing Center Succeeds as Easy Solution to Music Licensing

Posted in News on December 14, 2000

Non-Commercial License to Be Offered

At a time when copyright law and licensing of the Internet are being contested daily, BMI’s Digital Licensing Center (DLC) is proving to the industry that there is an easier way to obtain digital music rights. By offering the DLC, BMI has introduced a system that simplifies the music licensing process and offers an easy solution for the .com community.

“The DLC has enabled us to not only maintain lower rates for small sites, but it’s given us a platform to offer an easy licensing solution for the digital community and create new functionalities to better serve them,” said Richard Conlon, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, Media Licensing at BMI. “By enabling smaller Web sites to become licensed with BMI, we are not only helping to educate the Web community on the value of copyright, but we are also helping to create business solutions for the Internet community.”

The DLC was launched in May to serve smaller e-commerce sites making less than $25,000 in revenues per year. Providing a Klick-Thrusm licensing device, the DLC provides its online licensing services 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a totally paperless, electronic environment. Some early users of the DLC included Get Smashed Radio Broadcasting, BNET, Inc., Boxorox.com, Planet Live, Inc., Alaska Direct and K2 Sports, Inc.

BMI is also announcing new services through the DLC including a financial reports area that will enable sites to prepare and send financial and music use reports digitally. In January 2001, the DLC will also feature a new Non-Commercial License for non-profit Web sites. The addition of these non-profit licenses brings the number of licenses that BMI offers in the digital space to three simple licenses based on revenues and/or traffic.

“We created the reporting function and the Non-Commercial License based on marketplace demand,” said Conlon. “It’s just another example of our company-wide initiative to digitize our business processes.”

Music performance license fees are based on the revenues of the licensee, and the fees generated are distributed as royalties to songwriters, composers and music publishers based on actual usage of music on the Internet. Annual license fees for small sites start as low as $250 and increase according to a Web site’s annual gross revenues.

Founded in 1940, BMI is a U.S. performing rights organization that represents the copyright interests of more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music. BMI introduced the first music performance copyright agreement and Internet license in the music industry in 1995 and continues to introduce innovations in the field of copyright protection today. Since announcing the expansive Horizon Project in 1999, BMI has opened its Digital Licensing Center for online Web licensing, released a 2.0 version of its Web robot Music Bot(tm) and completed a Watermarking Field Trial initiative. Some of the many Web sites licensed by BMI include eMusic.com (Nasdaq:EMUS), MP3.com (Nasdaq: MPPP), Licensemusic.com, Artist Direct Network (Nasdaq: ARTD), Yahoo Broadcast (Nasdaq: YHOO), Rolling Stone online, Countrycool.com, Eritmo.com and Spinner.com.

Due in part to the success of the DLC, BMI is proud to be recognized as one of the finalists in the “Best Organisation Site” for the MidemNet 2001 Awards. Voting goes on until January 8, 2001 at http://www.midem.com/midemnet-awards.html.