Music Licensing Rights Hindering Hulu As Well

from the live-by-copyright,-die-by-copyright dept

The main backers of the online video site Hulu, NBC Universal and News Corp., are two of the stronger supporters of our copyright system, and have, at times, been known to push to make it even more stringent in order to "protect" their works. So, it's interesting to see them discovering that draconian copyright rules can come back and bite them as well. We were just covering some of the problems various TV shows have had being put on DVD due to licensing problems, and now it appears those same problems are making it difficult to get some shows up on Hulu -- despite the fact producers would like those shows online.

One of our readers, named Mark, wrote in to let us know that he and his wife had been watching the old TV show The Pretender on Hulu, when they realized that some of the episodes were simply missing (including the entire final season). He wrote to Hulu to ask why, and was told:
"Thank for letting us know that some episodes from The Pretender appear to be missing from our lineup. Individual episodes are sometimes held up due to rights issues, quite often related to music used in the show - and that's the case this time - some of the music in episodes 17 and 18 couldn't be cleared for online streaming. We'll continue to request them from our content partner, but at this time we can't offer them though we'd love to."
It's still difficult to understand why we would ever design copyright law and licensing policy in this manner. After all, having certain songs included in a TV show is never going to hurt the commercial viability of a song.

Filed Under: hulu, licensing
Companies: hulu


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  1. identicon
    Monarch, 28 Jan 2009 @ 10:02am

    Re: Artists- HA!

    No this is a case of the Greedy Rights holder wanting to get paid a 2nd time for the same use of the product!

    How I wish every other maker of every prop used in the shows would start suing for the use of their vehicles, clothing, furniture, food, drinks, and ect., ect.. Then we could easily show how stupid copyright law is!

    The designer and maker of the clothing that is worn on the show only got paid once! That company or person does not get royalties for each showing! Maybe they should! Why does the rights holder of a song that was used get paid over and over again?

    It's freaking pathetic! If it were real property, and not intellectual property, it would have been free to use as soon as the producer purchased the CD it was on from the local store, just like every other product or sound involved in the show!

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