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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
    burg, 28 Jan 2009 @ 3:34pm

    Say what you will people.. The fact is that much of the music used in repurposed shows are not from commercial artist. They are music libraries whose sole purpose and only source of income is to create music that will be used for this purpose. Rates are generated based on the medium and the size of the audience. You think that an entirely new medium should just be thrown in? You're out of your mind. There is absolutely no value in more exposer to that song. In fact it devalues the song because it is used again and less likely to be picked during the creative process.

    Sorry for spelling errors.. On an iPhone

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