YouTube License offer applications due January 16

IBMA members, such as myself, recently received an email alert concerning the opportunity to participate in a fund established by a settlement of litigation between the National Music Publishers Association (“NMPA”) and YouTube/Google. The NMPA filed suit for copyright infringement based upon YouTube playing (and profiting from) musical performances without obtaining permission from, and paying royalties to, music publishers.

One of the terms of the settlement has established a fund of up to $4,000,000 (that’s MILLION, said with my best Dr. Evil accent), which is available to all publishers of musical works being played on Youtube, whether the publisher is a member of NMPA, or affiliated with the Harry Fox Agency or not. By applying for a share of this fund, a publisher releases any claim against YouTube for past infringement and grants them a license to display the publisher’s protected works for a period of three years.

In exchange, the participating publishers will receive a pro-rated share of the fund, based upon the number of participating publishers and the market share they represent. The amount an applicant will receive will be calculated using data, required to be provided by the applicant on a separate attachment, which details past licensing income received by the publisher. The “up to” qualifier preceding the $4,000,000 figure reflects that the actual amount will be based on the number of publishers that choose to opt in, the market share they represent, and the revenue that YouTube has received from advertising displayed on screen while protected works were being played.

IMPORTANT: All applications to opt in and receive part of this fund are required to be RECEIVED by January 16, 2012, which at this point would be best filed electronically. More information regarding how to file the application, what information is required, the terms of the settlement, and related matters can be obtained at

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About the Author

James Gabehart

Jim has been playing the banjo, and other string instruments for nearly 40 years. Since joining the musicians union and becoming a performing musician at the age of 15, he won five West Virginia State Banjo Championships, as well as dozens of other competitions, and has taught hundreds of students. Jim was elected as Prosecuting Attorney for Lincoln County, WV in November 2012, and is an active touring performer with his wife and musical partner, Valerie. Learn more about their music at