You’ve got this video you’ve put together of some cats all climbing over each other to get to the top of the stairs. It’s funny, but it won’t reach viral status unless you add a killer soundtrack. Do you know what would work? “O Fortuna”. Over the top drama, cute cats, comical scene — a perfect recipe.
But it’s also a recipe for a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement. After all, chances are that you haven’t actually licensed “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s estate.
However, two startups, Pixorial and Rumblefish, are looking to help people avoid this situation. Pixorial — a video creation and sharing service — and Rumblefish — the providers of one of the largest music licensing libraries on the Web — are partnering to help users find licensed music without the fear of infringement.
The partnership sprang up from an interest on Pixorial’s part to help users create better videos. According to CEO and founder Andres Espineira, users had been telling the company that “the right song was hard to find [for videos].” Once Espineira began to look at other providers to help fix this dilemma, Pixorial immediately landed on Rumblefish.
On Rumblefish’s end, the deal will likely bring in a nice stream of money if users take to the feature on Pixorial. According to the two companies, the deal provides a number of free songs to users to try out in the beginning. But after that, users will pay for the license to the tracks, and most of that money will then be passed onto Rumblefish.
However, while the partnership does solve a definite pain point for users, there are still issues. Firstly, while there are definitely users who want to avoid infringing copyright laws, there’s still bound to be confusion along the lines of, “I already have this song in iTunes, so why should I buy it again?” This issue will need to be addressed with incredibly clear communication on the part of Pixorial.
Secondly — and more substantially — is the size of the music library. While Rumblefish does have one million tracks available for licensing, that number isn’t actually as big as it sounds. Consider that iTunes and Spotify, two of the largest music libraries around, have 25 million and over 15 million songs, respectively.
The problem this catalog size brings up is that the chances of Pixorial having exactly the song users want are slim to none. That being said, Pixorial is addressing this potential problem by suggesting songs grouped into themes, rather than specific artists and tracks.
Regardless of the problem, the fact that Pixorial and Rumblefish are even trying to tackle this problem is encouraging. In an industry with a mentality of “let’s break it and figure out how to legalize it later,” it’s nice to see companies decide to operate within the confines of the law.