Sports and fitness organizations that use routines that are set to music have two problems:
Firstly, the popular music that brings the most engagement from audiences and participants alike is owned by someone else, and the necessary licenses are very difficult to obtain.
Without them, sports and fitness organizations are at high risk of copyright infringement lawsuits - just ask the US Cheerleading industry, Peloton, and most recently US figure skaters Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, US Figure Skating, broadcasters NBC, associated video on demand platform Peacock, and their parent company the telecommunications and media conglomerate ComCast Corp who were all cited in the music copyright legal action arising from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. [learn more here]
The rights needed to perform sports and fitness routines to music go far beyond the simple (and misleadingly named) “performing rights license” needed by venues to ‘perform’ music - i.e. play music for the passive enjoyment of an audience in a bar, or a crowd in a stadium during a pause in proceedings).
Sports need the rights to edit and adapt each song into a mix, and to choreograph and perform a routine to that mix Fitness needs online rights, choreography rights and can benefit from the ability to edit and adapt music, add voice-overs etc. [learn more here]
These rights are closely guarded by recording artists and songwriters, and their deals with record labels and publishers normally provide for case-by-case approval in each instance.
ClicknClear was set up to solve this problem, and has pre-cleared the necessary rights from all its almost 800 music industry record label and publishing partners, and can therefore offer instant licenses to a huge catalog of great music in many different genres.
But obtaining licenses is only half the story...
As well as actually having the right music licenses, sports and fitness organizations and associated VoD platforms need to able to manage the use of the potentially millions of music licenses needed by sports like figure skating, gymnastics, cheerleading etc. worldwide:
to understand what music is being used by what participants at what events,
to check that it is properly licensed,
to show an audit trail to defend themselves against any record label or music publisher who is concerned about about potential copyright infringement.
They also need to be able to report the music used to the various collecting societies from whom their venues obtain their ‘performing rights’ licenses.
ClicknClear also now offers the solution for this problem, with its online License Verification System (LVS).
When designing a system to manage music licenses for sports and fitness, the first hurdle to overcome is the potentially huge number of music rights uses - ClickClear estimates that worldwide, all sports using music in their routines together need ONE BILLION music licenses. This immediately precludes any human involvement in the process.
Fortunately, modern automatic music fingerprinting [learn more here] and recognition algorithms technology can come to the rescue, delivering high levels of repeatable accuracy with very fast recognition times. Commonly used examples of this tech are the ‘Shazam’ app you may have on your phone to identify a song you like that is playing on the radio, or YouTube’s ‘content ID’ system. LVS incorporates this type of technology, and puts it to work for you rather than against you.
When the song fingerprints are recognised, by running LVS on music mixes submitted for a competition event or on a video on demand library, they can immediately be cross-checked against ClicknClear’s license database to make sure the appropriate rights have been licensed by the appropriate participant in the appropriate territory at the appropriate time.
This is a huge step forward, as everyone in the ecosystem - from participants, organizations running competitions or fitness classes, to regional, national and international sporting / fitness organizations - can use LVS to get a real-time picture of what music is being used, all over the world if necessary.
LVS is a tool that allows sports and fitness organizations to enforce their own music licensing guidelines, and maintain a full automatic record of their music use.
Knowing they have a solid foundation of music licenses at all their events, sports and fitness organizations can then go further and use the information provided by LVS about what music is being used to license further uses, such as live stream and video-on-demand.
These online uses can be used to increase online engagement and participation in competitions and sports or fitness classes.
Organizations can (and must) license the rights whether they plan to monetize the content, or not.
DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT…
ClicknClear was fortunate to be able to recently carry out the first live trial of LVS with the
Fédération Aéronautique Internationale/The International Skydiving Commission (FAI/ISC) who hosted the fourth annual World Cup of Indoor Skydiving in Belgium, during the first week of April 2022.
They were keen to trial the system as they wanted an effective way to verify that their competitors had licensed their music correctly in accordance with copyright law, and then get the appropriate live stream and video on demand licenses for their competition - they needed an easy to use system to help them ensure no infringement occurred and identify which routines could go online.
We have provided an overview of the results in our Case Study - SPOILER ALERT: it resulted in:
100% licensed music from a variety of sources,
100% happy competitors, and
FAI/ISC being 100% confident that they would not be sued and could maximize engagement by putting their event online.
DOWNLOAD THE CASE STUDY:
If you want to talk to us about how LVS can help you, email firstname.lastname@example.org