Mark Zuckerberg is the 6th richest person on the planet. Facebook is the 6th largest company in the world by market cap. By any measure Facebook is the world’s largest media company and hosts millions of music video performances a day. Yet unlike every other media company that regularly hosts and performs music it appears Facebook does not pay any fees to songwriters. Word on the street is the company knows this is likely illegal yet they are refusing to get licenses.
Over the last few years musicians and songwriters have had a lot to say about paltry royalties (and non payment) from digital services like YouTube and Pandora. But at least these companies bothered to get licenses and (most of the time) pay songwriters. Facebook apparently flat out refuses to pay and thinks they don’t need licenses.
Looked at another way, of the 6 richest men in the world only The Zuck is not paying for music licenses at his core business.
#1 Bill Gates: Microsoft licenses music through it’s Groove and XBox services.
#2 Amancio Ortega: Main business is the retail clothing giant Zara. The company pays for licenses to perform music in all its stores.
#3 Warren Buffet: Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway has extensive media and broadcast holdings that all pay fees to songwriters.
#4 Carlos Slim: The Mexican billionaire offers licensed music through his core mobile telephone business. In addition he owns various entertainment companies that license music.
#5 Jeff Bezos: Amazon has extensive licensed music offerings.
#6 Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook does not pay songwriters for music videos hosted on the site.
Can you say robber baron? #F*ckTheZuck