According to The Guardian, the music industry could be using new copyright laws, which could allow for musicians to be comped for music in online games, to get in on some of the record profits racked up by titles, like, let's just go with Fortnite for obvious reasons.
PRS for Music, which is the body made up of more than 140,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in the United Kingdom (and which includes some seriously big names, like The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, and U2), are paid via royalties when their music is used anywhere on the planet. They report that those royalties bumped up more than 4 percent in 2018, to bring in a record total of around a billion dollars (well, they use pounds, but you get the idea of conversion rates). These royalties came from streams and downloads, as well as music played on TV and radio broadcasts, and also included songs played at live performances and corporate outings. Also helping bump that number up was the fact that PRS added their first revenues from licensing deals with tech giants, like Facebook and Instagram.
Now that social media is covered the chief executive for PRS for Music, Robert Ashcroft, is saying that he's looking into whether licensing deals can be struck with massively multiplayer online games. Ashcroft adds that a vote that took place in March signaled the biggest change to European copyright law in over 20 years, and that that change may have opened the door to snag music royalties from online gaming. This new law was not well received by several big cheeses in Silicon Valley, including Google and Facebook, as it means they will have to acquire licenses from press publishers and the music industry, to utilize their creative wares.
As for Ashcroft's point of view, he sees it as just adapting to modern times.
“We currently license a lot of digital services, like YouTube music, already anyway,” Ashcroft said. “It is really important for us to have a level playing field for these services that we don’t yet have licenses, such as music used in the massive multiplayer online gaming market, like Fortnite.
"That is one of the areas we will be looking at. Does that fall within the new provisions of the law? Is that an opportunity [for licensing revenues]? [The new law] clarifies the liability of key technology platforms to pay for their use of copyright material.”