Meta doesn′t renew agreement with SIAE, here′s what changes

Meta is not renewing its agreement with the SIAE. Starting today, it will begin removing the copyright body’s catalog of licensed music from all of Mark Zuckerberg’s giant’s platforms. Here’s what’s changing.
The news is now known and is causing much discussion. But let’s try to clarify some aspects to better understand what will happen from now on until things change.
We are talking about Meta, which has decided not to renew its agreement with the SIAE (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) the body, founded in 1882, that deals with the protection of copyright.
A Meta spokesperson said an agreement with the body could not be reached. “The protection of composers’ and artists’ copyrights is a top priority for us,” the spokesperson continued, “which is why, as of today, we will no longer be able to make SIAE repertoire tracks available within our music library. We believe it is valuable to the entire music industry to allow people to share and connect on our platforms using the music they love. We have licensing agreements in more than 150 countries around the world, and we will continue our efforts to reach an agreement with SIAE that satisfies all parties.”

So there is a difficulty about finding an agreement but the door remains open. Meta also has agreements, as the spokesperson pointed out, with other countries. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg’s company has found agreements with copyright protection bodies in France, Spain and Germany, just to name a few examples.
SIAE’s position is quite stark, calling Meta’s choice “unilateral and incomprehensible”
“SIAE is being asked to accept a unilateral proposal from Meta regardless of any transparent and shared assessment of the actual value of the repertoire. This position, together with Meta’s refusal to share information relevant to a fair agreement, is clearly at odds with the principles enshrined in the Copyright Directive for which authors and publishers across Europe have fought so hard. It is striking that this decision, given the ongoing negotiations, and in any case SIAE’s full willingness to underwrite on transparent terms the license for the fair use of protected content.” The body concludes the statement by claiming that “SIAE will not accept impositions from a party that exploits its position of strength to obtain savings to the detriment of the Italian creative industry.” A rather harsh sentence.
But how is it? What happened to such an extent that led to a non-agreement?
As mentioned, Meta has entered into agreements with bodies equal to SIAE’s with other countries as well, and the moment negotiations for a new agreement with SIAE were underway, that’s when it all fell apart.
And the reason is that the SIAE is asking Meta to apply a type of agreement that provides for revenue sharing. Basically, the Italian body wants Meta to quantify the value generated by content shared by users on the Menlo Park house’s platforms and based on that move to revenue sharing. SIAE argues that this is the model already in place with other companies such as Google for YouTube and ByteDance for TikTok.
Meta, for its part, does not intend to change its typology that has already allowed it to materialize agreements in 150 countries, as Zuckerberg’s company spokesman recalled. As of today minus one.
So what will happen for all the people who share SIAE-licensed music tracks on Meta platforms?
So, on Facebook and Instagram this is an obvious change, as people will no longer be able to use songs from the SIAE repertoire within Reels, videos, and Stories. Meta will soon block all content that uses music it does not have the rights to.

Facebook videos with music from the SIAE repertoire will be blocked. It will be possible to re-upload them by going to replace the music track.
On Instagram, where music can be included in both photo posts and Reels, songs will be muted. In any case, users will be able to decide to replace the muted music with a song from the catalog that is not Italian music.
In the Stories of both platforms, Facebook and Instagram, music from the SIAE repertoire will be muted and will no longer be available for future content.

The removal of the SIAE catalog from the Meta platforms will practically start as early as today, which is Thursday, March 16, 2023, although it will take at least a couple of days for the same removal to be applied.
Enzo Mazza, Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana, also spoke on the matter, pointing out on LinkedIn how the failure to reach an agreement “risks causing serious damage to the recording industry as well.”

In short, if an agreement is not reached, which is difficult for the moment as it is easy to guess, the failure to reach an agreement will have no small impact given that 99 percent of Italian music is covered by SIAE licensing.

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