SIAE works return to Facebook and Instagram with ‘transitional agreement’ as long-term license negotiations continue

Venice, Italy. Credit: Dan Novac

About two months after the works of the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers (SIAE) were removed from Instagram and Facebook due to a legal dispute, the organization has come to terms with Meta, bringing the creative endeavors of its members back to the social platforms with a “transition” agreement .”

SIAE revealed the partial resolution of the widely publicized standoff – and the return of his works to Facebook and Instagram – in a brief press release emailed to DMN. Last time we addressed the licensing dispute, which has met with opposition from the global publishing industry, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) issued a preliminary ruling against Meta at the end of April.

As part of the latter, Meta was ordered to resume licensing negotiations with SIAE (and, subject to approval, bring back SIAE’s works), which previously told us that the Menlo Park-headquartered company “never shared the basic information needed for a were required.” Fair negotiations.” Additionally, the more than centenarian company shared that in the months leading up to the public disclosure of the dispute, Meta “refused to disclose the information required by the European Copyright Directive.”

Now, as highlighted at the outset, SIAE and the WhatsApp owner appear to have taken a step to put the rights-related confrontation on the back burner – although the former party still aims to reach a “definitive and permanent” long-term agreement achieve.

“SIAE expresses its satisfaction with this desired and achieved result,” the company said written on the return of the works on Facebook and Instagram, “but remains committed to protecting the interests of its members as we continue to work tirelessly to reach a final and lasting agreement based on fairness and transparency, as also required by the European Copyright Directive .”

“It also undertakes to continue negotiations in accordance with the decisions and precautions dictated by AGCM,” concluded SIAE, which was fined by AGCM in 2018 for allegedly abusing its market power vis-à-vis songwriters. (Five years later, a page on the SIAE website is still dedicated to processing anonymous “unlawful fact reports” about the organization’s operations.)

At the time of writing, neither Meta nor AGCM officials appear to have commented publicly on the newly signed transition pact, and it remains to be seen how the regulator’s investigation into “alleged abuse of economic dependence by the tech giant during negotiations with SIAE” will unfold. This will be taken into account when discussing a more definitive solution.

In any case, the revived relationship between Meta and SIAE has come under the media spotlight about a month after Snapchat announced licensing collaborations with UnitedMasters, Dutch Buma/Stemra and Swiss SUISA.

It was only in May 2022 that SUISA announced detailed plans to sue Snap in Germany for allegedly refusing to “pay for the music it uses” for years – despite the fact that society and the AR-oriented social platform have their dispute appear to have settled relatively soon thereafter.