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Copyrights Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation

What Is the Difference Between ‘Covenant’ and ‘Condition Precedent’ In Song Administration Agreement?

A question of law arose for a District Judge when a songwriter sued YouTube, claiming she never approved licensing her works to YouTube — whether the administration agreement’s notice-and-consent clause was a condition precedent to the administrator’s ability to license the songwriter's songs.


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In 2008, songwriter Maria Schneider signed an administration agreement (AA) that gave the administrator ArtistShare Music Publishing (AMP) the exclusive right to administer her musical compositions, including “to execute” in Schneider’s “name any licenses and agreements affecting the Compositions.” The AA further stated AMP “must notify you [i.e., Schneider] and obtain your prior written approval for any license we grant on your behalf.” After AMP assigned “all its duties” under the AA to its affiliated company Modern Works Music Publishing (MWP), MWP in 2014 entered into a blanket publishing licensing agreement (PLA) that gave YouTube the right to use Schneider’s compositions.

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