Exclusive: EMI, TuneWiki Forge Out-of-Court Agreement

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Big lawsuits grab the biggest headlines, though sometimes, the parties manage to avoid drawn-out legal battles.

That was the case with TuneWiki, which ruffled EMI Music Publishing by extending its innovative lyrics services beyond originally-agreed terms, according to sources close to the issue.  The initial terms allowed use within tunewiki.com and both iPhone and Android apps.

Several weeks ago, sources to Digital Music News pointed to the markings of another court battle, including a possible cease-and-desist (C&D) letter.  But terms surrounding the extended uses were ultimately approved by EMI, including those involving Vevo.  “They’re now allowed to license the lyrics to Vevo as a result of the recent renegotiation,” noted EMI Music Publishing executive Dylan Jones.  Other partners, unnamed for now, are also authorized.

Michael Abitbol, vice president of Legal & Business Affairs at EMI Music Publishing pointed to a healthy process.  “This deal is the perfect example of how the rightsholder and the end user can come together to solve a problem,” Abitbol told Digital Music News.  “It’s in everybody’s interest to expand the market for music and music-related products, and we’re pleased to be able to help TuneWiki expand their offering in a way that works for them, songwriters and, most importantly, the consumer.”

The negotiation could set the stage for agreements with other major publishers, though TuneWiki did not respond to an inquiry.  Information related to other major publishers could be forthcoming.

TuneWiki recently secured a funding round from Motorola Ventures, as well as Intellect Capital Ventures, TeliaSonera, HillsVen Capital, Novel TMT and previous investor Benchmark Israel.