[DAO: bafkrei] Should Decentraland DAO pay for an annual Blanket Music License?

by 0x31e0a65b27553d6ade0b37191cee29ebbb63fbdb (GrizzledGatsby)

DCL as a platform does not have a blanket music license, and its terms and conditions hold land owners responsible for any activity on their land. This means ALL of us need our own terms and conditions built into our properties and any and all appropriate licenses to communicate music.

We have been having discussions with SOCAN (the music licensing body in Canada), about the best way to approach protecting artists in the web3 space and the most appropriate way to move forward with licensing. Ultimately, SOCAN is a not-for-profit that exists to ensure artists get royalties from license fees whenever and wherever their work is communicated.

To be clear, SOCAN is not on a witch hunt, but these issues WILL be resolved with or without us. Now is the time for us to have an impact on what music licensing looks like in the web3 space. Together with these licensing bodies, we believe that we can build a bright future where everyone is protected and creators receive proper compensation for the communication of their works, whether at events in the meta, distribution of music via NFT, etc.

Whether we like it or not, the reality is that licensing needs to be addressed. We propose doing a Twitter Spaces AMA with SOCAN on July 28th to educate the community on current regulations and start the discussion about the best way to license this new space.
We are of the opinion that DAO funds should be used to blanket license anyone who purchases land to allow for more creative freedom to communicate music. We may decide as a community that the best way to proceed is to keep things decentralized, but then, as previously stated, the onus will be on us as landowners to ensure we are compliant.


  1. DAO pays retroactive licensing fees for all users and agrees to work with licensing bodies to pay for an annual blanket license moving forward. (I will help facilitate these conversations, and SOCAN can help to connect DCL Foundation with sister licensing bodies to move towards international compliance)


  1. Leave the responsibility to land owners to obtain their own licenses. This means land owners will need licenses for every jurisdiction where their end users reside.
  • DAO pays retroactive music licensing fees and for blanket license annually
  • Leave the responsibility to land owners to obtain their own licenses
  • Invalid question/options

Vote on this proposal on the Decentraland DAO

View this proposal on Snapshot

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it doesn’t feel very decentralized to have the DAO cover license fees for something that most people will never use? Use royalty free music or handle licensing for your scene if required.

that said, I could see a use-case for a third-party company that helps to handle media licensing as a consultant

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There are a ton of landowners showcasing independent music at their events. The platform currently revolves around these free events. I think not blanket licensing would discourage new usership. The cost to an independent project would be insurmountable and would force a lot of projects to shut down shop. Personally I want to see music in DCL. Publicly communicating music of any kind requires a license and many other major platforms have addressed this.

Ideologies aside, many land owners are currently exposed and artists are not getting royalties for their music being communicated. IMHO, this affects us all.


I don’t think you’re wrong, I only think that this doesn’t fall under the responsibility of the DAO.

One thing I think is missing here, cause it’s obviously relevant - what is the cost of a retroactive global blanket license vs the cost for landowners to handle licensing on their own?

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Unfortunately no such global license exists. But i can tell you that many platforms have negotiated reasonable deals with these bodies.

It is not feasible for an independent project to cover fees for all global licensing bodies or deal with administration of reporting and acquiring licenses.

One no-cost solution would be to integrate youtube as a partner allowing users to point to youtube links. That would then allow users to fall under youtube blanket license.

Personally I would be very hesitant to climb into bed with youtube…

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“We have been having discussions with SOCAN” who the f is we?

I understand the point but need some more information on what types of events/music fall into this category. I can see people who loop straight mp3s on land as ambient music getting shazamed by the record industry at some point but how are they calculating use, listens, streams etc. For DJs like Traxx, Stoney and Cat5 who are djing live mixes, are they usually paying record lables for each song they play? I used to dj and dont remember needing to play lisence fees since i paid for the vinyl or beatport tracks and then do what I need with them as along as they are played for a crowd vs used in a commercial spot. Think we need definitions of music usage in DCL and what we can and cannot do legally before we decide to start paying licensing agencies. Might even be a reason to lean into music platforms like gala music, united, audius who are leaning into decentralized music vs going back to more traditional music industry who are looking to claw back their control.


Bless JRR
I’m not 100% sure on what exactly warrants a land owner responsible for paying for music or a DJ for that matter. There is a lot of gray areas in the whole thing. I was always under the impression that as long as you aren’t making money you aren’t responsible for paying. Just like as long as you don’t monetize a Youtube video you can have whatever music you want. I really don’t know how they would determine how many people are listening at any given event and how much is owed. As a recording artist and member of ASCAP myself I understand the need to make sure music artists are compensated properly for their hard work and music. I know that TRAX submitted a set for the Jason Derulo event and it was flagged by the record company and DCL wasn’t able to use/ play it. I am in a unique position myself because I have been recording and producing music for years now, I literally have over a thousand all original unreleased songs that feature me on all instruments so could easily continue playing events no problem. I however feel it is extremely important to continue being able to have land owners play music at their events. Events are so much more fun and engaging when there is music and help build a sense of community so that when new users come into the space there are cool things going on. TY to all the people who are active in this forum and helping build this community regardless of your stance on this particular issue much love.


Grizzled Gatsby,

It’s my understanding that this entire dilemma with SOCAN exists solely because you reached out to them first, not the other way around. Typically, real life bars in America will open for business and start by playing whatever music they want. ASCAP sends them a letter after a few months, the bar pleads stupidity, and they negotiate a licensing deal. SOCAN likely views you as a sucker for going to them first, and whatever licensing you’re working out, they’re going to make you pay the price because they see you as a sucker with a conscience. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could have negotiated for a fraction of whatever you’re being told you should pay. As it stands, it’s my opinion that you handled this in the worst possible manner, and if your lawyer really told you to handle it this way, you need to find a lawyer with a backbone.

You were on a community Twitter space yesterday, defending this licensing body in ways that brought some questions to mind: Are you getting any sort of compensation or discount from SOCAN for getting people on board with licensing? Is your business relationship with SOCAN limited solely to you paying some sort of licensing cost?

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forgive me, but I do not understand well, I am an ignorant in these topics… I do not know how the rights issue works well and even less in these jurisprudences still to be defined… as a dj, selector or whatever you want to call it, I have always had a lot of respect for the creators and that is one of the reasons why I play vinyl and not mp3… but I have to say that I love to go down with my speakers to the park or to the mountain and enjoy the music at full volume among friends… if you charge tickets for an event or if in your plot is commercialized, I understand that you have to pay royalties, but to go down with the ghettoblaster to the park is crazy to have to pay royalties… on the other hand, I have uploaded sessions in different platforms… (youtube, facebook, mixcloud, soundcoud), and all of them have allowed me to share the music not having monetized any channel … I do not know what kind of rights pay these platforms, but it would be interesting that a committee of investigation clarify what are the options that we can shuffle, so that both artists how users who want to share pleasant moments we respect . peace, love and havin´fun.

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This is a tough conversation. Let’s try and keep comments above the belt Zesty. These licensing bodies have been knocking at the DCL Foundation’s legal department door long before I approached them. SOCAN is working with me to develop a blanket license for my parcel as opposed to paying for each individual concert we put on, we are currently in negotiations for my specific parcel. No, I have no formal business relationship with SOCAN and they are not compensating me in any way. I am simply a landowner who has become aware that our “online concerts” require licensing to not be exposed and am bringing this information to the broader DCL community to see how we would all like to proceed, hence this poll.

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Fantastic feedback. It would be great to explore new models. I have started this poll to reify these issues and to start the conversation. Do you have in-roads to gala, audius or united or any insights into their licensing model?

Parcel Party, the project that I am currently leading.

I’ll ignore all but the most important bit in order to keep it “above the belt,” so here’s my next question, which is really just a narrower/more explicit version of what I asked previously:

As part of this negotiation that you’re working out with SOCAN for Parcel Parties, have the other LAND owners or the Foundation ever been mentioned? e.g. You get a discount or other consideration if more people sign up?

No I get no discount and no I am not doxxing anyone and have only represented myself and my organization in these conversations.

My understanding is, any platform that communicates works that have been registered by a member of a performing rights organization is required by law to be licensed. SOCAN is a third party, but ultimately is the organization that the copyright board of Canada has delegated to enforce their certified tariffs. The question is, is each individual land owner “the platform” or is DCL proper? If you are working with registered members of these performing rights orgs without a license, then you are exposed, anonymity aside.

There will be a twitter spaces AMA with some amazing panelists coming up on the 28th. I encourage everyone to participate should they wish clarification on current regulations and would like to participate in finding a way forward that preserves the culture of our space while protecting land owners and artists.

I believe there is an interesting point here. Streaming third party content through any media involves questions not only regarding copyright but also performing rights, etc. Music as an industry is quite complex from the legal side, and we could write tons of material about it.

Having this being said, I personally believe this matter should be left to each owner, given that due to the descentralized ownership of Decentraland, you literally own virtual parcel where you stream content.

I am part of a project that has music as its main vertical and with a presence in the Metaverse. What we are doing is reserving the right to request the list of tracks to performing artists so we can comply with our local performing rights organization. This is the way we have found so far to comply.

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Thanks for weighing in. :slight_smile:

The problem is you need to be licensed in every jurisdiction in which your end users reside not simply your own. No such global license exists and the cost to a small project would be astronomical not to mention the reporting and administrative requirements.

Hence why an integration with a third party platform that is licensed makes sense or a blanket license for the platform that covers all land owners.

I am here to do whatever GrizzledGatsby and ckbubbles wants since agree would be great for solution! Also if it helps anyone can use the Waifumon Song in any location IRL, Decentraland or metaverse or planet forever for FREE!