Facebook signs Licensing Deal with Saregama, Amazon and Slack sign Licensing Deal, Spotify and Saregama Sign Licensing Deal for India, OTT Release of Films irks Multiplex Owners and Gilead Inks Licensing Deal with Cipla for Remdesivir.

Facebook signs Licensing Deal with Saregama

Saregama recently signed a licensing deal with Facebook, which was just a couple of weeks after it signed a similar deal with Spotify, the music streaming platform. This deal will allow Facebook users to access Saregama’s wide range of music and add it to their videos, stories including their Facebook profile, via music stickers and other creative content.
Since India hosts the largest number of Facebook users, the social media platform has signed similar licensing deals with Yash Raj Films, Zee Music Company and T-series. Facebook users globally, can now use and share Indian music owned by Saregama.

Amazon and Slack sign Licensing Deal

Slack, a business communication platform developed by American software company Slack Technologies, will now be made available to all Amazon employees. Earlier, only few of Amazon’s teams were using Slack’s workplace collaboration tools, but now the entire organisation will have access to these tools. Additionally, Slack will also be relying on Amazon Web Services (AWS), to update its own video-calling feature, by taking advantage of an AWS service called Chime. This new deal between Amazon and Slack will help the two companies to compete with Microsoft, which has also developed an in-house communication service called Teams. Microsoft’s Teams, has recently been gaining popularity in comparison to Slack. This is mainly because, organisations have now been looking at software that can remotely connect people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Slack and Amazon have been working together since before this deal. Since 2014, Slack has been running its service on AWS, and has continued to do so, especially due to the increased demand for its services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this new deal, Slack will pay Amazon USD 425 million over a period of five years which will end in April 2025.

Spotify and Saregama Sign Licensing Deal for India

Spotify, the music streaming platform has recently partnered with Saregama, the oldest music label in India, to enable Spotify users to gain access to Saregama’s music catalogue. This extensive catalogue consists of a variety of music from films, including Carnatic, Hindustan classical and devotional music in over 25 languages. In addition to the music available in local languages, Spotify users can now listen to old school songs through Spotify’s curated playlist, both editorial and algorithmic.
Saregama’s catalogue consists of music from artists like, Lata Mangeshkar, RD Burman and Mohammad Rafi, among others.

Gilead Inks Licensing Deal with Cipla for Remdesivir

Cipla, the Indian multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, has signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc., which is an American biopharmaceutical company, to produce the investigational medicine Remdesivir. The main purpose of this agreement is to enable Cipla to mass produce Remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the production of Remdesivir. This deal will expand the global access to the life saving treatments for those affected by the novel COVID-19 disease. As per the terms of the agreement Cipla will be allowed to manufacture the API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) and the finished product under its own brand name and market the finished product in 127 countries including India and South Africa.
Gilead Sciences Inc. will provide Cipla with the manufacturing know-how, to manufacture the API and finished product on a commercial scale. Through the EUA, Remdesivir can be used to treat hospitalized patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19 all around the world. The EUA has been issued based on available data from two global clinical trials. The trials include, the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ placebo-controlled Phase 3 study in patients with moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19, and Gilead’s global Phase 3 study evaluating Remdesivir in patients with severe disease.

OTT Release of Films irks Multiplex Owners

The rapid spread of the COVID-19 disease has now resulted in a worldwide lockdown, due to which several services are impacted as well.  Places like clubs, restaurants and movie theatres, have also been shut down, as these are places where large crowds usually gather. Since movie theatres continue to remain shut, many films which were to be released in the theatres within the next couple of months, will now be released on digital platforms. Amazon Prime, the American streaming service, has recently announced that it will be premiering seven new Indian films across different languages. The two big films being premiered on Amazon Prime include Gulabo Sitabo and Shakuntala Devi: Human Computer. Further, there will also be films in Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam and Kannada, which will be premiered on Amazon Prime.
However, this seems to be bad news for movie theatre owners, as they have to incur losses due to this lockdown. Several producers and exhibitors, including INOX, one of the leading multiplex owners in India, has written an open letter stating that film producers should be supporting multiplex owners during this difficult time. The letter highlights that “cinemas and content creators have always had a mutually beneficial relationship,” and by releasing the films on OTT (over-the-top) platforms, cinema owners do not get to have an opinion in the matter. While it will still take a longtime before cinemas are re-opened for business, the Producers Guild of India, stated that they will always be supportive of the theatrical release of a film, since films are conceptualised as a cinematic experience.
Authored and compiled by  Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) 
The Licensing and E-Commerce News Bulletin is brought to you jointly by the E-Commerce Law and Consulting/Strategy Divisions of BananaIP Counsels, a Top IP Firm in India. If you have any questions, or need any clarifications, please write to [email protected]  with the subject: Licensing News.
Disclaimer: Please note that the news bulletin has been put together from different sources, primary and secondary, and BananaIP’s reporters may not have verified all the news published in the bulletin. You may write to [email protected]  for corrections and take down.

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