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TypePrivate company
FounderPatrick Sullivan (President, Founder and CEO)
Benjamin Cockerham (Founder, CFO and Chief Strategy Officer)
New York City
United States
OwnerGoogle (2011–present)

RightsFlow is an American company that provides organizations, bands, songwriters and individuals with music licensing services and royalty payment solutions.[1] It was founded in 2007.

RightsFlow is based in New York City. It was co-founded by Patrick Sullivan and Benjamin Cockerham,[2] who are still with the company. Sullivan is currently the president & CEO, and Cockerham is currently the CFO and chief strategy officer. Additional members of the executive team include Matt Irvin, senior vice president of product and co-founder,[3] Scott Sellwood, senior vice-president and general counsel,[4] Fred Beteille, senior vice-president, operations and technology, Michael Kauffman, senior vice-president of corporate communications and content,[5] Chris Lydle, vice-president of sales and marketing, and Alex Holz, vice-president of artist and client relations.[6]

The company was acquired by Google on December 9, 2011,[7] with the deal announced on the YouTube blog.[8]

Brief history[edit]

Launched in 2007, RightsFlow now has over 16,000 clients,[9] including YouTube,[10] Muzak, Wolfgang's Vault,[11] and Rhapsody,[12] as well as CDBaby, Disc Makers, We Print Discs and Zynga.[13] RightsFlow was selected No. 8 on Crain's New York "Best Places To Work in NYC" for 2011.[14] The company was acquired by Google in December 2011 and is now a subsidiary of YouTube.[15]


Rightsflow provides online music services, record companies, distributors and artists the ability to license music and lyrics while also managing payments for the rights holders.[16] Through their LimeLight service, RightsFlow helps secure the mechanical license for individuals, artists and bands.[17] Through their MySpark service, the company simplifies copyright registration with the United States Copyright Office.

Limelight is an online rights clearance service to secure a mechanical license, or the right to record a cover version of a song. Limelight charges a small fee to attempt to secure the license.[18]

MySpark is an online utility that simplifies copyright registration for creators and owners of various forms of intellectual property including literary works, visual arts, sound recordings, performing arts, and software.[19]


  1. ^ Christman, Ed. "RightsFlow Builds A Business Around Clearing Song Rights" – March 18, 2011 article from Billboard
  2. ^ Billboard staff. "Power Players: 30 Under 30" – August 21, 2010 article from Billboard
  3. ^ https://angel.co/matt-irvin[bare URL]
  4. ^ Weiss, David. "RightsFlow: NYC’s Mechanical Animals of Music Licensing" – April 28, 2010 article from SonicScoop.com
  5. ^ Osorio, Alexandra. "Michael Kauffman and Chris Lydle Elevated By RightsFlow" – August 16, 2011 article from Digital Music News
  6. ^ Music Think Tank. "Cash for Covers: 3 Easy Ways to Make Money from Cover Songs on Digital Stores" – February 22, 2011 article on Music Think Tank
  7. ^ Sisario, Ben. "Media Decoder: YouTube Buys Company That Processes Music Royalties" – December 9, 2011 article on The New York Times Media Decoder blog
  8. ^ King, David. "Easier copyright management on YouTube" – December 9, 2011 post on the YouTube blog
  9. ^ LeBlanc, Larry. "In The Hot Seat With Larry LeBlanc: Patrick Sullivan" October 25, 2011 article from Celebrity Access
  10. ^ O'Dell, Jolie. "YouTube Enlists Help for Music Rights Management" February 10, 2011 article from Mashable
  11. ^ Osorio, Alexandra. "Also: Rightsflow+Wolfgang's... news post" March 3, 2011 post on Digital Music News
  12. ^ Ha, Anthony. "RightsFlow Raises $1.5M to Help Manage Music Licensing" – August 26, 2009 online article from VentureBeat.
  13. ^ Tartakoff, Joseph. "RightsFlow Raises $1.5Million for Music Licensing and Royalty Payment Platform" – August 26, 2009 online article from PaidContent.
  14. ^ Crain's New York. [1] December 5, 2011 online list from Crain's New York.
  15. ^ Smith, Ethan. "Google Acquires Music Royalty Manager RightsFlow" – December 9, 2011 article on the Wall Street Journal Online
  16. ^ Lao, Reena. "Rightsflow Scores $1.5 Million for Consumer-Facing Site to Obtain Music Rights" – August 26, 2009 online article from TechCrunch.
  17. ^ Peoples, Glenn Billboard Biz Business Matters – June 4, 2010 online article from Billboard Biz.
  18. ^ Inman, Davis. "Next BIG Nashville Spotlight: Limelight" – September 21, 2010 online article from Next BIG Nashville.
  19. ^ Robley, Chris. "MySpark: the easiest way to register your copyrights" – November 18, 2011 online article from The DIY Musician Blog.

External links[edit]