Graduates’ start-up makes licensing a breeze

(Ben Cockerham and Patrick Sullivan at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.)

In 2007, NYU MUBG graduates Patrick Sullivan (G ’00) and Ben Cockerham (G ’06) founded the licensing and royalty solutions provider RightsFlow ( to address the industry-wide pain of navigating a complex web of content owners and licensing agreements. RightsFlow’s proprietary “FLOW” bulk licensing technology allows the company to obtain licenses from publishers and pay out royalties owed to songwriters with ease.

One of RightsFlow’s notable emerging services is Limelight (, a simple, online tool that allows musicians and bands to clear the rights to any cover song. Limelight aids artists in securing mechanical licenses and paying mechanical royalties to songwriters for digital, physical, and ringtone licenses. RightsFlow has seen rapid growth and adoption of Limelight by artists, groups, and choirs across the United States and 46 other countries, including at many schools and universities.

Earlier this summer, RightsFlow announced an agreement to provide full mechanical licensing and administration for Rhapsody (, the leading online music subscription service. The deal will provide Rhapsody with additional tools and solutions for mechanical licensing and content management services for publishing rights in the United States. RightsFlow also provides support for online entities such as Muzak, The Orchard, CD Baby, and DiskMakers.

In addition to running RightsFlow, Patrick and Ben have been involved in government hearings about the future of digital copyright. With features in Billboard, a client list of over 10,000 labels, distributors, and music services, and a 23 million-song database, RightsFlow has quickly established itself as a leading provider of mechanical licensing services and royalty payment technology. 


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