Shazam and performing rights organization BMI have exchanged intellectual property again, this time in the other direction. Shazam has reacquired the audio recognition technology and related patents it sold to BMI in 2005. Under terms of the deal, BMI will become a shareholder in Shazam and retain the right to use the technology.

BMI president and chief executive officer Del Bryant said this was simply another phase in its long-term relationship with Shazam. “This agreement will allow Shazam to build on its tremendous success in creating consumer-facing services while at the same time allowing BMI to continue to deliver commercial recognition services for our customers through a perpetual, worldwide license, and to benefit from an ongoing technology collaboration with Shazam,” he said in a statement.

In other words, the digital music space has changed a lot in the past six years. BMI will continue to include Shazam’s technology as part of its BMI Recognition Services, which measure the use and identity of musical works across a broad spectrum of analog and digital platforms. Shazam regains complete control over how it implements and expands its products. The two companies will work together on co-marketing programmes and new services for BMI’s customers and members.

“Shazam has seen fantastic growth in the last year, adding more than 1.5 million new people every week, with the total number of Shazamers around the globe now exceeding 165 million,” Shazam chief executive officer, Andrew Fisher said in a statement. “This is the optimal time to repurchase the technology and patents so that we can continue to add to and protect our growing portfolio which will, in turn, allow Shazam to broaden our range of products, further developing Shazam for TV and other innovative offerings.”

Shazam is headquartered in London with offices in Palo Alto, New York, Los Angeles and Seoul. The Shazam App is available on iOS, Android, Java, BlackBerry, Windows, Symbian and other major platforms and in more than 30 languages and 200 countries around the world.

Broadcast Music Inc. represents more than 500,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 7.5 million musical works. It collected $931 million for the year ended June 30, a 1.5 percent increase from the $917 million it reported in the previous year.

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Photo by Flickr user BrentDPayne, used under Creative Commons license