Music Information

Music Licensing


Music licensing can be a very confusing subject. My intent with this article is to give you enough details on what music licensing is and what are your rights to use music in advertising and / or video productions.

A few months ago I was contacted by a company that was celebrating 20 years in business. They wanted to put together a radio commercial that highlighted their celebration. Their request was to use Kool and the Gangs song Celebration in their radio spot. I explained to them in order to do this they would have to obtain a licensing which would cost them quite a bit of money. This was not an option for them due to their limited budget and ultimately they told me that they "went another direction" with their advertising.

If I had agreed to use this song without obtaining a licensing I would have put both of our companies at risk. It was not worth the risk just to make a sale. Beware that there are unscrupulous production companies that will do this type of illegal activity so the best protection you have is knowledge.

The copyright law protects writers of music by giving them exclusive right to their music. Once a piece of music is under copyright protection it is illegal to use it without getting permission to the owner of the copyright.

There are actually two types of copyrights in the United States. One is the actual copyright which is denoted with the familiar C with a circle around it. This protection is for the actual melody, lyrics and arrangement of the music. The copyright is usually owned by the actual artist that wrote the piece or their publishing company.

The second form of copyright is the actual recording itself. This is denoted by a P with a circle around it. This protection covers the performance of the song caught on tape or digital media and released on CD or other media. Many times a record or production company will own this performance right.

If you want to use a song in a production, you need obtain a Master Use license from the owner of the copyright and a Synchronization license (often called a sync license) from the owner of the performance of the song.

The fees for synchronization licenses vary greatly. Low-end TV usage (music is playing from car radio in a scene) can cost up to $2,000. In a film, the fee may be as high as $10,000. A popular song is worth more, possibly $3,000 for TV and $25,000 for film. A song used as the theme song for a film might get $50,000 to $75,000. Commercials can get even more money. Fees for a popular song can range from $25,000 to $500,000 plus per year. The typical range for a well-known song is $75,000 to $200,000 for a one year national usage in the United States on television and radio.

I think you will agree with me that that is allot of money and usually way over budget for many video and radio productions.

To get around these outrageous fees, music production companies sell buyout music. When you purchase a buyout CD you do not need to obtain a licensing to use the music. You can use the music hassle free and at a much lower cost.

Buyout music or royalty-free, as it applies to my products, means that for your one-time purchase price, you can legally use the music in your productions for life of ownership. All copyrights of the music remain with Zebra Music LLC. My jingle licensing agreement allows a protected area of 200 miles. By doing this no other companies in a local market will have the same jingle.

Many other production companies offer a similar buy out music licensing. I would advise you to read the licensing agreements with other production companies and ask questions if you have concerns.

Network broadcast and international broadcast of buyout production music is cleared through a performance organization (like BMI or ASCAP). The revenue that these songs produce when they are aired is paid directly from broadcast station licensing, NOT from you as a producer. These performance organizations then in turn pay each artist based on the amount their song or songs were aired on the radio or TV.

I hope this article has cleared up any confusion or questions that you have had about copyright and music licensing.

***************************************

Steve Veloudos owns and operates Zebra Music LLC. It's a one stop shop for jingles, radio production, custom music, library music, and sound design. Visit Steve's web site and get free monthly music that you can use for your productions.
http://www.zebramusic.com

zebra24@msn.com

480-540-7768

***************************************


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Minneapolis Star Tribune

Emotions run high as McNally Smith College of Music graduates final class
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Graduations always hold the promise of new beginnings, but this time, it also meant the end. Thirty-three graduates of McNally Smith College of Music gathered Saturday at the History Theatre for the downtown St. Paul school's final commencement, just ...
McNally Smith College of Music closing due to lack of fundsKMSP-TV
McNally Smith president says financing failure forced music school's closureMinnesota Public Radio News
US music college goes bustSlipped Disc
St. Cloud Times -TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press -Wisconsin Public Radio News
all 45 news articles »


KHOU

Despite storms, 20k music fans enjoy 'Day for Night' festival
KHOU
HOUSTON - The Day For Night music festival ended outdoor performances early because of severe weather that moved into the Houston area Saturday evening. "It's December in Houston,” said one festival attendee. “You never know what the weather's going to ...
Dreary weather leads to end of outdoor music at Day for NightKTRK-TV

all 2 news articles »


The San Diego Union-Tribune

Net neutrality's end may have negative impact for music fans and musicians
The San Diego Union-Tribune
About 60 demonstrators gathered earlier this month in Washington, D.C., to protest FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plans to scrap Obama-era net neutrality protections. On Thursday, the FCC voted, 5-3, to end net neutrality. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty ...

and more »


CBS Philly

Does Christmas Music Turn You Into The Grinch?
CBS Philly
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — Does Christmas music put you in the spirit of giving or turn your heart two sizes too small? If you find yourself relating to a hairy, green, holiday-hating beast known as the Grinch when your ears are filled with the sounds of ...

and more »


KTRK-TV

Aging rockers reign atop the first In Bloom Music Festival
KTRK-TV
Beck, Queens of the Stone Age, Incubus, Explosions in the Sky, and Broken Social Scene. All due to play along a bayou without threat of a rainstorm. Hopefully. In an attempt to exorcise the stigma and the misfortune of having a rained out event in ...



Variety

10 Best Uses of Music in Movies in 2017
Variety
Music and film formed a potent partnership over the past 12 months, whether it was Hans Zimmer's jarring score for Christopher Nolan's “Dunkirk,” which served as another character in providing the on-screen tension, or the choreographed mayhem of Edgar ...

and more »


CBS News

Inside The Anthem, and the unlikely story of how it came to be
CBS News
The Anthem, a new music venue in Washington, D.C., just opened in the city's revitalized Wharf district. It's an unlikely independent success story in an industry filled with global entertainment companies. CBS News' Alex Wagner took a tour of the new ...



Topeka Capital Journal

Topeka Ramada to offer variety of music for annual New Year's celebration
Topeka Capital Journal
“Then we have in the grand (ballroom) Ghost Town Blues, and there's really an undercurrent in this year's talent that is really the bayou.” Accompanying some of the acts, Kramer said there's a drum line and a horn line — they're pulling out all the ...



The Gander Beacon

Hayley Taylor's musical family sparked early interest in music
The Gander Beacon
GAMBO, NL – For the Taylors of Gambo, music is a family affair. Mike Taylor plays bass and guitar, as does his father, who also plays mandolin and is now learning to play the accordion. “It's just right through the family,” said Mike. “It's something ...

and more »


New York Times

Humble Cinderella: The 8 Best Classical Music Moments of the Week on YouTube
New York Times
Julian Wachner's annual presentation of Handel's “Messiah” at Trinity Wall Street, always eagerly awaited by early-music fans in New York, brings added curiosity this weekend: Advance publicity reports that “parts typically sung by female voices will ...


Google News

home | site map
© 2006