[This is a Master Class on Licensing and Copyright. If you have had problems with licenses, payouts and related matters, we really want your comments below!]
You license your music so that you can be properly compensated for the use of your work, or, to put it in other words: licensing your music is the foundation of making money in the music business. A license provides the right –granted by the copyright holder – for someone to broadcast, recreate or perform a recorded copy of your (NOTE ->) copyrighted work. Most music licensing agreements include some form of compensation to the copyright owner.
Now I’m going to ‘should’ on you. If you are contemplating working with a music outfit, you should read the license agreement. Yes, the license agreement is typically written in legalese. If you have a legal person working with you, take some time and review the parts of a license agreement to get familiar with the terms.
Types of licenses: Synchronization, Public Performance, Mechanical
#1) Synchronization: Your track is synchronized with video. This can be a TV commercial, movie, YouTube video, etc.
#2) Public Performance: your track is publicly performed on the radio, the internet, sports arena or retail store.
#3) Mechanical: your track is being delivered to the end user (either digitally or physically) in a format they can take with them. Think vinyls, tapes, CDs, iTunes and other digital formats.
Music License Agreements
You can Google ‘music license agreement example’ to find some, for example: http://www.amsystem.us/AMsystemMusicLicenseContractSample.pdf Each of the platforms you are looking to sell your music through should make their license available to you. Here some current biggies: You can find common music licensing terms at http://www.ascap.com/licensing/termsdefined.aspx and a good list of definitions at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_licensing
Next week we'll discuss copywrites, the benefits and uses of them, and the difference between copywrites and licenses. Until then, keep on rockin with Melody Fusion!