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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.
Soul Band for a Party
Was the request six months ago, a sixtieth birthday party, the client said. It got me thinking. There is a whole untapped market out there for people who lived as teenagers and twenty somethings through the sixties and seventies. They are all coming up to this big sixtieth birthday date and they all love the kind of music I love to play and earn my living out of! More than that, their kids are off their hands, their mortgage is paid up and they can afford to splash out on a big celebration.
How to Play Piano Using a Few Chords
How many chords do you need to create a piece of music? Would you believe that it doesn't really matter and that whole pieces of music have been created using just one chord? For example, if you play a D minor 7 chord, you could use the bass note D to create a drone effect and anchor the whole improvisation. It could last for a few seconds or many minutes.
Protocol for Piping a Formal Dinner: A Ceremonial Guide for Highland Bagpipers
It is believed that the custom of dining in began in the monasteries, was adopted by the early universities, and later spread to military units when the officer's mess was established. British officers of the 19th century were drawn from the aristocracy, and while they considered themselves gentlemen, they were not necessarily men of means; third and fourth sons had little chance of inheriting title and lands under primogeniture. While the pooling of resources may have been out of economic necessity, the regimental officer's mess maintained the social stratification of English society and ensured that the traditions of gentlemanly conduct were maintained and inculcated to junior officers. The primary elements are a rigidly formal setting, espirit de corps and the camaraderie of peers, a fine dinner, traditional toasts to the head of state and military services, martial music and the attendance of honored guests or speakers. Today, although the purpose of a dinner may be to observe an appointment, promotion, retirement, or some auspicious occasion, a central theme of such events is a ceremonial focus upon the history of the host organization.
Right Hand Guitar Playing Tip
This lesson can open for you a secret of high-speed guitar playing. If take the given technique for 2-3 weeks you'll feel progress in high-speed playing of complex passages.
How To Change Your Guitar Strings
Changing your guitar strings might make you feel a litte uncomfortable if you have never done it before, but it's really quite simple and should become a regular part of your guitar care routine. Before you do anything, first take time to make some personal observations such as:
The Irish Harp
The harp that once through Tara's halls the soul of music shed,now hangs as mute on Tara's walls, as if that soul were fled.So sleeps the pride of former days, so glory's thrill is o'er,and hearts that once beat high for praise,now feel that pulse no more
Taking iPod Culture into Clubs as Well as Cyberspace: Jonny Rocket Interviewed by The G-Man
Already making plenty of noise in the marketplace is a new concept called Playlist, which exists both as a club and as an online music competition (see www.ipod-dj.com for details on how to enter and what you can win).
Music Mini Course: Learn The Basics Of Reading Music On A Keyboard Instrument
Welcome to the wonderful world of music. As you begin reading this Music Mini Course it is fun to realize that you are also participating in a very important cultural aspect from around the world which has been going on for centuries. Did you know that pianos in some form have been around for over 500 years? Some of the first instruments of this kind were created in the late Medieval Period and were called clavichords. They had a very light, metallic sound because the small hand-pounded 'hammers' were made of very light weight metal-like material. These hammers struck strings of varying lengths to create different tones or pitches. The next cousin to the clavichord was the harpsichord invented by Cristofori in Italy around 1450 A.D. This keyboard instrument had a mechanism in it called the plecktrum which 'plucked' the strings and produced a slightly stronger sound than its predecessor. Whether you are playing an acoustic instrument, which is the closest relative to the history just mentioned, or an electronic keyboard, you are now participating in a centuries old musical art form.
Acoustic Or Electronic Drums - What Is Your Choice?
A debate rages on in the drumming world! You might think that the debate centers on brands of drums, or different styles of drums. However, you would be wrong. This debate centers on the use of electronic drums in the music industry.
How To Make a Fortune Teaching Piano (or Guitar, or Drums, or Singing, or?) To Beginners
"But I'm not in it for the money" you say.
The Piano Parent Trap!
"My 6 year old daughter really loves the piano and wants to learn to play, but when I try to help her she gets very upset with me. What should I do?"
Warner Music Executive Payments
"In human life, art may arise from almost any activity, and once it does so, it is launched on a long road of exploration, invention, freedom to the limits of extravagance, interference to the point of frustration, finally discipline, controlling constant change and growth." Susanne Langer (1895-1985)
How To Write A Song
Did you ever wish that it was your song playing on the radio? It could be. It is not that hard once you know the formula. With a little creativity, a little knowledge, a little luck and a good formula to follow, your song could be one of the next biggest hits.Songwriting comes easy for some, and is very difficult for others. I have actually written songs in my sleep, and immediately upon awaking, written it as quickly as I could get the words on down on paper.What I want to discuss here is popular songwriting, like the songs you hear on the radio. A good pop song, whether rock, country, middle of the road, is composed of two things: a catchy tune and some good lyrics.There is a formula that most great songwriters use to write great songs. It regards the structure used to write a song. Granted, it is music and it is art, so the rules are not hard and fast. But if you want to increase your chances of getting your song on the radio, it is a good starting point.Here is the formula. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus.Write that down on paper leaving plenty of space between each word and this will be your script.VerseThe verse is the part of the song that tells the story, the part that leads to the chorus. Each verse is usually different, telling a different part of, or adding to, the story. It usually explains how you got to the things you are singing about in the chorus.Chorus.The chorus is the part of the song that is repeated after each verse. The lyrics are usually the same each time the chorus comes around. The verse usually leads to the chorus, and the chorus is usually the pay off for listening to the verse. Does that make sense?Here is a lame example (you did not think I would give you my best work, did you?):(verse)My dog is sick, he's got a tickHe's my best friend, don't let it end(chorus)Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be free(verse)My car broke down, just out of townIt got towed in, but it's broke again(chorus)Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be freeNow, if you would kindly stop laughing at my lame song for a minute, I want you to think about whether or not you understand my point. Songwriting is story telling. The verse tells the problems, the chorus expresses the results or the emotions.All right, now that you have that mastered, let's tackle the bridge. Ah, yeah, there is more to the song than the pain and the release. We need the diversion. That is what the bridge is; it is the diversion from the verse and the chorus.The bridge may have a slightly different melody to it, or it could even have a different rhythm or a different tempo (Elvis' "Suspicious Minds" did a great job on this technique).Let's go back to the lame song and add a bridge: (verse)My dog is sick, he's got a tickHe's my best friend, don't let it end(chorus)Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be free(verse)My car broke down, just out of townIt got towed in, but it's broke again(chorus)Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be free(bridge)Tomorrow is a better day, I've got a new truck on the wayMy dog just had a flea it seems, so once again I'll live my dreams(chorus)Oh, woe was me, can't you seeWoe was me, but now I'm freeThe bridge offers a solution to the problems I was having. You don't want to leave your listener on the edge of suicide, you want to give them hope.Notice, I also changed up the wording of the chorus. This was done to reflect my new found joy.One more thing on formula. It can be anyway you want, but most verses and chorus come in lines of 4. So, instead of this:(verse)Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be free(verse)My car broke down, just out of townIt got towed in, but it's broke againit would be:Oh, woe is me, can't you seeWoe is me, will I ever be freeMy car broke down, just out of townIt got towed in, but it's broke againThe same goes for the chorus. Again, if you are creative, do it however you want. But for a new songwriter, this gives you some guidelines to scratch out and start carving out your new creation.One more thing, do not make the notes to the melody so high that your fans cannot sing along. We are certainly all not Stevie Wonder.
Learning to Play the Piano with Chords Part 2
Do you want to learn how to play chords on the piano? Can you already read sheet music or basic notes on the treble and or bass clef?
Making Music As A Lefty
Author Interview with Ryan Thomson, seacoast New Hampshire resident, and author of a new book advocating left handed violin playing by lefties. - Playing Violin and Fiddle Left Handed.
How to Compose Using ABA Form
ABA form is like a musical sandwich. You have the 2 slices of bread with the contrasting meat and cheese on the inside. Instead of bread and meat, you use musical materials. Perhaps an 8-bar phrase for the A section followed by a 4 or 8-bar phrase for the B section. A nice little musical sandwich.
Facts about Betty Kresin, Eminems grandmother
How to Become a Filthy Rich Record Label Mogul
Let me guess, you love music and would do anything to be able to enter into the fabulous life of the music business? Better yet, you would love to become the next record mogul like P.Diddy or Clive Davis.
Tips on Performing Your Music for Others
Have you ever dreamed of performing a piece you created for others. Imagining that they are captivated and held spellbound by the music? If you have, you know that it can be a long road from actually coming up with something, practicing it, and then giving it to an audience. In my own case, I had a good opportunity to perform. It was in a coffeehouse that already had a decent piano.
The First Step and Most Important Thing in Learning Guitar
Most of the guitar lovers playing guitar for few years but still unsatisfied with their progress. They feel like still stand at the starting point and can't enjoy their playing. This mainly caused by most of them don't build up a strong foundation at the begining. I found that some of the guitar learners even just playing guitar for one to two years but are more better than so many that playing for over five years. This is the foundation problems. Me myself was an example when I started playing guitar long time ago.
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