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What does “Music Licensing” actually mean?

Music licensing is the licensed use of copyrighted music; for example when a piece of music is featured on a TV advert. Music licensing ensures that all the various copyright owners are happy for the music to be used in a specific way and that they are compensated fairly.

What is Copyright within music?

The term "copyright" refers to the exclusive rights of the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt that work. These rights can be licensed, transferred and/or assigned. Copyright protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, sound recordings, films, broadcasts and the typographical arrangement of a published edition (i.e. how it looks on the page). The legal framework for copyright in the UK is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 [CDPA] as amended.

How long does Copyright last?

In the UK, the composition rights last for up to 70 years from the end of the calendar year after the writer(s)/author dies. The sound recording or master rights are generally protected for up to 50 years from the end of the year in which the recording was made. If a track is still protected by copyright it is a legal requirement to gain a music license before a track is used. Permission is required from all the rights-holders.

Who are the Rights-holders?

In order to use a piece of copyrighted music you need to get clearance from the copyright owners. This process can be lengthy and complicated especially when there is more than one “Rights-holder”. There are two parts of copyright within a piece of music; the composition and the master. The composition is usually owned by either the writer(s) or a music publisher and the master is usually owned by the artist or a record label.

What are the rights?

Along with gaining permission from the various owners you also need them to grant you various rights. There are four rights in total; two rights for the “composition” and two for the “master”. The “Mechanical Right” which allows the end user to make a single copy of the piece of music for the specific usage (this is due at the time of obtaining the license), the “Performance Right” which is required each time the music is performed either via broadcast, online or in a public place.

Why use SyncSquirrel?

Pre-cleared catalogues to suit a range of budgets: We’re pleased to be able to offer catalogues of top quality music from acclaimed, established artists and new, up and coming talent alike, all at very reasonable rates. To simplify things further, all the music within our catalogues has been “pre-cleared” meaning you can license on the spot, with no waiting around! We have approached all the “Rights-holders” of each individual piece of music we represent and we have been granted permission for you to use the music within your project. We have negotiated very reasonable rates which cover the synchronisation fee for both the “master” and “composition” rights (please note our prices exclude any additional royalties due for performing rights in both the song and recording so please contact your local collection agency to see if further fees apply).

Intuitive search utility: Not only do we bring you a whole host of good quality pre-cleared music at your finger tips but we also offer you a very intuitive tool to help you search our catalogues and find the perfect piece for your project. We have tagged all the music by genre, tempo, mood and instrumentation – choose one or a combination of all to get a selection of music that meets your exact requirements. We focused on making our site as user friendly as possible and but if you need any help using the site please do get in touch as we are always more than happy to help.

Search and suggest: We know the music we represent like the back of our hands and are more than happy to search and suggest music on your behalf. Please contact us with briefs and requirements and we will email you over a few ideas quickly and efficiently.

Bespoke: Many of the musicians and composers we work with are happy to write bespoke pieces of music so please do get in touch with requirements and we will contact the best composer for the job.

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