MUSIC LICENSING: EARNINGREVENUE WITH YOUR SONGSBand Business Crash CourseNovember 3, 2012Dana Myers, Esq.
LICENSING: WHAT IS IT? Permission from the copyright owner to use their work Bundle of Rights Licenses can be bought and sold Types of Payment Flat fee Royalty Exclusive vs. Non-exclusive Any and every time you hear music, in theory, the copyright owner (or his/her representative) has licensed that right to use their music
TYPES OF LICENSES There are a variety of licenses for different types of uses of your music. Mechanical License: song copyright Royalties are usually based on the statutory rate, which is currently 9.1 cents for songs under 5 minutes, and are due for every record “manufactured and distributed.” Master Use License: sound recording copyright Royalties are negotiated with the master owner, and for popular recordings, can get very expensive Public Performance: song copyright Royalties based on the amount of times your song is played Synch: use of your music to synchronize with, or relate to, something visual on a screen Fee is based on the length of the song, the manner of use, and the intended reach (ex. national/regional) of the video
PERFORMING RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS Performing Rights Organizations (PRO) act as intermediaries on behalf of copyright owners to track and collect payments for the public performance of your songs The more your song is played, the more you will earn There are 3 Performing Rights Organizations in the United States. Each has its own website with detailed information about the organization. ASCAP BMI SESAC
PUBLISHERS Music publishers exploit your songs by finding potential users, issuing licenses, collecting fees, and paying the writers. Copyright owner will license certain rights to the publisher Publishers generally charge 50% Until you get “picked up” by a publisher, you have the right to license your own music Many publishers do not accept unsolicited materials
LICENSING YOUR MUSIC Network! Songwriter workshops and competitions Become known locally before moving into a bigger market Prepare a demo Social Media/Promotion Be patient!
EXERCISE Match the genre of music with the most appropriate client (aka the “licensee”) Metal a) documentary on medical marijuana clinics Classical b) TV show about the history of the piano Reggae c) Reality TV show in tattoo parlor Alternative Rock d) slow-paced short film in Iceland’s rolling hills Ambient Electronicae) TV show about indie band making it in the biz In order for your musical act to cover a song that has already been released by another singer/songwriter, what kind of license do you have to obtain, and to whom does the money go?A. Mechanical license; original artist’s managerB. Mechanical license; original writer’s publisherC. Master use license; original artist’s record labelD. Synchronization license; original artist’s producerE. Master use license; original writer’s publisher