Types Of Music Licenses And Their Uses

By July 22, 2015 Music Licensing

Types of music licences

An artist or music producer licensing music is similar to a land-lord subletting or renting out a property. While the ownership itself is not transferred, the rights to use the music for various purposes such as commercials, drama, documentary and video games are granted for a pre-agreed length of time. This is done in exchange for royalties which can vary in accordance with the quality of music, publisher, music library and any other terms and conditions.

The Following are the various kinds of Licences that every artist or licensee should know about:

  • Master Recording Licence: Obtaining this licence give the holder the right to use a recording that was created by someone else. In most cases the master recording rights are obtained from the rights holder. In simpler terms, a master license gives the holder the permission to use an already existing record/track.
  • Performance Licence: As the name itself suggests, obtaining a performance licence means that you are permitted to ‘perform’ the music in public. This could include live gigs in clubs, commercial establishments, conventions etc.
  • Sync Licence: This is a licence that especially assists up-and-coming artists in gaining valuable exposure. A Sync License gives the licence holder the permission to sync the music with visual media outputs such as documentaries, dramas and commercials, among others.
  • Mechanical Licence: A Mechanical Licence gives the license holder the right to reproduce and distribute copyrighted music. When you want to cover an already existing song, this is the kind of licence you will need to get hold of. When reproducing the track one cannot make major changes from the original.
  • Print licence: As one may suspect, A Print Licence is needed to print, copy or re-print the lyrics of a song. This type of licence is usually needed to create song sheets etc.
  • Blanket Licence: A blanket licence allows the licence holder to use songs/tracks in large quantities for a pre-determined duration and for a pre-agreed fee. This is the licence that radio stations or establishments that constantly play music (for example malls, restaurant chains etc.) go for.

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The A, B and C of Sync licensing

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