What is a music copyright?
A music copyright is the lyrics and music of a song. It is a different copyright to a recording which is s separate copyright.
What is a licence?
A licence is what you need to legally use a music copyright. It needs to be in writing setting out the following details:-
- Name and address of owner or owner’s representative (Licensor)
- Name and address of user (Licensee)
- Title of Song
- How will the song be used
- Where will it be used – city, country, etc
- Media it will be used in – TV. Film, internet etc
- How much of the song will be used – seconds, minutes …
- How long do you want to use the song – 3 months, 6 months, 1 Year, forever…….
What does the licence cover?
It covers the right to used the song in the way that you and the owner’s representative agree – see the items above.
Why do I need a licence?
If you want to use a song you must obtain a licence from the music publisher. An unlicensed use may be an infringement of the music copyright.
How much will the licence cost?
There is no simple answer to this question. For a new song the composer and their music publisher may be willing to let the song be used for no fee. Well known songs can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the usage.
Can I use the recording?
No, you need a separate licence for the recording copyright. Many times we control this right and give you a bundled licence covering the music copyright as well as the recording copyright. You can make your own recording also – possibly subject to obtaining a licence from APRA|AMCOS.
How long will it take to get a licence?
Sometimes it can be very quick and sometimes it may take a month or more. For big hit songs it may take three months or more. Sometimes the owner will deny approval completely – regardless of the project. It is therefore recommended that you allow for a minimum of one month.
Can I change the lyrics or the music?
You cannot change the music or lyrics without first getting permission from the owner. This can also be a very lengthy process if the original creator is overseas or no longer alive.