Music Licensing Resources

It was great seeing everyone at the 2012 California Lawyers for the Arts Music Business Seminar in Berkeley. Here are some resources to augment the music licensing discussion:
  • Generic licensing provisions and explanations: We've posted examples and explanations for common generic content license agreement provisions. These should provide a basic understanding of the structure and organization of a typical license.
  • Licensing songs and recordings for film and TV.  There's an example of a Music Synchronization and Videogram License (with explanations) in our book, Getting Permission. That book also contains examples for a Master Use and Videogram License (for licensing sound recordings) and an agreement for licensing lyrics. You can also view examples of similar agreements online, for example here, here, and here.
  • Licensing music for videogames. This ArtistsHouse page has a relevant article and video about music licensing for videogames. As EA's Steve Schur explains, the sync and master licenses mirror the agreements used in film licensing. As Schur also explains, when creating EA's theme music, EA seeks assignments, not licenses. ASCAP has posted a nice article on the elements of a videogame license.
  •  Copyright. There's a fairly thorough explanation of music copyright, and how to distinguish co-ownership issues in our Music Law book. We've also provided free copyright information at the Stanford Library site, and at Nolo's site.
  • Getting legal help. California Lawyers for the Arts (or one of the other lawyers for the arts organizations throughout the country) should be your first stop. If there are no organizations near you, consider directories from Nolo (disclaimer: our employer) or Cornell University. Nolo also has articles on dealing with lawyers, including working with lawyersfees, and attorney-client relationships

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