FAQ - Music Use 

I want to use one of your artists music for my project. How does that work? 

Music is considered an intellectual property and is protected by copyright law, so when you use music in an audio or audio/visual production, you need to get permission from the songwriters that wrote the song and their publishers (this is called a synchronization license) AND you need to obtain permission from the owner of the recording (this is called a master use license). If you do not obtain permission from both the writers/publishers and the master owner, and you use a copyrighted work, you are breaking the law. 

How do I obtain a license? 

To obtain a license, you need to contact the master recording owner and the songwriters/publishers for permission to use their song. 

How do I know who the songwriters and publishers are for the song I want to use? 

Music publishing can be complicated so a little bit of research is required in order to find the songwriters and publishers attached to any given track. ASCAP and BMI (the two largest performing rights organizations in the United States) have searchable repertoire databases that are accessible by the public. 

To search the ASCAP database, follow this link: https://www.ascap.com/repertory 

To search the BMI database, follow this link:  http://repertoire.bmi.com/StartPage.aspx 

How do I know who owns the master recording for the song I want to use? 

If it is a self released project, the artist owns it, otherwise it belongs to a record label. You can ask us for clarification. 

What does the license cover? 

A license will allow you to use your desired song for your specific project, for a set amount/sum, for a certain amount of time. The license will also specify how the music can be used depending on how the project will be released (for example, a license may cover YouTube/online only, or if may include film, TV, and/or digital media uses, depending on the license). 

How much does the license cost? 

We understand that music can be expensive and so we are happy to work with you to find a budget that suits your project needs. If you are looking to use one of our cover songs, you will need to negotiate the cost of the synchronization license directly with the songwriters/publishers attached to the song. We explain how cover song uses work in detail below! 

How do I obtain a license to use an original song? 

If you would like to use an original work by an artist, you can reach out to us using the contact form on this website and we can assist you in the licensing process. 

How do I obtain a license to use a cover song? 

To obtain a license to use a cover, you need to contact the publishers/songwriters who control the composition (in other words, the song) AND you will need to contact us using the contact form on the this website so that we can approve the use of the recording. Please bear in mind, that a cover song can be quite expensive as the artist who originally released the song is often a high profile musician. Fees for a cover song can be very expensive and permission to use the song is sometimes denied by the publishers/songwriters. 

I obtained a license for my project, and now I want to use the same song for another project. Do I have to license the song again? 

Yes, you need to obtain a new license. A synchronization/master use license is granted for a specific use in a specific project. If you want to use the same song in a different project, you will have to go back through the licensing process to get a new license that is specific to the new project. 

What if I the cover song I want to use is a classic song? 

If the song you want to use is very old (for example a Christmas hymn like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”), the music may be in the public domain. This means that you will need to get permission from the master recording owner, but not from the songwriter/publisher. In the United States, songs enter the public domain 70 years after the last surviving author has died (in Canada, this happens after 50 years). To find out if a song is in the public domain, you will need to do a bit of research and resources such as the public domain information project may be a good place to start: https://www.pdinfo.com/public-domain-music-list.php