Whether you are already aware of the term “music licensing” or not, many people are still unsure in what circumstances they will be required to purchase a sync license to legally be able to feature a piece of music in a project. When is a music license required?
In this brief post I’ll quickly cover some of the scenarios when you will need to get a license to use music.
You Don’t Own the Rights
If you didn’t create the music yourself, or just downloaded a track from iTunes, you don’t have any legal right to use that music for any other purpose than your personal listening pleasure. In order to feature music in a project you will be required to either get written authorisation from the artist/publisher, or purchase a sync license.
Projects That Require a Music Sync License
If someone else created the music and you want to use it in any of the following you will need to arrange a sync license:
- Movies – including short films
- Video games
- Movie and game trailers
- Corporate videos
- Wedding videos
- Personal videos
- Personal websites
- YouTube videos
- Advertising – both online and offline
- Video presentations of all types
- TV shows
These are the more common projects in which you will need to get a sync license to feature music. Now I’ll tell you about one of the best places to find music for licensing, and it’s all pretty simple.
Music Licensing Websites
These websites make it all very easy to first find appropriate music to license, and to purchase a sync license without having the headache of dealing with any legal processes. There are many good music licensing websites around that feature music of all genres and of high quality sound recordings. Some websites are better than others in their ease of use and securing a license, and some offer highly curated content, such at the Musicbed site.
One of my personal favourite sites is Songtradr, because of the music selection they offer. Their site is also extremely easy on the eye and effortless to navigate. But what really sets Songtradr apart from the competition is their search tool, enabling you, the buyer, to quickly and efficiently find a shortlist of tracks that will suit your project and the parameters you input into the search.
The last thing you want is the headache of trolling through endless sound files on the hunt for what you need. The quicker you can find something, the better. You’re busy and you just want to get the right piece of music and be on your way.
Songtradr makes this very easy.
They also have a system in place where, once you find the music you want, you select the type of license you require and the price for that license for that particular music track is displayed. Then, if everything is to your liking, you simply purchase the license and download the track ready for inclusion in your movie, video or whatever you need it for.
To check out what’s on offer over at Songtradr, just click on their logo below and you will be directed to their website. It’s free to look, so enjoy.
This article is like a “best copyright attribution practices” manual, except exclusively for music. In that case, thanks very much for writing it. Not only is it a good article, it’s kind of a public service for the uninformed.
I sure didn’t know anything about the details of how copyright attribution applied to music, but I’ll be sure to keep this article in my history. It definitely feels like one of those things that could be a lifesaver someday.
Thanks for reading, Andrew. At least you will now know when you might need to license music for a project and where to get it. Cheers.