Music Clearance

Music clearance is the process of obtaining permissions for the use of an individual’s songs and debating a fee with the individual. This would mean that if I were to use an individual’s music for a video game, I would have to contact themselves or their publisher in order to negotiate how much of the music I could use, the duration I could use it for, what the music would be used for, how much would this cost etc. Once all the paperwork has been put together and agreed upon, I would receive a synchronization license which would clarify the deal that was put together and agreed upon clearly stating the terms of the agreement as a legally binding document. If the music already exists in a film or television then it is likely that a “Master Use License” would be required. This is an agreement in which the owner of the copyright for that sound recording gives their permission for that sound to be used in a visual work such as a video game or another film/television programme.

In order to get hold of the publishing information to a particular song/music would be to contact the ASCAP (American society of composers, authors and publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) or SESAC (Society of European stage authors and composers) and give them information such as the name of the writer and title of the song in order for them to give you the contact information for that publisher. Once gaining this information, contact the publisher asking what information they require in order to use their music. The information they tend to ask for is the title of the song, the author, duration of the song, where the song is to be used, will it be used on advertising or marketing, description of the scene in which the music will be used and how long you would like to have the license for. Once this information is handed over to the publisher, then a fee can be given and once paid you would be allowed to use that music as agreed upon.

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