Music and Video – Copyright Clearance Center Rights Licensing Expert Tue, 17 Jul 2018 07:00:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Music and Video – Copyright Clearance Center 32 32 Music Modernization Act Introduced in House and Senate Wed, 11 Apr 2018 09:48:50 +0000 A new bill - the Music Modernization Act - has bipartisan support, and may revolutionize royalties paid out from streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music.

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Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published on Jan. 29, 2018. It has been updated with new information. 

April 11 Update: The Chairman of House Judiciary, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has just forwarded two new copyright bills for markup, an important milestone towards their consideration by the whole House.

The new Music Modernization Act (MMA) primarily proposes to set up a Collective Management Organization (CMO) for managing streaming royalties for musical recordings ; i.e. the Spotify piece.

The second section (AMP) seeks to increase the royalty payments made to record producers and audio engineers. The third section (CLASSICS) would require royalties to be paid for streaming of pre-72 musical recordings.


Streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music provide unlimited online access to music for their customers, though not downloadable copies of albums or individual tracks. This popular innovation has, over the last decade, outstripped the mechanisms of law and regulation that would see creators and performers paid for these new uses of their works. But that might be about to change.

Rights in music can get sticky

If enacted, a bill recently introduced in Congress would require that a new blanket license for streaming be created and managed by a new, non-profit collecting society dedicated to this one purpose.

As it turns out, mechanical, sync, composition and other rights in music are complicated, and performing rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI (which license broadcasters and many other users of music on behalf of the composers and music publishers) have not been able, for various reasons, to quickly adapt to the new music consumer’s environment – one that now includes a lucrative streaming business.

Many trade association and membership groups involved in the music business – including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) – have expressed their support for these bills (which will almost certainly increase royalties paid by users to rightsholders).

After expressing some initial concerns, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), ASCAP and BMI have also offered support for the legislation.

Related: Music Licensing: What is Considered Fair Use?

A rare moment of momentum on copyright law

The Music Modernization Act (H.R. 4706) was introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) and a bipartisan group of other Representatives in late December, and a Senate version of the bill (S.2334)  has now been introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and a bipartisan group of Senators. These two bills share a common goal, which is to address payment issues for royalties due from streaming music, the revenues for which have grown to tens of billions of dollars over recent years but relatively little of which revenues have made their way to rightsholders.

It’s been a while since any copyright legislation has passed out of Committee, through the two Houses of Congress and to the President’s desk, but if a bipartisan spirit holds, we may see that happen before this session is out.

Let’s hope these concerns can be quickly worked out. It would be great to see the law catching up – a little – to technology.

Related Content:

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Music & Copyright: What You Need to Know About the CASE Act Tue, 28 Nov 2017 06:28:24 +0000 Here’s a look inside the CASE Act, a bipartisan bill proposing to ease the burden of disputes concerning the use of musical works.

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A friend of mine has a professional, working rock band (and he is not only lead guitarist but principal composer of the group’s original music). They are not headliners, but they’ve opened for some nationally known acts, and they have four or five albums out there of their original music. Recently, my friend learned that some people in another state wanted to use his music in a TV ad, but they didn’t want to pay him beyond a nominal rate. After breaking off discussion of these terms, they went ahead and used it anyway.

Can he sue them for copyright infringement? Sure – but at what cost, especially if it’s in another state? We’re not talking millions of dollars in missing royalties here. At most, a mortgage payment or two. Should he bother? Would it be worth it?

As it turns out, these sorts of low-profile copyright cases are quite common.

Introducing the CASE Act

Back in July 2017, US Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8), with several co-sponsors, introduced a bipartisan bill, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act. In October,the bill was referred to the House Subcommittee on the Courts, and IP, Intellectual Property and the Internet of the House Judiciary Committee under Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6).

From my perspective, it’s a interesting piece of proposed legislation that would make a meaningful change. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) summary for it outlines the main proposal:  a “small claims board” would be established, with authorization  to “(1) conduct hearings and conferences to facilitate parties’ settlement of claims [of copyright infringement] and counterclaims; (2) render independent determinations based on copyright laws and regulations; (3) award monetary relief; and (4) require cessation or mitigation of infringing activity, including the takedown or destruction of infringing materials, where the parties agree.”  The bill also provides that the case can be conducted mostly online.

What does this have to do with my friend and his music, and that infringement case? It’s probably not a surprise to learn that copyright litigation can be very expensive – one estimate from the American Intellectual Property Law Association suggests that the average cost of a case in recent years, including appeals, runs over $278,000.  The CASE Act would make it a lot simpler, and a lot less costly, to get a relatively small case expedited, heard, and resolved in short order. Think of it as – almost –  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for copyright matters.

Although very little in the way of copyright legislation has made it through Congress to the President’s desk in the past five years, if the stars align properly, this bill just might. Several organizations have indicated their support for this bill, including the Songwriters Guild of America and the National Music Publishers Association.

Keep your fingers crossed. If it passes, maybe I can score you some tickets to my friend’s next show. (Just kidding.)

Learn more about music licensing:

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Copyright Perspectives: VidAngel – Devil or Angel? Tue, 10 Oct 2017 15:32:09 +0000 Can a company edit a feature film into something new and sell it for financial gain?

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Can a company edit a feature film into something new and sell it for financial gain?

On August 24, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals left standing a lower court’s order barring the Utah-based company VidAngel from providing its customers with “filtered” versions of feature films. (Deseret News of Salt Lake City has covered this story extensively.) The filtering technology lets viewers remove potentially objectionable content, such as depictions of sex, violence, and strong language.

Is Goodfellas without the swearing and violence still Goodfellas?

Simply speaking, some movie viewers would rather have less of one aspect or another – e.g. less sex, less profanity, less violence – in the movies they opt to watch. Back in 2005, Congress helped these folks out through the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, and its companion, the 2005 Family Movie Act (FMA). This narrowly-written provision allows for the development of ‘skipping ahead ‘ and on-the-fly functionality for DVDs played in the home. This legislation arose out of legal questions concerning a company and technology known as ClearPlay, which enables content filtering through in-line hardware devices, layered between the DVD and the video display.

It’s important to understand that VidAngel’s current issues do not arise out of a vacuum.

VidAngel meets Deadpool

As recently as 2015, VidAngel simply ripped DVDs without licensing for commercial reuse, and provided their own filtered version of the films. (This implicated the First Sale Doctrine of copyright in an interesting way, but since this version of the service has been shuttered, it is now a moot point.) This procedure did not pass legal muster, and now VidAngel provides its filtered versions through a streaming technology, like Netflix or Amazon accounts. The legitimacy of this procedure is also disputed, and one could argue that the continued efforts of VidAngel are simply explained as “looking for loopholes” in the memorable phrasing often attributed to W.C. Fields.

Example: 20th Century Fox Films and Marvel Entertainment (a subsidiary of The Walt Disney company) were the studios responsible for 2016’s Deadpool, an R-rated superhero-genre film featuring an eponymous main character, i.e., a back-talking, vulgar mercenary assassin. The theatrical release included lots of violence, and a modicum of steamy scenes.(Common Sense Media: “All of that said, the story does ultimately promote teamwork, collaboration, and love.”)

The studio and the production company worked hard across several years to hit just the balance they sought between a bland, sanitized version of the character – which would surely disappoint fans – and one that went over-the-top with lewdness. But while the popularity of the film is evidence that Marvel and Fox found that balance, there is presumably a category of pre-teens who would also wish to view it, if only their parents would let them. If a filtered version were available, likely it would find an audience. But, should that audience be gained at the cost of the integrity of the film itself? Putting it another way, is Goodfellas without the swearing and violence still Goodfellas?

Filtering and the Film Industry

This ‘filtering’ process – another word for cutting or suppressing a movie’s content – is considered controversial, or even unacceptable by many studios and directors. ‘Filtering’ isn’t new – the literary word for this action is “Bowdlerizing,” a 19th-century process in which an author’s text was cut or emended by others to suit the presumed tastes of a pre-Victorian audience. (Thomas and Henrietta Bowdler published “The Family Shakespeare,” in 1807, making such substitutions as “Out crimson spot!” for Shakespear’s original, “Out, damned spot!” That stuff apparently got the audiences of Jane Austen’s time all worked up.) As it turns out, for decades many major studios have made “clean versions” available for showing during air travel, or over broadcast television, their rationale being that the potential sensitivities of the “passenger in the next seat” ought to be given some consideration. In the domain of recorded music, this is known as the “radio edit.”

So, is there a clear difference between content-filtering ClearPlay technology and VidAngel’s services? ClearPlay has been operating for more than a decade without much hindrance, while VidAngel just lost a round at the appeals court in the Ninth Circuit and has had to again adjust their technology and business model.

Essentially, courts have found that while ClearPlay “colors within the lines” of the FMA, creating no new copies of the films it filters, VidAngel continues to violate one or more sections of Title 17 (the U.S. copyright act), including sections of the DMCA,and therefore it doesn’t qualify for FMA exceptions. (The DMCA, which became law in 1998, is that part of Title 17 dealing with issues such as anti-circumvention and certain exemptions for internet service providers. Jim Burger and Mark Sableman, of Thomson Coburn LLP, have provided an excellent overview of the issue from their perspective.) In June, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah wrote to the studio’s trade association, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), suggesting that if an industry solution is not in the works, a legislative patch to the FMA, one which explicitly authorizes such filtering in the context of streaming, is a possibility he might ask Congress to consider. (Variety, June 21, 2017.)

The lingering question is: Is this legal?

As of August 31, 2017, VidAngel made motions requesting that courts in Utah and California provide rulings that their streaming and filtering approach is presumptively legitimate. On the side of the angels, one might say.

We’ll see. Assuming these issues can be successfully resolved, good luck to them.

View some of my commentary on other copyright issues here:

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Using Movie Scenes for Work Training: 3 Things to Keep in Mind Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:22:46 +0000 Using TV and movie scenes for work training and presentations? Here's what you need to consider before, during and after your training session.

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When you consider that 87% of work training materials are forgotten 30 days after a presentation, per a Corporate Executive Board study, it’s easy to see we could be doing a better job engaging our audiences.

One sure way to boost a presentation’s value is through anecdotal examples, like scenes from TV shows or movies. Movie scenes do more than entertain your audience.  They can help reinforce key messages by driving engagement, learning and retention levels.

But you can’t simply select a scene and hope your audience receives the message you’re trying to deliver. To gain maximum results from your movie-scene investments, here are a few things to take into consideration before, during and after you use video scenes in your presentation:

Before you Search for a Scene

Determine the message you need a scene to convey before you search for it.  Is your work training about helping employees navigate change within the organization?  Are you helping managers learn how to deliver critical messages?  Are you simply trying to motivate your staff?

When you go into the search with a message in mind, you’ll be more likely to find something relevant, as opposed to looking at a scene and trying to find a connection or way to make it work. Think also about the questions you want to ask, so you know when you find a scene if it gets to those questions.

  • Is there a certain character you need to analyze?
  • Is the scene being used as an example of what not to do?

Understanding your audience demographics will also determine the movie scenes you select. Consider the film’s rating, language and content. You want to make sure the content you select is appropriate for everyone involved.

Related Reading: Getting Permission to Use Video Content at Work

During the Presentation: From Movie Watching to Movie Learning

At home, we watch movies for entertainment, or to relax. One challenge of using movie scenes in a work environment is to make sure the audience is watching to learn.

To make sure people watch diligently, assign tasks that reinforce the main message throughout the movie. Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Have half of the room analyze one character, while the other half of the room studies  another.
  • Have questions posed for the learners to take notes on during the scene. They can then discuss them later with the group.
  • Use polling – clicker questions. This ensures full classroom participation, and audiences will appreciate the anonymity in their selections. It also is a great technique for assessing learners’ basic understanding of the core concepts in the scene.

After the presentation 

After you’ve shown the movie scene, maximize retention with follow-up activities that complement its messaging.

Here are a few ways to keep the audience thinking about what they just saw afterwards:

  • Dig into the deep questions. “How” questions get to the application piece of the scene, which is when people will start to relate the scene to their own work. (Examples could include, “As you watch that scene, how will you apply this to yourself?  How would you react to what happened in the scene?”)
  • Create character webs or charts
  • Role-play using pieces of the movie script
  • Write alternative endings to the scene
  • Debate over a controversial topic in the movie

Get more insights from Becky Pluth on using videos for work training here.

Learn more about finding the perfect scene for your next training at and how to lawfully use those scenes with CCC’s Motion Picture License.

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Music Licensing: What is Considered Fair Use? Tue, 06 Jun 2017 07:30:43 +0000 If you’re going to rely on fair use, you need to factor in how much risk you’re willing to take. Here are a few examples of fair use.

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When you’re incorporating music into training materials or a business presentation, you might wonder if fair use can apply to your situation.

“Fair use” is an exception to copyright protection (or, more accurately, a defense to a copyright infringement claim) that allows limited use of a copyrighted work without the copyright holder’s permission.

This might appear simple, but the truth is: fair use is very subjective. It’s so case-specific, in fact, it’s decided on a case-by-case basis. There might be situations or circumstances where using music in training materials has some credible fair use arguments. However, those situations are likely to be very narrow.

If you’re going to rely on fair use, the bottom line is, you need to factor in how much risk you’re willing to take.  Why? Because some uses are riskier than others and the risk of a failed fair use defense is copyright infringement.

Are educational trainings & presentations grounds for ‘fair use’?

Let’s imagine you’re creating a training presentation for your coworkers and you want to use music within it.

In this situation, you may need to obtain a license to use the music. There are some exceptions to copyright protection that allow uses in academic settings, such as the TEACH Act. Signed by President George W. Bush in 2002, the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act is the product of discussion and negotiation among academic institutions, publishers, library organizations and Congress. But, the guidelines for applicability are very specific.  Although teaching is a favored use under fair use, exceptions like those under the TEACH Act typically apply only to non-profit educational activities and not to activity that has a primarily commercial purpose (such as a business providing training to its employees).

Using myself as an example, I often give presentations on rights clearance matters. If I’m talking about a lawsuit involving a claim of copyright infringement involving music, I’ll play a short clip of each selection so the audience can hear musical selections’ similarities.  This is a classic fair use case and I’m comfortable in relying on it for this purpose.

What is ‘incidental use’? Is that considered fair use?

Pretend you’re a documentary filmmaker, and music is playing in the background at an event you’re covering.  When you’re running your camera and you pick up copyrighted music, do you need a license?

As with many rights clearance questions, this often requires a risk assessment.

There are certainly people who argue – and there are credible arguments to be made – that the incidental picking up of the music in the background during a documentary film can qualify for fair use.  When you’re talking about incidental music picked up, you’re more likely to qualify for fair use if you’re not focusing on that music, it plays for a short period, and it’s in the background.

If the risk seems too high (for example, how prominent the song is, or how long it’s audible in the video), filmmakers can consider alternatives. These could include blurring out any copyrighted materials by removing the audio sound for any unlicensed music that is picked up.

Related Reading: The Difference Between Public Performance and Synchronization Licenses

Does entertainment vs. news make a difference in fair use?

Newsgathering is an example of the types of activity that may be fair use under the Copyright Act, and is more likely than entertainment content to be deemed a fair use. Just because programming is news doesn’t give it an automatic fair use ticket – a fair use analysis is still required. On the flip side, just because your use falls outside the types of use specifically listed in the Copyright Act doesn’t mean it can’t qualify for fair use.

Fair use comes down to individual, specific circumstances for each use.  But remember, when you use music within a company setting or for business purposes, it’s likely that your company’s use of that music requires a license.

Related eBook: 5 Ways You Should Be Using Music at Work

Make music licensing simple: Explore RightFind® Music 

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Getting Permission to Use Video Content at Work Wed, 24 May 2017 07:07:18 +0000 Here are a few common misconceptions and challenges about getting permission to use video at work, and how to overcome them.

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Why do we need permission to use video at work?  Long story short, it’s the law.

Eighty-three percent of participants in a recent CCC study say they use video throughout the course of their work. Even though video is popular, it can’t be assumed that all this activity is done with the correct permissions. In fact, the study went on to find 55 percent of employees use video without considering rights.

It’s safe to say most of us conduct ourselves with strong ethical behavior.  Not only do we respect and protect the intellectual property that we create, but also the property of others.  This is one of the reasons why getting permission is critical – inherently, we know it’s the right thing to do.

But that doesn’t mean getting permission is challenge-free.

Getting permission to use video content, movies and TV shows, can be time consuming. It can be expensive. It can be difficult to identify the copyright holders. (How do I contact them?  Why aren’t they calling me back when I’ve called many times? Why are my e-mails going unanswered?)

Once you do make contact, the studio quotes you a fee of thousands of dollars per minute. When you don’t want to eat up your budget with one three-minute scene from The Office in your presentation, what are you to do?

Here are a few common misconceptions and challenges around getting permission to use video at work, and how to overcome them:

“We found it online for free, so we can use it for free.”


Fifty-five percent of people in the workforce believe they can use online videos without requesting rights.

This, of course, is untrue.

Copyright law grants copyright holders exclusive rights to their creations. One of those is the right to publicly perform the work. If you’re showing a video to an audience (outside of home viewing), it doesn’t matter if it’s at an internal training session for a group of employees or at an industry conference – it’s considered public performance.

“I know I need to get permission, but my company’s big.  I don’t know who to ask or I don’t know where to start.”


Seventy percent of workers don’t know how or where to get rights. And it’s not just who to contact externally that’s a problem. Fifty-six percent of workers don’t know who to contact within their own organization regarding how to get rights.

Start by contacting your Legal Counsel. He or she will advise you on your organization’s policy around the use of motion picture content and have their staff help you obtain the necessary permission.

What about YouTube?

Just because you may be able to easily find the movie scene you’re looking for on YouTube does not mean that you can bypass proper permissions to use that scene.  You are still responsible for identifying the film’s producer, and the appropriate contact for permission requests. Your organization likely does not want you to be contributing to someone else’s infringement. It is best to ensure you are using a movie scene from the rightsholder directly, whether it is through the studio, producer’s YouTube channel, or an authorized channel such as, who has already secured the permission to post the video to their own YouTube channel.

“Using one video scene will wipe out my entire budget.”


Trying to track down the rights holder for every video scene you might possibly want to use will be hard work. And once you do, you may be looking at substantial dollars for the use of relatively short scenes.

This is where CCC can help.

CCC’s Motion Picture License, offered in partnership with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, grants permission for all your company’s employees to lawfully use movies and TV shows in a wide variety of ways. Whether it’s for internal training, team meetings, or external presentations to a client or a prospect, the Motion Picture License is a cost-effective, one-stop shop to get the rights you need.

Get more insights on gaining proper permissions to use videos at work.

Learn more about CCC’s Motion Picture License.

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Music Licensing: The Difference Between Public Performance and Synchronization Licenses Tue, 16 May 2017 08:00:03 +0000 One of the first steps in understanding music licensing is knowing the difference between a song and a sound recording. Here's a breakdown.

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Music licensing is not rocket science, but it is also not intuitive.  If your company shares music externally on the internet, in an advertisement or at a conference, it’s very likely that the use of that music requires a license.  And even if your company is sharing music only within the organization, there may still be a music licensing requirement.

One of the first steps in understanding music licensing is knowing the difference between a song and a sound recording. 

A recorded song has two separate copyrights:

  1. There is a copyright in the song, which consists of a melody and any accompanying lyrics.
  2. There is a separate copyright in the sound recording, which is the recorded rendition of the song.

*Typically, but not always, there will be separate owners for the song and for the sound recording.  The song copyright is normally owned by the songwriter or the songwriter’s music publishing company, and the sound recording is generally owned by the record label that released that recording.

Here’s where it gets a little bit tricky, because the same song can have multiple sound recordings.

An Example: “I Will Always Love You.”

Dolly Parton wrote “I Will Always Love You” in 1973, and several different artists have their own renditions of it, including Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston and Kenny Rogers. Dolly Parton owns the song copyright for “I Will Always Love You” through her music publishing company.

But with respect to the sound recording, there are different owners. The record label that released Whitney Houston’s rendition of the song in 1992 owns her sound recording. Kenny Rogers’ label owns his rendition of the song.

Related Reading: Music Licensing: What is Considered Fair Use?

Music Licensing for Public Performances

Public Performance Licenses give permission to perform music in public.

The public performance of a song almost always requires a license.  In contrast, the license requirement to perform a sound recording in public are more limited, applicable typically only when the sound recording public performance is offered via the internet or via other digital means.  For these purposes, I’m talking only about performance licenses for songs.

If you play a song in a retail store, at a conference or in a restaurant, those are public performances of the song regardless of whether you render the performance by a live band, by a CD, by a DJ, or by your smartphone. That performance requires a public performance license.

Most public performance licenses are issued by one of the performing rights organizations (PRO).  In the United States, they are:

  • BMI
  • GMR (Relatively new, established in 2013.)

Each PRO controls a different catalog of songs.  Typically, the PRO will issue blanket licenses, allowing you to publicly perform any of the songs in that PRO’s catalog.

Going back to “I Will Always Love You,” let’s suppose you want to do a public performance of the song at your company’s trade booth on a tradeshow floor. You would need a public performance license from the copyright holder of the song. That song’s copyright holder, again, is Dolly Parton through her music publishing company, Velvet Apple Music.  Velvet Apple Music is affiliated with BMI for their public rights licensing needs.  So, if you have the appropriate blanket license from BMI, you can publicly perform “I Will Always Love You” as well as the other 8.5 million songs in BMI’s catalog.

The PROs make it easy to get public performance licenses.  ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC have online presences where you can determine the specific license that you need and pay for it right online.

Music Licensing for Videos & Presentations

Suppose again you wanted to use “I Will Always Love You” in a new company promotional video. You would need a sync license for the song.  Again, the copyright holder of the song is Dolly Parton’s Velvet Apple Music publishing company. You would need to approach Velvet Apple Music directly to request and obtain the sync license.

Let’s say you obtain the sync license for “I Will Always Love You.” You then need a master use license to cover the use of the specific recording of “I Will Always Love You” that you decide to use.  If you choose Whitney Houston’s 1992 sound recording performance, you need to approach the holder of the copyright in that sound recording (which at the time of release was Sony BMG), and request the master use license.

Related eBook: 5 Ways You Should Be Using Music at Work

Music Licensing for Other Uses

There’s not a specific name for every different way in which a company might use music.  For example, there’s no specific name for using music in your training materials. But, if you were to use music in training materials, the licensing process would be much like the licensing process you would go through for a use in a video, since you would need licenses in both the song and the sound recording.

Learn more about music licensing:

Make music licensing simple: Explore RightFind® Music 

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Using Music at Work – 5 Source and Licensing Considerations Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:00:18 +0000 When work projects require music licensing, you have several different options. Here's a look at five different paths you can take.

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Every creative video marketer must go into a new project with a vision. A color pallet. A mood to portray. A sound that sets the tone.

When it comes to selecting the music for a video project or presentation, creativity can sometimes take a back seat to real-world logistics. Where will we find music? How do we obtain it? How much will it cost? Are there licensing risks associated with it?

Here’s a look at five different paths you can take for music licensing, and the pros and cons associated with each:

1. Use existing popular music.

By popular music, we mean music that’s been on the radio and is well-known. To get the sync license, which provides permission for use of the song, you would contact and negotiate directly with the music publisher or song copyright owner. This type of license is required to set music to visual works such as movies, YouTube videos and even PowerPoint presentations. To get the master use license (provides permission for use of the sound recording), you’d contact and negotiate directly with the record label.

The Pros: Whether it’s music from today or music from the ’50s, the benefits to using this type of music are obvious.  It’s immediately recognizable and can quickly convey the mood or the era to your audience.

The Cons: This is the most difficult to obtain.  Unfortunately, very often, you won’t even get a response to your license request.  The price tag tends to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the popularity of the song you want to use and the way in which you want to use it.

2. Use production company music

Production companies offer one-stop shopping where you can get both the sync license and the master use license.

The Pros: Production company music is very easy to obtain. Because production music companies are in the business of music licensing, they make the process very easy, through websites where users can preview, pay for and immediately download the music.

The cost can be as low as $30 for some production music.  It’s usually less than $1,000 – in most instances, significantly less than $1,000.

The Cons: Some production music companies might have limitations to their licenses. For example, some don’t allow you to use the music in a political advertisement.  The downside here is while production music may be very good, it’s probably not immediately recognizable music.

3. Try music by an independent artist

By independent artist, we mean a musician whose music isn’t distributed by a major music company, so not as well-known. 

The Pros: This music is going to be less expensive than popular music but probably a little more expensive than production music. Depending on the musician’s fan base, it might be recognizable to a niche audience.

The Cons: A potential risk comes with indie musician groups who produce and perform original music but might not be diligent or have fewer resources when it comes to documenting the ownership of the music they create.

4. Find Music Under a Creative Commons License

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that provides free license terms and conditions for use by copyright owners who want to make their creative work more available for use under uniform, relatively relaxed terms without getting into complex negotiations.

The Pros: These licenses allow the material to be used without the payment of any fees.

The Cons: There are different variations on Creative Commons licenses.  Some don’t allow commercial use.  It may be risky to use material licensed under Creative Commons licenses because the licensor offers no assurances (in the form of representations, warranties or indemnities) regarding the work.  Therefore, any use is at the user’s risk.

5. Commission Original Music

Commissioning original music comes with several different variables–  the cost will depend on the commercial stature of the musician writing the commissioned music for you. Some production houses will connect you with musicians who can compose and record original music for you.

The Pros: It’s one of a kind, and therefore can be tailored to the company’s needs. And if you have a well-drafted agreement for your acquisition of the original music, there should be minimal risk.

The Cons: It can be a lengthier acquisition process, since you need to take the time to find the musician, wait for the music to be written and to be recorded.  And of course, it is still necessary to negotiate an individual agreement for the work.

Interested in learning more about music licensing at work? Listen now to CCC’s on demand webinar with Joy Butler: “Using Music at Work: Balancing Creativity and Compliance.”

Make music licensing simple: Explore RightFind® Music 

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Using Music in the Workplace Tue, 31 Jan 2017 08:00:51 +0000 While your team might know Adele from ABBA and Beyoncé from Bieber, do they understand the licensing requirements of using music in videos and presentations?

The post Using Music in the Workplace appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

With music such an integral part of the modern workplace, more and more business teams are using it to enhance presentations, meetings, training sessions and marketing messages. But while they might know Adele from ABBA and Beyoncé from Bieber, do they understand the licensing requirements of using music in videos and presentations?

“You can’t just take a commercial track and use it in a production without having permission both for the master recording as well as for the underlying composition.”

According to a recent study conducted by CCC, 37% of corporate marketing, sales, communications and training professionals claimed that the two biggest barriers to using music in the workplace were finding the right sources and getting copyright permissions. Hitting the right note is never as easy as you think.

Time to rethink that playlist

Anyone thinking about using music as part of presentations, videos and other workplace projects needs to think again.

Music rights are complex: One piece of music and a single use doesn’t necessarily mean one license. Licenses range from public performance and synchronization to mechanical. You may need more than one.
There’s more to music licensing than PROs: Did you know? Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) cover public performances and playback but not music sync and reproduction.
Think sync: Companies need to educate all employees about synchronizations rights and the legal risks related to those rights. Make sure your colleagues don’t unwittingly lead your company into a legal wrangle over copyright.
Licensing organizations vary greatly: Always check the reliability, reputation and resources of a company before engaging with it. The quality of indemnity can vary hugely from one company to the next.

RightFind Music: Getting it right

CCC recently launched an easy-to-use search and file management website designed to help you find, download and manage music. Users can choose from more than 500,000 tracks, all licensed for use in corporate presentations and video. The site simplifies copyright compliance, leaving users more time to focus on the job at hand.

The website, powered by APM Music, includes the Music Use License, which gives users the rights to use high quality music at work, secure in the knowledge that their company is backed by indemnification.

Speaking about RightFind Music, Adam Taylor, APM Music’s President, explains just how complicated music rights can be: “You can’t just take a commercial track and use it in a production without having permission both for the master recording as well as for the underlying composition. Some songs today have four or five writers, four or five publishers, plus a record company. You have to go to all of them to get permission.”

RightFind Music offers a solution. With it, you can find the right music without breaching licensing laws, dealing with copyright complications or putting up with licensing delays. With RightFind Music, everything you do – from sales meetings to product promotion – creates real impact. Music, words and images: it really is a winning combination.

So what’s next on your playlist?

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How To Use Movie Scenes At Work Tue, 03 Jan 2017 19:17:34 +0000 83% of corporate trainers at Fortune 500 companies regularly use video at work. Is your content licensed properly?

The post How To Use Movie Scenes At Work appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

Who doesn’t love movies? They captivate, entertain and amuse. From Citizen Kane to Pretty Woman, The Godfather to The Sound of Music, all are packed with unforgettable scenes.

But what if you want to use a clip from your favorite movie to make your corporate message equally memorable? Maybe you want to liven up a presentation or pop a YouTube tutorial into an email? To do so, you need permission.

Why do 83% of corporate trainers at Fortune 500 companies regularly use video? “Because video delivers real value.”

Video on demand

Nearly all of us can say we have used YouTube at some point. A staggering 4.95 billion videos are viewed every day on the streaming platform, and around 300 hours of new video footage is uploaded to it every minute. Its popularity shows no sign of abating. Around the world, IP video traffic is set to increase three-fold between 2015 and 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 22%.

Increasingly, businesses are turning to online video content to communicate key messages. Per a recent survey by Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) of corporate trainers at Fortune 500 companies, 83% regularly use video at work, because video delivers real value. It can help to engage an audience, emphasize a point, entertain, educate and start a conversation.

Challenges and myths

While the benefits of videos might be obvious, the ways businesses should use them is less clear. Our survey looked at the biggest hurdles companies face when incorporating movie scenes into their work. Topping the list is obtaining copyright permission; 41% of respondents cited it as a major challenge.

As anyone who has ever tried to contact a studio about copyrighted material knows, the process is time-consuming. And it can also be expensive. Cost also appeared on the list of barriers; 26% of respondents found the permission price tag a greater barrier than the technology itself (13%).

As well as challenges, there are also misconceptions. Many employees believe online content is free to use. And even if they know they need permission, they have questions about who to get permission from and how and where to get it.

Movie scenes made simple

Luckily, adding the allure of Hollywood to your training programs might be easier than you think. The Movies4Training website is jam-packed with movie scenes relating to key business topics, all of which are covered by CCC’s Motion Picture License. Whether you are tackling the sensitive issue of a change in management or the gutsy art of negotiation, you can highlight your message with relevant video content.

Any source, any format

CCC’s Motion Picture License not only gives businesses great value, but also simplifies the process of finding relevant video content. With scenes from more than 1,000 major movie producers and distributors, you can choose from a wide range of sources and formats and rely on the knowledge they have been obtained legally. The Motion Picture License gives companies public performance rights to show designated movies and TV shows within training sessions, meetings, presentations and conferences.

You and your staff can spend less time searching for relevant and business-appropriate scenes, avoid the higher cost of pursuing individual permissions, minimize the risk of unintended copyright infringement, and have an effective tool to help manage compliance.

Find out how CCC’s Motion Picture License can help deliver more powerful presentations with messages your audience will remember.

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