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How to "Licensing Music"

Discussion in 'Video Production' started by ProfKranc, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. ProfKranc
    Voice actor and Film-maker here to help :-D
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    Okay, so on my previous thread of Royalty Free Music Sites (link below), I was asked to explain how to license a Japanese song (Anime or K-pop) for a youtube video. I assumed it was going to be monetised, so I wrote out a long a** answer including how to licence music.

    Link to Royalty Free Music Sites: http://yttalk.com/threads/royalty-free-music-sites.107883/

    I though it would be useful to others so HERE IT IS!
    Hope it helps!
    _______________________________________
    Question in Question:

    What if I want to use a particular song in my channel intro for example
    Song in question: Dango Daikazoku from Clannad (Anime/Game)

    First, THANK YOU for this list. You have literally saved my life and I will treasure this list in my bookmarks forever.

    Secondly, how can I go about getting license to use music from animes and kdramas/kpop that I like?? There are several problems; first, it is not always readily apparent who holds the license to certain songs (especially from animes), and second, even if I could somehow find that info, finding their contact information IN ENGLISH and then expecting them to actually 1) care to mail me back and 2) know how to speak English well enough that they know what I'm asking for.

    You seem decidedly the expert on the subject of music for youtube videos, so I pose this question to you. To me it seems impossible, what are your thoughts?[/QUOTE]

    In regards to licensing music from artists in any country, the first person you have to get in contact with is the artist as they will most likely have the licence for the song. If they don't, it will probably be the label they worked under at the time. For any anime, film, video game etc. the song is licensed to the artist, but the production has been given permission to do so, usually by a contract with royalties.
    ______________________________________________________

    LONG a** ANSWER

    Putting them into monetised youtube videos or corporate productions is the same thing.
    Honestly..... It is very very very difficult. Usually if you ever see a big youtuber used a very popular song in their videos (for example: Wrecking Ball Omegle), they don't have the video monetised. And even if it isn't, Youtube have to have a reason not to take it down. In this case, it brought millions of views to the website. Either that, or they have very cheekily monetised the content.

    If the music is being used as part of a review or educational purposes, you can rule this usage under the Fair Use Act. This act allows the usage of certain properties/ productions without gaining the permission from the copyright holder for things such as: commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving, sholarship, etc.
    This is why you will see popular anime reviewers like GRArkada use anime music in his videos and not get a copyright strike.
    However, even with this, its still a risky zone as people still take these videos down and the youtube copyright bot sometimes takes them down mistakenly (which can be repealed). That's why when you review things, its good to have some sort of partnership or permission from people within the industry of the product you are reviewing.

    However, despite it being very very unlikely that you would ever be able to get this permission to use in your monetised videos excluding the usages listed above, I will take you through a simplified process of getting a song licence.

    HOW TO LICENCE A SONG

    1: Find the song that you like. Then find out who is the copyright holders. If it is a song from most western civilisation (UK/USA) then try and get in touch with the MPA (music publishers association) and they will be able to send you in the right direction.

    2: Send a mail asking for a usuage liscence. Make sure to describe EXACTLY what you are going to use it for and any future potential uses. Also advise of any profit you will make on the production and where it will go.

    3: If they believe this is worth their time, they will send back a counter offer with any sort of royalties and payment they would expect in return. You would then go back and forth until you have sorted out an offer that is satisfactory for both parties. This will then be written out in contract form by lawyers representing both parties and then all will sign.

    4: Done, you will have your song and everyone will be happy.

    (Added by nb001)
    "One thing to add.....
    Another aspect of copyrights specific to recorded music, is that there are 2 separate copyrights that need to be cleared: the copyright on the composition and the copyright on the sound recording. When it comes to licensing a recorded song, permission would need to be granted from both owners, which in a lot of cases with mainstream music would be publishers/composers and a record label. In the case of a theme song, the production company or network may hold both, or they may have licensed the song as well. You could always reach out to the production company and see if that's the case. As you can see, with all the back and forth this is why royalty free libraries are so convenient. They take care of everything in one swoop.

    lastly, If one was wanting to not use the original recording and instead perform the theme song themselves, permission would still need to be obtained but only from the composition's copyright holder.

    P.S. Here are some articles if you want to geek out more on copyright!

    http://blog.muserk.com/music-copyright/
    http://blog.muserk.com/what-is-copyright-free-music/"

    In regards to Japaneese songs, I have no idea. If you are going to use a song from an anime, it MUST be a fan or non-profit production. Because unless you get the license, if the video gets popular enough and the copyright holders don't like it or the way their song is being used, then they will take it down and you will get a copyright strike.

    SHORT a** ANSWER
    Don't use copyrighted music unless its for review or educational purposes. If you want to take a risk, only for absolutely non-profit. Make it simple and use stuff you can easily get the licence for (everything listed in the main post).

    EXAMPLE OF THE DANGERS OF NON-LICENSE USE

    Look at the 2014 case of Michelle Phan. She was a youtuber who did make up tutorials and had popular music in the background of her videos. She didn't get the rights and years later after she became really popular, ULTRA Records (includes contracts with DeadMouse, Calvin Harris, etc.) sued her for up to $150,000 for each copyrighted song found in her videos. So far they have found 15. Which means she may be paying up to $22.5 million.

    Hope this helps :)
     
    #1 ProfKranc, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
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  2. Crown
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Administrator
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    Nice post, thanks for taking the time :)
     
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  3. ProfKranc
    Voice actor and Film-maker here to help :-D
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    Merci Mr Crown :D
     
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  4. uberdanger
    I Love YTtalk
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    Unethical Youtube tip: if you're managed, you will never get trouble for copyright.
    Source: am managed, use any music without asking for permission.

    It's not nice to do it without permission of the artist/license holder, however they're not always easy to contact.
    Also if you have a big channel with a high end network, you can get copyright strikes removed within a week.
     
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  5. nb001
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    One thing to add.....
    Another aspect of copyrights specific to recorded music, is that there are 2 separate copyrights that need to be cleared: the copyright on the composition and the copyright on the sound recording. When it comes to licensing a recorded song, permission would need to be granted from both owners, which in a lot of cases with mainstream music would be publishers/composers and a record label. In the case of a theme song, the production company or network may hold both, or they may have licensed the song as well. You could always reach out to the production company and see if that's the case. As you can see, with all the back and forth this is why royalty free libraries are so convenient. They take care of everything in one swoop.

    lastly, If one was wanting to not use the original recording and instead perform the theme song themselves, permission would still need to be obtained but only from the composition's copyright holder.

    P.S. Here are some articles if you want to geek out more on copyright!

    http://blog.muserk.com/music-copyright/
    http://blog.muserk.com/what-is-copyright-free-music/
     
    ProfKranc likes this.
  6. ProfKranc
    Voice actor and Film-maker here to help :-D
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    Added to the article, thanks for the input man! :D
     
  7. nb001
    Member
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    glad to help!
     
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  8. Lennart Guitar
    Check my weekly guitar vlogs!
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    Instead of opening a new thread, I will post my music related question here. I am about to record a guitar solo of the song 'Do you read me' by Rory Gallagher. Therefor I found a backing track of the song on YouTube where I want to use the part of the solo of. The backing track isn't the original song and the uploader modified the backing track himself. Can I use a part of the backing track in my video and record my solo over it? Or should I ask his permission?
     
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  9. ProfKranc
    Voice actor and Film-maker here to help :-D
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    ALWAYS ask permission before you use something that isn't yours. Don't consider not unless you don't think there is another option. Send him a mail and ask :)
     
  10. TA5
    TA5
    Hit your two hands together for TA5!!!
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    I have to hire a lawyer to use a famous song in my video??????????
    ahem.............hmmmmmmmmmmmmm:(...............sigh :oops:

    (Back to the YouTube Free Audio Library) :running:
     
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