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Music License Agreement Basics

Once you've found the perfect song or musician for your production, and you've gotten the go-ahead from the artist or copyright owner, you'll need to create a Music License Agreement. If you're a musician with the chance to sell the rights to your tune - whether you're being courted by a music company, television producer or advertiser - a well-written Music License Agreement ensures you'll get your fair cut.

Use the Music License Agreement document if:

  • You own rights to property, such as music, songs, video, which another party will be allowed to use in its multimedia production.
  • Wish to acquire the right to use certain property, such as music, songs, video, owned by one person or organization.

Skimping on a Music License Agreement can get you in trouble. Most music is copyrighted, and if you want to use a tune in a multimedia production, you have to play by the rules. Every musician has heard about artists who have lost control of their rights while their songs play on. A Music License Agreement protects both parties when you settle in advance on whether to pay royalties as a percentage of revenue, for a set amount for each use, or under some other arrangement. Where will the song be used, and for how long? Can it only be used in a specific geographical area? Can the buyer transfer the rights without the composer's consent? Can the song be duplicated? You can lay it all out in a Music License Agreement. Whether your pick is a Top 40 hit, golden oldie or obscure indie, this simple and flexible document can help protect your interests.

Other names for this document: Music Licensing Agreement, Music License Contract


Sample Music License Agreement

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Music License Agreement Basics

Skimping on a Music License Agreement can get you in trouble. Most music is copyrighted, and if you want to use a tune in a multimedia production, you have to play by the rules. Every musician has heard about artists who have lost control of their rights while their songs play on. A Music License Agreement protects both parties when you settle in advance on whether to pay royalties as a percentage of revenue, for a set amount for each use, or under some other arrangement. Where will the song be used, and for how long? Can it only be used in a specific geographical area? Can the buyer transfer the rights without the composer's consent? Can the song be duplicated? You can lay it all out in a Music License Agreement. Whether your pick is a Top 40 hit, golden oldie or obscure indie, this simple and flexible document can help protect your interests.

Other names for this document: Music Licensing Agreement, Music License Contract

Use the Music License Agreement document if:
  • You own rights to property, such as music, songs, video, which another party will be allowed to use in its multimedia production.
  • Wish to acquire the right to use certain property, such as music, songs, video, owned by one person or organization.
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