When you’re creating a new music video, the last thing you want to worry about is licensing. But did you know that to use copyrighted music in your video legally, you need to obtain a synchronization license? This article will explain what synchronization licenses are and how to get them. Stay legal and stay creative!
What is a Music Synchronization License?
Music sync licensing is a form of legal permission that allows you to synchronize your project (such as a video) with copyrighted music. It’s important to note that this process, known as “matching,” can’t be done by just anyone—you need an expert who has the right kind of license for the job.
What Does a Synchronization License Cover?
A synchronization license allows you to use copyrighted music owned by another party in your project, but it doesn’t mean that you can use any piece of music for free. The terms of the synchronization license depend on the business arrangement between the parties involved. They usually take one of the following two forms:
1. Exclusive Rights
Here, the licensor grants a single party a temporary monopoly on a particular type of use. For example, if you were to obtain an exclusive rights synchronization license for your music video, you would be the only person legally allowed to distribute that video with that particular song. This arrangement will typically come with a set of usage terms, such as how long you can use the video and where it can appear.
2. Non-Exclusive Rights
With this type of arrangement, anyone can use the music in your project—so long as they obtain their synchronization license that covers their specific use. For example, even if you have a non-exclusive synchronization license, someone else can still obtain a separate non-exclusive license for the same song.
Benefits of a Synchronization License
Here are some of the best reasons to obtain a synchronization license for your project:
Maximize Your Reach
A sync license allows you to reach audiences far beyond what you can do yourself. Let’s say that you have an excellent video with a fantastic song, but that song belongs to someone else—so it’s blocked from being posted. With a sync license, you can unblock the use of that song and get your video in front of millions more people.
Expand Your Creative Control
A sync license provides you with the freedom to use any piece of music you want for your project. You don’t have to settle for just one tune—you’re free to test out multiple tracks, which means that you can pick the best song for your video.
Save Money on Production Costs
It costs a lot of money to produce quality videos. While some musicians are eager to work with up-and-coming artists (for exposure or other reasons), they might not be willing to give away their music for free. With a sync license, you can do the legally-correct thing and pay them for the use of their music—and they might even be willing to negotiate with you on price.
Many of today’s best music videos only exist because the creators could get the rights to use certain pieces of music. You can obtain a sync easily, cheaply, and legally—so there is no reason not to go through the proper channels when doing your own projects.