Understanding the world of music licensing

What’s A Music License?

A music license is an agreement between the creator of music and/or rights holder and the user who wants to use this original music in specific setting, for a specific purpose and in a specific manner.

All the music in Mind Scream it’s released and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License that you can find in the next link: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Important: CC licenses do not replace copyright.

How Can I License Music From Your Site?

You may use the work as long as you abide by the license conditions, which are outlined below and in more detail on the Creative Commons website.

Producers, DJs, and remixers: Looking for free sounds?

Many musicians choose to release their songs under Creative Commons licenses, which give you the legal right to do things like remix them and use samples from them in your tracks for free, as long as you give credit.

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a new system, built upon current copyright law, that allows you to legally use “some rights reserved” music, movies, images, and other content — all for free. CC offers free copyright licenses that anyone can use (without a lawyer) to mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. For instance, a musician would use a Creative Commons license to allow people to legally share her songs online, make copies for friends, and even remix or sample them for use in new compositions.

The 7 Types of Music Licenses

Real-world examples of music licenses and how they work.

Music licenses are the primary way artists can receive royalties for their music, by giving legal permission to someone who’d like to use their work. In general, there are six types of licenses that someone can use for various purposes. They are: synchronization license, mechanical license, master license, public performance license, print rights license, and theatrical license.

The uses of original works can range from sheet music reproduction to theater productions all the way to jukeboxes and major motion pictures. Because copyrighted material needs written permission from the author to be used, people seeking to use the work must get a music license. In general, if you’re using a song (that’s not yours) for something that other people will hear, you need a music license to use it. This license will include the usage and term rights, which determines how the song will be used. You can learn more about music usage rights here and about music copyrights here.

Here are the six major forms of music licenses, along with how they’re used in a practical sense.

  • Synchronization License (Sync License)

Musicbed’s platform is built completely on representing musicians and composers for sync licensing. This method of licensing refers to music that is going to be paired with some form of visual media. It has a broad range of uses, including commercials, studio films, streaming advertisements, personal films, internal communications, and more.

  • Mechanical License

A mechanical license is needed for any physical reproduction of an artist’s work. Primarily this refers to the manufacturing of CDs or distribution of music in any tangible form. Artists, aka copyright holders, will have agreements with record labels, distributors, and publishers on the mechanical terms of their music, and are generally paid per-copy.

A mechanical license is also needed if you are planning on recording a cover song, even if only a portion of the original song is used. This also includes adding your own lyrics, re-mixing, or changing anything about the original recording that affects the overall integrity of the artists’ composition.

  • Master License

Master licenses are a bit more complex than most others, in that they’re similar to sync licenses but not quite as broad-ranging. A master right is held by the person who owns the recording of a song. The master license gives the user permission to use a pre-recorded version of a song in a visual or audio project, but does not allow a user to re-record a song for a project (i.e. to cover or edit a song). Generally a master license is issued in conjunction with a sync license.

  • Public Performance License

This license is perhaps the most common form of music license issued today. While ‘performance’ may be a limiting term, it applies generally to any broadcast of an artist’s work. This includes businesses who play music in their store, jukeboxes, or any other form of public performance — all the way up to concerts. Performing rights organizations (PROs) such as BMI, SESAC, and ASCAP generally manage public performance licenses and issue music royalties to artists on a per-use basis.

  • Print Rights License

This license refers to the physical copy of the sheet music that an artist has created. It’s needed when someone prints a sheet music compilation, or any time the sheet music of copyrighted work is reproduced.

  • Theatrical License

Also a very specific form of written permission, theatrical licenses are very common in the theater industry. The license is required any time a copyrighted work is performed on-stage in front of an audience.

  • Creative Commons License

Creative Commons licenses are the most common sort of license on our site. They are designed to fit ‘on top of’ traditional copyright – meaning, the artists are sharing their works with these provisions; they still own the copyright to their work. When you see one of these symbols on our site next to a song, it tells you how you may (or may not) use the track. Here are their descriptions, courtesy of the Creative Commons website!


CC BY
: Attribution. This license enables users to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon an original work, even commercially, as long as the creator is credited for the original work.

How to use it: You can put this song in a video or other derivative work. You can use it for commercial purposes. You must credit the artist, read more: Best practices for Attribution. Further permissions must be obtained directly from the artist.


CC BY-SA
: Attribution-ShareAlike. This license enables users to remix, tweak, and build upon an original work, even for commercial purposes, as long as the creator is credited and license their new creations under the identical terms.

How to use it: You must credit the artist. You can put this song in a video or other derivative work. You can use it for commercial purposes. You must add the same license (CC BY-SA) to your video, remix or derivative work. More permissions must be obtained directly from the artist.



CC BY-NC: Attribution-NonCommercial. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as the creator is credited. Although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

How to use it: You must credit the artist. You can put this song in a video or other derivative work. You cannot use it for commercial purposes. A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation. You may NOT use this for fundraising, advertising, or promoting a product or service without further permission, even if you’re a nonprofit organization. More permissions must be obtained directly from the artist.



CC BY-ND: Attribution-NoDerivatives. This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, and creators must be credited.

How to use it: You must credit the artistYou cannot put this song in a video or other derivative work. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute, publish, share, or post the modified material. Syncing a track to video/moving images constitutes a derivative work, which is prohibited by this license. More permissions must be obtained directly from the artist.



CC BY-NC-SA
: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as the artist is credited and a new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

How to use it: You must credit the artist. You can put this song in a video or other derivative work. You cannot use it for commercial purposes. A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation. You may NOT use this for fundraising, advertising, or promoting a product or service without further permission, even if you’re a nonprofit organization. You must add the same license (CC BY-NC-SA) to your video, remix or derivative work. More permissions must be obtained directly from the artist.



CC BY-NC-ND
: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives. This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as the artist is credited, the use is non-commercial and the work is passed along unchanged.

How to use it: You must credit the artistYou cannot put this song in a video or other derivative work. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute, publish, share, or post the modified material. Syncing a track to video/moving images constitutes a derivative work, which is prohibited by this license. You cannot use it for commercial purposes. A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation. You may NOT use ithis for fundraising, advertising, or promoting a product or service without further permission, even if you’re a nonprofit organization. More permissions must be obtained directly from the artist.


CC0
: Public Domain Dedication/No Rights Reserved. The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.

How to use it: You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Note: CC0 can only be applied by the rights holder. CC0 does not cover works in the public domain whose copyright has expired; works in the public domain due to expired copyright may still protected by state or local statutes. The information regarding a track’s public domain status is to the best of our knowledge and should not be considered authoritative.

DISCLAIMER
The FAQ provides general information about legal topics; it does not provide individual legal advice. The FMA provides this information on an “as-is” basis. Use of this FAQ does not create an attorney-client relationship between the FMA and the user, and the FMA disclaims liability for damages resulting from its use.