Monday, May 27, 2013

Music Business/Law Tips - "Sampling Defense"

Although its always advisable to gain permission from copyright owners before sampling their music since in general even taking small snippets can be considered infringement, there are a few possible arguable defenses for not having to clear a sample. One would be "fair use", where the copying serves some sort of benefit to the public (such as education, criticism, parody or satire). The other would be "de minimus", where the copying is so tiny one could never tell the original source of the music. Again, these defenses are just that and they may not fly - especially if the sampler is making money off of someone else's work. Ben McLane Esq

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Music Business/Law Tips - "Video Game License Fees"

When you license your music for inclusion on a video game, the royalties and fees depend upon how famous you are, how famous your song is, the prior history or anticipated sales of the game, who the game company is, the bargaining power of the parties, and the needs of the video game producer, artist and/or songwriter. Some agreements provide for an actual royalty but most provide for a one-time buy-out fee per song regardless of the number of games actually sold or how many times the game is played. There is no standard per se, but per game royalties range from 8 cents to 15 cents per song, and buyouts range from $1 to over $25,000 (with the average being between $2500-$5000). Ben McLane Esq