Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Music Business/Law Tips - Mechanical License/Video

Securing a license to record a cover song from the original song copyright owner (i.e., a “mechanical license”) does not automatically give you the right to make and distribute a music video of your cover. In general, a mechanical license only gives you the right to make, reproduce, and distribute a certain amount of mechanical reproductions of music (i.e., digital, CD, vinyl, etc. – whatever is specified in the license). Period. A mechanical license does not also grant you rights to make a music video of your cover using that song. The right to do so is an entirely separate license called a “synchronization license” which you would also need to obtain from the copyright owner. Hence, if you want to record and distribute a cover song with a related music video, you'll need a mechanical license and a synchronization license as well (or include the synch language in the mechanical license). Ben McLane Esq

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