What You Need to Know About Music Licensing?

Posted by Music Of The Sea on June 23rd, 2020

Music licensing is one of those topics that the music creators need to have in-depth knowledge about. In order to help you avail the best information and take the right step, you can check this blog to find everything about music licensing.

If you have watched “Four Wedding and a Funeral” by Hulu, you must be wondering how on earth the cover of Nina Nesbitt “I believe in a Thing called Love” has been used in the show and probably the very next question that pops up is who actually got paid for it!

The answer to all your questions to those context and others is that every piece of music that you hear on radio, internet, TV and in any other digital platforms and even in the theatrical performance to the restaurants and shopping centers requires music licensing. Before licensing music, there are two more steps that need to be done which are music publishing and music copyrighting.

So let us find about it in details.

What do you mean by License, Copyrights, and Publishing?

In the entertainment industry, copyrights play a major role and it is the very first step of music licensing. This right is responsible for protecting the copyright holder’s interest which means that the composers and songwriters are able to earn revenue from their work.

Under the U.S copyright law, a copyright holder has six rights which are constant with the law across the globe. These are:

  • To be able to reproduce the copyrighted music in phonorecords or copes
  • To prepare other derivatives completely based on the copyrighted piece
  • To spread the photorecords or copies of this copyrighted work in the public either through sale or through ownership transfer or by leading or renting
  • In certain scenarios like in the dramatic, literacy, musical or other choreographic works, motions pictures or any other audiovisuals, one can perform the work publicly
  • In certain scenarios like musical, dramatic, literacy, choreographic work and any other graphic or pictorial work, the copyrighted work can by publicly displayed
  • In certain scenarios like sound recording, in order to perform the work in front of the public through the digital platform, this is a need

Another tem called “Publishing” has originated from the era when the music started getting published in the paper as the sheet music. However, now it encompasses most of the management aspects of licensing and copyrights with an access of more than 900,000 revenue sources. The publishers have control over licensing and copyrights.

Licensing is crucial for the creators as it enables the holder to sell these rights to the person willing to use their music in exchange of an amount which is generally called as royalties. For the artists, royalties are the prime source of revenue generation and hence when someone is paying royalty, they are allowed to use the music and make money from it in their way.

Having the understanding about the way publishing, licensing, and copyrights work are a necessity for the music creators specially for the musicians and songwriters in order to make money from the music along with protect from losing their reputation, sanity, time and much more. You can stay assured that your music is not getting used in an unethical way.

If you are looking for one such music licensing companies USA, Music of the Sea can be the best choice for you because of their popularity and number of great artists that draw attention and indirectly improve the chances of getting better in your career.

When do you need music licensing?

In case any music has been copyrighted then there is always a need for music licensing each and every time someone else plays that song or even a portion of it or maybe any song version in TV, or YouTube or commercials or restaurant or bar or radio or anywhere where it is meant for public interest.

Music licensing is great as it is able to cover music for most of its use that serves to understand the importance along with the reason why knowledge in paramount for successful navigation in the music industry. Getting harassed is pretty easy in this genre but working with the right music licensing and publishing agency can aid in keeping it safe from unethical uses and earn from the royalties. A publisher or the copyright holder means you have the right to collect revenue from the uses and for any type of use which happens in the world today with the music that you own.

What gets copyrighted in music?

To say in the simplest way, there are generally two major parts of a song which gets copyrights are the composition and sound recording which is also known as masters.

No doubt that sound recording here generally refers to the physical recording of the song or maybe digitally recorded one or just say the piece of music, whereas composition means the melody, the lyrics, sheet music and much more.

Let’s take an example, “I believed in a thing called love” which is used in the Hour Weddings and a Funeral. If the producer of the show has used the sing version, they are liable to getting a license from the master or the original recordings. However, as Nina Nesbitt likely recorded the sing for the show, producers will generally buy license from the other things associated with the music like the composition and allowing Nesbitt to record even the new version of the same song which is a new master recording which has been used in the show.

As previously mentioned, the publishers always have the copyrights along with control over the licensing in order to get an access to the revenue streams. Hence it is necessary for the creators to be very careful about the agreements with the performers and co-songwriters and also with the music publishing companies and record label in order to improve the earnings and protecting the revenue streams and rights.

How does the music copyright takes place?

Once the recording is done, the actual music is being protected by copyright. Even when you did not register for the music copyright, it does not mean that anyone can make use of it without your permission. The initiation of the automatic copyright protection starts from the moment the material is fixed. Hence, the song gets protected from the very moment you finished the recording in the studio or when you wrote a lyrics or recorded the performance even on your cellphone.

However, making it official smoothens the process to a huge extent as it eases getting fees and royalties for the music. To be more precise, copyright of music proves that you own the music and can take any legal step in case of any discrepancy or infringement.


Music licensing and publishing is a necessity for the music creators or everyone associated with it. If you are into creating music, you should know that music licensing is a necessity to keep your music safe and eliminate the chances of unethical uses. If you are in search for such music licensing companies, consider getting in touch with music of the sea. They can be a great choice for the indie artists who are willing to become a popular name as this publishing company can help you get an exposure in the market. 

So if you want to get your music licensed and published at the same time and looking for a reliable name that can take care of your royalties, consider getting in touch with Music of the Sea today.

Music Of The Sea

About the Author

Music Of The Sea
Joined: April 21st, 2020
Articles Posted: 5

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