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A “How To” Guide for Licensing Visual Media
“What Do I Need To Know?”
Pictures and Sound have been married together for nearly 100 years. In the Venn Diagram of Visual Media production, where Your Project meets Master Recordings and Intellectual Property, they intersect at LICENSING. If you are a Canadian production company looking to use a master under the Warner Music Group umbrella, you are at the right place.
“I love that song, let’s put it in the show!”
You have a great scene and you’re trying to help the audience better relate to one of your characters and you need a song. What do you need to know in order to put that song into your production? Well, the first thing to know is that there are two aspects to every song use; the master owner (i.e. Record Label) and the copyright owner (i.e. Publisher.) You will need a license from both sides. You will need to contact all the music publishers that have a share in the ownership of a song as well as the owner of the recording. You may also be required to pay union new use fees to the AFM (American Federation of Musicians) and SAG-AFTRA if applicable.
“So, who do you represent?”
Warner Music Canada controls the recordings for labels including Atlantic Recordings, Warner Records, Nonesuch, Elektra, Asylum, Rhino and all subsidiaries and affiliates. There are also several labels that we distribute, for which we likely have rights to so if there’s ever a question, it’s best to reach out to verify ownership.
“Got it. And how do I find the Publishers?”
There are many online resources to research Publishing ownership and contact information. The best ones in Canada would be SOCAN, BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. For songs that are affiliated with Warner Chappell Music, please go to: www.warnerchappell.com
“What can I expect the cost to be?”
There is no typical estimate that can be given for any project as it varies according to the song requested, type of use, duration of use, etc. All the information requested on the form impacts the cost for the use of a song. Please fill out the following form and we will get back to you within 24 to 48 hours to advise on next steps.