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How to Get Copyright Permission of a Song?

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Lokesh Pal

February 16, 2024

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How to Get Copyright Permission of a Song?

Do you know how to get copyright permission of a song in the social media?

As artists, educators, or content creators, we often encounter moments where a particular song perfectly encapsulates the message we wish to convey.

But to use that song legally and ethically, it’s vital to navigate the legal labyrinth of obtaining copyright permission.

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on ‘How to Get Copyright Permission for a Song’.

From identifying copyright owners to crafting and submitting your request, we aim to simplify this seemingly daunting process.

How to Get Permission to Use Copyrighted Music?

Identify the copyright holder(s)

This could be the songwriter, the performer, the record label, or a combination.

For popular music, rights are typically split between the record label (sound recording copyright) and the publisher or songwriter (composition copyright).

Determine what kind of license you need

If you want to use a song in a video, you need a synchronization (or “sync”) license.
If you plan to record a cover, you need a mechanical license.

Contact the copyright holder or the representative

In some countries, collective management organisations handle these permissions.


Obtain and review the license

Once you’ve agreed on the terms, the copyright holder or representative will issue a license.

Review this carefully and keep a copy for your records.

How to Get Copyright Permission of a Song?

Yes, it is definitely possible to get copyright permission for a song. In the world of music, copyright permission is often referred to as a music license.

There are various types of music licenses depending on how you plan to use the song – for example, synchronization licenses for using music in video content.

Such as mechanical licenses for covering or remixing a song, or performance licenses for playing music in public.


Always ensure you have the necessary permissions before using someone else’s music to avoid legal consequences.

Copyright Procedure for Music in India

Copyrighting music in India involves several steps under the Indian Copyright Act, 1957. Here is a simplified version of the process:

Identify the Type of Work

In the case of music, you will have to determine if it’s the composition (the melody, rhythm, and lyrics) or the sound recording (the actual recorded performance of the music).

The above music needs copyright protection.

They are considered separate works under the law, and they can have different copyright owners.

File an Application

The copyright owner or his/her authorised agent can apply for copyright registration.

The application form (Form-XIV for Artistic Works and Form-XV for Sound Recordings) needs to be filled out and submitted to the Copyright Office in India.

The application should contain the details of the work, the author, and the owner (if different from the author).

The application should also be accompanied by two copies of the work.

Pay the Required Fees

There are various fees associated with the application process depending on the type of copyright being registered.

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Wait for the Examination

The Copyright Office will examine the application for any discrepancies.

If there are objections or discrepancies, you’ll be notified and will need to respond within a certain period.

Issuance of Copyright Certificate

If the application is in order and no objections are raised, the Registrar of Copyrights will enter the details of the work in the Register of Copyrights and issue a Certificate of Registration.

Conclusion

Navigating the world of music copyright can seem complex.

But understanding and following the correct procedures for obtaining copyright permission is integral to respecting the work of artists and protecting your own projects from legal disputes.

Remember, obtaining copyright permission, or securing a license, to use a song involves identifying the copyright holder(s), understanding the type of license you need.

Such as reaching out to the appropriate parties, negotiating terms, and formally acquiring the license.

While the process may seem lengthy, it’s necessary to ensure the lawful use of someone’s creative work.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I find out who owns the copyright of a song?

The copyright of a song is typically owned by the songwriter and/or their music publisher, while the copyright of a sound recording is usually owned by the artist or their record label.

You can often find this information in the liner notes of an album or on music licensing databases such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC.

2. How to get copyright permission of a song?

If you want to use a song in a video, you will likely need a synchronization (or “sync”) license.

This grants you the right to “sync” the copyrighted music with visual media like films, YouTube videos, or advertisements.

While there are exceptions, like fair use, they’re complex and highly context-dependent.

It’s usually safest to seek permission unless you’re sure an exception applies.
 

4. How much does it cost to get permission to use a song?

The cost to license a song can vary widely depending on factors like the song’s popularity, how you plan to use the song, the duration of use, and whether the use is commercial.

It could be anywhere from a few dollars for a limited online usage to several thousand for a global advertising campaign.
 

5. What happens if I use a song without getting copyright permission?

Using a song without permission can result in copyright infringement, which can lead to serious legal and financial consequences.

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