The language used in music licensing can be overwhelming and confusing to those who are just getting involved with the process, so I would like to touch on a few basics to help you get started. There are industry standards when it comes to production music, but I would like to address only the way we handle licensing at Megatrax.
As you are already aware, you must obtain a license to use our copyrights (the musical works consisting of the composition and master) before inserting them into any production and Megatrax offers two basic ways of obtaining access: “Annual Blanket Licenses” and “Needledrop Licenses”.
An Annual Blanket License allows music users access to a designated list of musical works (the entire offerings of Megatrax or a selected amount of albums), for a specific term, territory, fee, media and clearance(s). For example: $XXX for unlimited use of all Megatrax Libraries in Promotions, Commercials & Programs produced by and broadcast on television station JSTC in Justice, California from October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011.
A Needledrop License allows access to a designated list of musical works, usually the entire offerings of Megatrax, but the fee is calculated when the music, clearance, term, territory and media are individually selected. For example: $XXX (fees are based on Megatrax’s rate cards) for the cue “Happy Puppies” for background use in the program entitled “Love Signs” broadcast by the DBC network in perpetuity for the world.
The individual needledrop clearances (Megatrax offers more than 1500) can be quite confusing and I plan to address their meaning and selection in the weeks to come. We will also be exploring such issues as performance royalties, worldwide blanket licenses, cue sheet reporting, commercial spot reporting and changes in the production music industry that make the specifics of licensing and clearances so important.
Leisa Korn, Vice President of Business Affairs has been clearing and licensing commercial and production music for over 25 years. As the head of the business affairs team, she is responsible for the myriad of licenses offered by Megatrax to its clients. Leisa is also the international liaison to the 29 subpublishers who represent Megatrax in over 60 countries around the world.