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Q&A: Do you have any resources that will help me learn more about music licensing?
By Duman & Fiero - 02/21/2005 - 08:01 PM EST

Dear MD:

There are several resources that you can obtain to learn more about licensing - which is one of the least understood and most lucrative aspects of the entertainment industry.

Our associates, attorneys Jeffrey and Todd Brabec, wrote one of the most comprehensive books on the subject of licensing entitled "Music, Money & Success." It's a great information resource for those who want to learn how licensing works and how income is generated from it.

As of this writing, they have published four editions of the book. Any edition would be beneficial to you in terms of understanding the mechanics, but I recommend the newest version which includes information on modern licensing sources such as downloads, computer games, ring tones, and believe it or not, greeting cards!

For general reference and info, you should also visit the following sites:


1.) Music Clearance - A music rights clearance company that will help you get music properly cleared.

Website: http://www.clearance.com

2.) National Music Publishers Association - NMPA has worked to interpret copyright law, educate the public about licensing, and safeguard the interests of its members. To insure a fair and orderly market for everyone involved in music publishing, NMPA is dedicated to the protection of music copyright across all media and across all national boundaries.

Website: http://www.nmpa.org/nmpa.html

3.) This is the website for “Kohn on Music Licensing,” the pre-eminent authority with regard to just about every law-related issue involving music licensing. Contains some comprehensive articles regarding a variety of related topics, including a really informative one entitled: “A Primer on the Law of Webcasting and Digital Music Delivery”

Click here to view

4.) The U.S. Copyright Office website remains a good resource regarding copyright law and procedure, including information regarding the relatively new area of digital rights regulation and licensing

Click here to view

5.) The Library of Congress provides, among other things, a thorough search engine to look up songs that have been registered with the copyright office. A good place to start if you don’t know who owns a song you’d like to license.

Click here to view

We hope these resources are useful and beneficial for you.

-Jon & Gian

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