SYNCHRONIZATION AND MASTER USE MUSIC LICENCES
Music Synchronisation Licence (PDF) |
Music Master Use Licence (PDF)
All music in film and video productions contain two sets of right: copyright in the composition, and copyright in the recording.
In a film or video production, music can come from one of three sources:
In each case you will need to ensure that you have acquired the right to use both the composition and the recording.
- original music composed specifically for the production;
- existing music in the public domain; or
- existing music that is not in the public domain.
If you commission original music, you will need to enter into an agreement with the composer in order to obtain the right to use the composition, and deal memos with each of the musicians in order to obtain the right to use the recording.
If you choose to use existing music, you will need to determine whether the composition is in the public domain (in other words, the term of copyright has expired), or whether copyright in the composition is still in effect. If the composition is in the public domain (e.g. a Mozart concerto) you may use the composition without obtaining a license. However, you will still need to obtain the right to use the recording.
If the existing music is not in the public domain, you will need to obtain the right to use both the composition and the recording. This is usually done through two different licenses: a synchronization license for the right to use the composition, and a master use license for the right to use the recording (also called the ‘master recording’).
Synchronization and related rights must be obtained from the copyright owner of the composition – in many cases this will be a music publisher who may also have entered into an agency agreement with organizations such as the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) or the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) to negotiate such rights on the organization’s behalf.
Master use and related rights must be obtained from the copyright owner of the music recording. The rights to use the recording are often owned by a recording company as opposed to the music publisher or the performer.
On occasion, both the composition and the recording may be owned by the artist or a single owner. In such cases both the synchronization and master use licences can be obtained under the same agreement, provided that the agreement specifically grants the production company a license to use both the composition and the recording.