Archive for the ‘articles’
Thursday, April 12th, 2012
What actually is the law about copyright and using music? We’re often asked this by people who want to use some music in their new project, but aren’t too sure about copyright law. It could be for a youtube video, a new website, a podcast or a TV show, but the important thing is that they want to use music without any legal issues. We’ve put together an article covering the basics (and a lot of the detail!) on music copyright law, to help you make the right choices when adding music to your project. We’ve used our experience from years in the music business, to simply show what the law actually is, and how to make sure you stay legal
The article is here: Music Copyright And The Law
Friday, October 7th, 2011
What Can I Use Royalty Free Music For?
That’s a question we get asked many times, and we’re always happy to confirm how it’s OK to use our royalty free music All the examples given here of how to use royalty free music are included in our licenses at www.royalty-free.tv.
Using Royalty Free Music
Royalty free music is designed to be used as background music. The technical term for this is “synchronised”, which simply means the music is synchronised in time with another media, for example pictures.
Typical uses for royalty free music are:
- TV shows and commercials
- Radio Productions – for example commercials, beds for voiceovers
- Film / Movie for theatrical release
- In software, physical or downloadable. For example, computer game.
- Corporate video, DVD, trade show, training videos, presentations.
- Shareware / Freeware games
- Music On Hold – telephone system
- Online video – streamed via hosting sites such as youtube etc.
- Podcast – background music for voiceover, introduction theme tune etc.
- Student film and film festivals
- Educational uses (school projects etc. not for sale)
Royalty Free Music Licensing
It’s usual for the permission (license) to be made out to you as the producer or maker of the media project. This means it’s for you to use in your project, but you can’t re-sell the music to someone else. Of course, selling your project (movie, game etc.) is fine, that’s how royalty free music is designed to help you, by keeping your costs down.
For full details of what a royalty free music license covers, you can find ours at http://www.royalty-free.tv/rftv/royalty_free_music_license.htm. It’s a legal document, but it’s easy to read and understand, written in plain terms. It’s worth checking out
We have over 8000 royalty free music files available to download at www.Royalty-Free.tv, used by media producers worldwide.
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
Stock Music, also known as production music or library music, is music that’s written specifically to be licensed and used in television, film, radio and other medias. Publishers specialising in stock music will make their music catalogue available to media producers, together with a relatively straightforward pricing structure allowing the media maker to use the music in their productions. The price the media producer pays will vary according to the use, generally the larger the eventual audience the greater the fee. The composers of the music are happy to let the publishers do this on their behalf, since they share the licensing fees with them.
Stock Music Libraries
In the past this system was very different to licensing popular music, or classical recordings, where the media producer would have to gain the consent of the artist as well as their publisher in order to use their music. This could be a time consuming and expensive business, which was one of the reasons why using stock music was an attractive alternative. In more recent years however, this situation has started to change, and major record companies are more often making their popular music available for use on TV for example, even providing re-mixed instrumental versions to encourage their use. Likewise the fees charged have become more aligned with traditional stock music libraries. This is all because record companies are now trying to find new markets for their music, since their traditional revenue from selling CDs has reduced greatly due to digital online music.
Digital Stock Music
Stock music publishers have had to change as well, and their music is now mostly available via websites and digital downloads, where a few years ago they distributed their music on CD. The Internet has also enabled many new stock music businesses to start up and succeed, and as a result there are many different levels of music licensing offered by these companies, depending on their business model. So as well as traditional stock music libraries owned my major music companies, there are many independent businesses (such as www.royalty-free.tv) , and new licensing models such as royalty free music.
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
Creative Commons Music licensing and Royalty Free Music licensing can often be easy to confuse – aren’t they doing the same thing after all? Whilst that’s sometimes the case, there can be important differences in the details, so it’s always good advice to check the license terms carefully whichever method is being used.
Creative Commons Music
So what is Creative Commons about anyway? Creative Commons Music is a simple way for artists and musicians to license their music for other people to use in various ways, by choosing a ready-made Creative Commons license. This license will allow for the music to be used in various ways described in the license. The idea is that because it encourages people to use and distribute music easily, so the musician or artist gets to have their music heard by a wider audience. But it’s still easy to get confused – some people think that Creative Commons means it’s OK to use a piece of music however they like, which is usually not the case. There are many different types of Creative Commons Music licenses, so it’s always important to check out exactly what the license terms are. You can see the full details of Creative Commons licensing at creativecommons.org.
Royalty Free Music Licensing
Our composers at www.royalty-free.tv also license their music directly, but as Royalty Free Music. We’re sometimes asked if that’s also the same as licensing under Creative Commons. The short answer is that it’s not exactly the same, but there are some similarities. For example, our royalty free music license does allow the music to be used in many ways, such as TV or video soundtracks, music on hold, podcasts to name but three (for the full list check out our royalty free music license). So would it be easier all round to use a regular Creative Commons license instead? We don’t believe so, simply because there’s no advantage to be gained. Creative Commons is essentially off-the-shelf licensing for creators to license their work easily. Our license is custom-designed to meet the needs of media producers, so it’s actually easier for us to use our own license instead .
Creative Commons Music vs Royalty Free Music
Does this mean we don’t agree with Creative Commons, or that we think it’s not a good idea? Of course not! We think Creative Commons music licensing can be a great way for artists to spread and promote their music, whilst still controlling their rights, and anything that helps artists and musicians has got to be a good thing Likewise, royalty free music licensing is a simple way to license music directly to media producers and people who need music for their own creative projects. There is no “one cap fits all” solution to music licensing, it’s important to choose the license that works best for the uses that you need.
Monday, June 20th, 2011
Public Domain Music
People often assume that because a piece of music is very old, and everyone knows it well enough to hum the tune, then it’s in the public domain and is OK for anyone to use as they choose. It’s an easy mistake to make, but it could be costly if you include the wrong music in your media project and assume it’s Public Domain Music when it isn’t. So how do you make sure you only pick music that’s safe to use, when you want public domain music?
Music has various rights attached to it, known as copyrights. Public Domain Music is simply music that has has no rights attached to it. This could be because the rights have expired over time, it could be that the rights over has placed the work into the public domain. It could even be that the rights never existed, for example if a folk song was created way back in the mists of time and no-one knows by whom. So what are the rights to look out for with music, before we can be sure a piece of music is in the public domain?
1 – the authors, i.e. the composers who wrote the music, and the lyricists who wrote the words.
2 – the publisher, who will have a share in the rights, usually alongside the authors
3 – the Mechanical rights. If a public domain song is released on CD, the fact it’s an old song doesn’t mean the recording is Public Domain – copyright exists in the CD recording too.
For a piece of music to be considered as public domain music, each of those rights must not be active.
Safe Public Domain Music
So if you’re looking for some public domain music, let’s say a classical work for example, there are a few points to consider. Firstly can you assume the author’s copyrights have expired? With an old composer (Mozart, Beethoven etc.) that’s not a problem. But remember that copyright exists for many years after the composer dies, so a composer who died in the 20th century will still have copyright present on their work. Next, publishing, surely with Mozart this wouldn’t be a problem? Usually not, but many classical pieces are published as written arrangements, and publishing copyrights may well exist in those arrangements. Finally the mechanical rights, and why you can’t just use a CD of your favourite symphony orchestra! Copyright exists in the actual recording (the master recording you hear on the CD), so it’s not possible to use that particular recording, even though the composer’s rights may have expired long ago.
So what’s the solution to our classical music problem? The best is to use a recent royalty free music recording, where the mechanical rights have been licensed directly for royalty free distribution. There are many websites with such music (including www.royalty-free.tv).
Monday, June 20th, 2011
As well as having 1000′s of full-length royalty free music tracks, we also
have a great range of royalty free music loops, including some free music loops
for you to try.
What Are Music Loops?
Music loops are a simple way to take a short piece of music and make it last
a whole lot longer. So what exactly is a “music loop”? Put simply, it’s a short
piece of music that can be repeated over and over. The clever part is that the
music loop is designed to do this seamlessly, in other words you won’t be able
to hear the join (as a gap or even a click), instead you hear one long continuous
music track. A typical use of a royalty free music loop would be in the soundtrack
to a video. In video editing software, it’s simple to take the music loop file,
and lay several copies of it end-to-end in the soundtrack. As the video plays,
the music loop gets played over again, making a smooth continuous soundtrack.
Free Music Loops
There are many places to buy music loops on the web, including royalty free
music loops from websites like our own www.royalty-free.tv. We also have free
music loops to download and try, just so you can see how easy they are to use.
Our free music loops are available if you visit http://www.royalty-free.tv/rftv/free_mp3.htm
Why Use Music Loops?
One of the main reasons to use a music loop instead of a full length piece
of music is because the file size is very much smaller. This can be used to
great advantage where bigger file sizes would be a problem, for example as music
on a Flash website. A longer piece of music might take some time to buffer and
load in a Flash animation, but a royalty free music loop can be ready to start almost instantly
because it’s so much quicker to download.
Where To Find More Music Loops
It’s easy to find more music loops by visiting http://www.royalty-free.tv/rftv/frameset.htm
and selecting “loops” from the dropdown “length” menu you’ll see on the left
of the screen. Click “Search!” and you can choose from the many hundreds of
royalty free music loops we have available – have fun!
Friday, January 21st, 2011
One of the questions we get asked often is “Can I use your music on my video and upload it to Youtube?”. The quick answer is “Yes!” that’s no problem at all, even if your video is for commercial purposes.
At www.royalty-free.tv we specialise in providing premium quality music to accompany visuals, so Youtube is one place where our music is widely used. Our license terms are simple, affordable and include using music on Youtube and similar video sites, check them out at royalty free music license.
We also suggest that it’s good practice with any music on Youtube to put a credit in the text accompanying your video. Why? Simply because Youtube likes to know where your music comes from, and having a written credit will help it work that out. Something plain like “Music licensed by www.royalty-free.tv, Track Title: “Music Song”, Composer: “John Doe” is sufficient. This can be placed right at the end of any other descriptive text you have with your video, so it’s not in the way of anything else you want to say.
We have 1000′s of music files to choose from, dozens of music styles, all premium quality. So that’s it – plain and simple, please go ahead and use our music on Youtube
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
As a supplier of royalty free music files (www.royalty-free.tv) we’re often asked what’s the simplest way to convert audio files from one format to another. For example you may have bought a tune online in MP3 and you want to edit it, but your editing software needs the file to be in a WAV format. It’s easy to convert them using freely available software, here are our favourite 2 software packages to use:
1 – iTunes: available as a free download for Mac and PC, will convert one of your music tracks (or even several) to any of the following formats – MP3, AAC, AIFF, WAV. Here’s how - if you’re using a Mac select iTunes menu>Preferences, or if using Windows select Edit menu>Preferences. Now click the Advanced button, then the Importing button at the top of the window. On the Import Using pop-up menu, choose the encoding format that you want to convert the song to, then click OK to save the settings. Select one or more songs in your library, select Advanced menu, choose the audio format you want to convert your music file into. iTunes is availble free from http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/
2 – Audacity: free audio editing software, that’s also really useful for converting audio files from one format to another. It supports WAV, AIFF, MP3 and OGG VORBIS formats, and it’s really as simple as loading the file you want, then selecting the menu File>export as, choosing either WAV, AIFF, OGG or MP3 to save and convert the file into. You can additionally select the quality of each of these audio file formats by selecting “file formats” from the preference menu. Using this you can increase or decrease the quality and size of your new format music file, if you choose to. Audacity is available free to download at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
What is Royalty Free Music?
This is a question we’re frequently asked, here’s a simple way to define it: Royalty-free music is music that’s designed to be used in media projects, and can be licensed for a single one-time fee. The term “royalty free” can be confusing, whether used for music or other media such as pictures or video. A better, more accurately descriptive term, would be “license-paid”, however the term ‘royalty free’ has become the generic term associated with the industry.
What Does Royalty Free Music Do?
It offers a simple way to license music, so that it can be used in media projects. When music is used in media situations, such as TV programmes, films, websites, whoever owns the various ‘rights’ to the music must give their permission for their music to be used. Traditionally, the licensing process to do his could be costly and time consuming to arrange, and was usually on a per-use basis. Royalty free music attempts to make this process easier by offering a simple license structure, allowing the media producer permission to use the music repeatedly and in many ways without having to purchase additional licenses.
Reasons to use Royalty Free Music include:
* Licensing is simple and widely available
* Quick and Easy Access to music
* More Cost Effective than traditional licensing
* Peace of mind – you know you’re legally covered
www.royalty-free.tv – supplying royalty free music since 2003 to major broadcasters, movie makers, web designers, media producers.
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
Media Producers of all kinds ask us about this issue a lot, because it’s a subject that can easily lead to confusion. Let’s try to explain what “Performance Rights” are all about, and what you as a Media Producer need to know about them and using royalty free music:
The “Performance Right” is the right of a composer to control how their music is performed in public. Whenever music is played (“Performed”) to the general public, the composer has to give their permission. To facilitate this every country has a national Performance Rights Organisation (PRO), such as the PRS in the UK or ASCAP in USA. These PROs collect license fees from whoever performs music in public, and redistribute the fees among composers. So for example, they will collect an annual license fee from a major TV network, then look at what music has been played (“performed”) on the TV network during the year, then divide the money into many thousands of smaller micro-payments to the relevant composers.
So who pays Performance Rights fees? Well, whoever actually plays the music to the public, pays the PRO license fees. So this would include TV stations, radio stations, theatres, even retail stores and websites in some countries. However, and here’s the confusing part, if you are just the media-maker or producer, you don’t pay any PRO fees. Why not? Because if you have produced let’s say a promotional video for a client, you haven’t actually performed the music in public – all you’ve done is make and produce the video. Whoever actually plays the video in public makes the performance, and they may have to pay a PRO fee.
This is where Royalty Free Music comes in, as it’s designed for media makers and producers, but there are two kinds of ‘royalty free’ and this can be confusing. You may have seen some royalty free music advertised as “PRO-free”, or with “no performance fees to pay ever”, while other royalty free music requires public performances to be notified to your local PRO. The difference here is easily explained. If a composer wants to receive any royalties when their work is on TV or in a movie, and get their fair share of the annual license fees that TV networks and movie theatres have already paid to their local PRO, the composer will belong to a PRO. If a composer never wants to see any of those royalties, or their music is never used on TV etc, he won’t belong to a PRO. It’s usual that professional composers and successful writers will belong to a PRO. If a composer who belongs to a PRO then writes some music for a royalty free music company, the PRO will be often be entitled to charge performance fees on all of that composer’s music no matter who the composer writes for. So although the music is ‘royalty free’ and easy to license for the media-make or programme producer to include in their production, when their work is played to the public such as on TV, then a PRO fee is due.
As a media producer, you probably have a great need for royalty free music, but don’t want to worry about Performance Rights and fees. So the solution is to ask yourself, are you the one who will actually be playing your work to the public? If you produce work for a client, the answer is probably ‘no’, so you have no worries – use any royalty free music you like!
What if your media production isn’t for a client, but for yourself? Again the answer is usually that it’s not a problem, let’s look at a couple of examples to see why…
Example 1 – you’ve made a video, and want to put it on youtube or a similar site. You don’t need to worry about public performance fees at all – Youtube is the one actually making your video public, and they have already paid a performance licence to their local PRO.
Example 2 – you’ve made a video you want to take to a trade fair. The trade fair venue will be responsible for having a PRO license which covers any music being used in their venue. So you don’t have to pay PRO fees, they already have.
So it’s easy to see that in most cases, if you are a media producer then it’s fine to use any of the royalty free music you see advertised online.
We have a list of many of the world’s PROs on our website at http://www.royalty-free.tv/rftv/performance_rights.htm, you can check out your local PRO to confirm what I’ve written here, or get further information.
www.royalty-free.tv: High quality royalty free music, loops, tracks and album downloads.