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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Lights...camera...action! » » Obtaining rights to use songs in shows (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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583 Posts

Profile of bryanlonden
How do I go about obtaining the rights to use a performers song in my shows and demo videos?

Do I have to pay a set fee, or is it a fee based on amounts of performances, length of time using the song, etc.

I am interested in using several songs by signed artists. I make music myself so certainly would like to go through the correct and proper avenues to use music legally and properly.

Thanks everyone.
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Toronto, Canada
80 Posts

Profile of chrisweeks
You would need to contact the music agency (E.g. Universal Music) since you are in the states. If you are in Canada there is something called SOCAN which is the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers which is a general music agency for all artists.

It can be outrageously expensive sometimes.

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Inner circle
1860 Posts

Profile of Anatole
If the music is licensed through ASCAP (THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF COMPOSERS, AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS) you might want to check
which has answers to questions like "Why should I pay for playing music in public? " and "What is a public performance?"

Somewhere on the CD (or whatever your music is taken from) there should be a notice of the licensing agency.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
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Eternal Order
High Desert
12035 Posts

Profile of Decomposed
I quit using music long ago in my shows, just too big a hassle and who needs to loose megabucks in a lawsuit.
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Profile of paulbrown0833
It does seem like a bit of work. Rather than not use music at all, one could purchase "royalty-free" music. True, it would not be popular songs that everyone knew, but music can add another layer to the performance.
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Profile of paulbrown0833
People like Arthur Stead, Alan Skogerbo, Nathan J. Roberts, and Darwyn Jones have put out good "royalty-free" music for performers.
Damon Reinbold
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Profile of Damon Reinbold
There are four major agencies that collect royalties for using pre-recorded music. ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and Harry J. Fox. The first three are in Nashville, Harry J. Fox is in NYC. Also, the musicians union is in Nashville. I suggest strongly that you contact one of these agencies (if you are determined to use non royalty-free music) and explain who you are and what you do and how you can use music at the lowest possible fee. Another option (one I used many times) was to ask a local musician to record some music that fit my show. I told them I had no money but I'd be happy to tell everyone I performed for who recorded the music. Also, I allowed that artist to sell their own cds in the lobby so in a way we cross promoted each other. It worked beautifully. Good luck, and let me know how you are doing. Musicians are like magicians. They're usually very nice and interested in exposing their art to as many people as possible.
Damon Reinbold
<BR>2011 President, S.A.M. Assembly 71
<BR>2011 President, IBM Ring 90
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Lights...camera...action! » » Obtaining rights to use songs in shows (0 Likes)
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