That’s true of signed


That’s true of signed artistes in some territories, but rights are tradable. The sync licenses and similar things are just convenience package that the big boys use to differentiate the different products.

Carol – if your verbal contract needs a bit more substance, then continue the discussion via email or text where there is a record.

If the band write their own material, and then perform it, then they are the only entity you need to deal with if they are not signed. One quite reasonable offer to make is to share any profit made by your product. You can offer it to them for marketing, and not charge them for production, but agree that you will split the net profit, and you do the same – if you make anything from them, you give them 50%. If neither of you do anything with it, then that’s it. They give you permission to use their performance and their music, and you give them the permission to use your contribution to the product.

It gets complicated when a signed band are involved, and worse if they play covers. Depending on what you want to do, in the UK you can license small production runs relatively cheaply if you fit certain criteria. Have a look at the PRS website for limited manufacture licenses and see if they’d fit? This is the only sensible way to do it if the band play other people’s music. I don’t think the US have an equivalent of this license type?

It’s possible to still mess it up if you use controlled music – that is music that PRS cannot simply license, as they only have the rights for most music – Disney, Abba and a few other music producers protect their music themselves. This means talking to them, and they might say yes, they may say yes for £X, or might just say no.

US and UK rules are similar, but different in the detail. It’s tricky to have a proper agreement to do things that are technically illegal – the band might tell you it’s fine, but the publisher of the material is usually the one blamed, and that would NOT be them.

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