Thursday, May 26, 2011

Music Rights


A few weeks ago I was invited to speak to a group of cable TV producers about music rights. The session was scheduled to last over an hour, and as I put some thoughts on paper in advance of the event, I wondered if there was enough to talk about. I should have known better.

Music rights are complicated, and recently they've become even more complicated as music users and rights owners try to figure out how the old rules apply to the ever-changing new world. Protection for authors and inventors is enshrined in the Constitution, but the framers could never have imagined the 24/7 media soup that has become our common milieu, or the challenges it would bring to creators.

The good news for media producers is that in our corner of the world, not much has changed in the past fifty years, nor is it likely to in the near future. There will always be "synch rights" for music in media, and there will always be instances of "public performance" to be licensed. There will always be some version of "mechanical rights," even if that term is retired in favor of something more modern.

If you're not sure what some of those terms mean, you might be interested in reading my new blog about Music, Media & Copyright. There you'll find a useful glossary of the most common licensing terms, and answers to some of the most common questions we get here at Omni.

And if there's something you'd like to know about, shoot me an email!

- Doug