Knowing that all of you are HUGE music heads i was wondering if perhaps someone with a legal background could help me find some information.
I have thought up a very very very early version of an idea for an app. This app would be playing music and i was wondering how one would go about getting right to music to be played in the same fashion as a radio. I was wondering for instance how Bonnaroo can use all the music on Roo Radio or Pandora has the music rights to play that music?
I'll take any help i can get, whether that is exact information websites i can read, books i should read, anything. It is all greatly appreciated.
Also not sure if this is in the correct thread, hopefully it is. Thanks everyone!!!
Post by iamthehorn on Jun 26, 2013 12:44:41 GMT -5
Not knowing anything about your app, I can't give you specific advice on what you need or don't need. Please don't take this as such. Here are the basics:
There are two copyrights on every song, one on the actual written music, one on the performance. Let's say I write a song, send it to you and you record it. We would each have copyright protection. No one can perform the song I wrote without paying me, no one can duplicate and sell your performance of the song without paying you.*
So if you want use copyrighted music in some commercial venture, you need to get a license from the songwriter, and (probably) a license from the performer. If you are only using one or two songs, it's best to go straight to the writer and artist and work out a deal. However, if you want to use lots of music (like a radiostation) going to each and every artist is impractical, so the writers and artists have arranged themselves into what are called performance rights organizations. There are ones that deal with songwriting rights (ASCAP and BMI are the big ones, SESAC is the smaller third), and you can go to these organizations and get a blanket license to play all the music in their catalog. Pretty much everyone involved in a commercial venture involving music needs one of these. There is also a PRO that deals with performance copyrights, SoundExchange. There are weird rules about what uses do and do no require a license from SoundExchange, and I'm a little behind on the specifics. Generally, internet radio needs a SoundExchange license, and I'd imagine your app would too, but you have to get that checked out with a real lawyer that's working for you.