May 2013

Why Producers Need Music Licensing Agreements

Licensing,Production,Synch No Comments

If you are producer who develops and distributes television shows, feature films or documentaries, you better make sure you have your music license agreements in place. There are a few reasons for this, but before we get to that lets just be clear what music licensing is all about.

Music Licensing

As a producer, this type of license gives you the right to use someone else’s copyrighted music. As an example, you might use a service like Pond5 to get music for your television show or movie. In this particular case you are allowed to use the music for a nominal fee. The fee normally covers “all media, worldwide”.

In other circumstances, you may have to pay licensing revenues for a song through BMI or ASCAP. Licensing for this type of music is generally expensive.

What If You Don’t Get A Music License?

If you like to live dangerously, then don’t get a license. However, it is tantamount to playing Russian roulette. Why you may ask? It is a simple answer. If the people who wrote the song or created the track find out you are using their music for free (read stolen), they will sue you for damages. That can be very expensive. Even if your E&O insurance pays for the damages, it may be harder for you to get insurance the next time.

Songwriters, composers and music publishers deserve to be paid for their hard work. It is a talent that requires skill. So, as a producer it imperative that you have a license to use any and all music in your movies and shows.

Another very important reason a producer needs music licensing is a thing called “Chain of Title” documentation. In this particular case, these documents evidence proof of payment with any transfer of rights.

What does this mean to you the producer? It means whether you are delivering your television show to a network or your movie to a distributor they are going to have some legalese in the contract that is going to hold you accountable for all music licensing.

Most agreements will require: a copy of your fully executed music licenses covering your different musical compositions featured in your movie or TV show. The minimum term for any music license is perpetuity for worldwide free and pay TV, home video and DVD, theatrical and non-theatrical and internet usage. Proof of payment via cancelled check or wire transfer. If any composition or recording is asserted to be in the Public Domain, proof of such should be provided.

So, as a producer it is better to be safe than sorry. Do yourself a favor and just get a license to use music in your productions.

Holland Dozier Holland – The Backbone of Motown

Songwriters No Comments

No matter how old you are, where you were born or what type of music you listen to, chances are you’ve bobbed your head to a Holland Dozier Holland song. Don’t know who they are? Don’t worry, your not alone. However, Holland Dozier Holland were responsible for some of the greatest hits throughout the 60’s and 70’s. Without them, we might not have The Supremes, Dianna Ross or The Temptations. In the following article, we’ll tell you a little bit more about this amazing songwriting and production team. Read on and learn.

Holland Dozier Holland was a songwriting group that consisted of brothers Brian and Eddie Holland and their good friend Lamont Dozier. They formed in 1962, at the beginning of the Motown takeover. Brian Holland and Dozier were the ones who composed and produced each song, while Eddie was the driving force behind the lyrics. While they originally formed as performing musicians themselves, they soon realized that they much preferred creating music for others and staying behind the scenes. This was particularly true for Eddie who happened to suffer terribly from stage fright.

During their tenure at Motown, the trio would create and produce 25 number 1 hits including popular songs like “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch” for the Four tops and “Heat Wave,” “Baby Love,” “Stop In The Name Of Love,” and You Keep Me Hanging On” for the Supremes. It was as if practically every hit song that came from Motown Records was a Holland Dozier Holland song.

As is the case with a lot of musical acts, money became an issue between the song writing team and Motown executive Berry Gordy. In 1968, they left the label and decided to venture out on their own, creating Invictus and Hot Wax Records. However, in the legal preceding that followed their departure, the trio could not put out any more music under the name Holland Dozier Holland. For this reason, they began to use aliases until the lawsuit was finally settled in 1977.

It should be noted that even though there was a large lawsuit between the trio and Motown records, there was no love lost between the two. In fact, Dozier would often collaborate with Motown artists such as Michael Jackson and Dianna Ross. Holland Dozier Holland were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and they have won countless BMI pop awards for the masterpieces they created.

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