Music For Events… Keeping It Legal

Events use a lot of music, and your event is probably no exception.

Music before the event.  Music during your event.  Music in videos.  Music in breaks.  You can see where this is going.

I thought today we would look at music copyrights and how they pertains to your event.  Now first let me say, please don’t take what I’m saying as the gospel truth.  If you have any questions or concerns passed this post, please take a moment to consult a lawyer, or contact the song’s publishing company directly.  If you can’t afford that (entertainment lawyers aren’t cheap!), Google can be your friend.

If your event is hosted in a church, more than likely the church has a CCLI license that covers most song uses that your event has.  This includes performance on stage, printed lyrics, music in videos and more.

If your event is not in a church, check with the venue to see if they have a license with a Performance Rights Organization (PRO) like ASCAP or BMI.  If they do have a license with the PRO, any song usage like what’s listed above, would be covered with that license.

Another area to consider is use of a song for promotional purposes.  If you’re doing something in the 30 second range you’re covered, however, if you’re doing anything longer two licenses need to be secured: a publishing license and a master use license.

The publishing license is from the song publisher.  Typically this information can be found in the credits of the song and could be multiple publishing companies.  The master use license is use granted from the master recording owner.  Typically that is the record company.  If you have a recording you would like to use, I would contact the record label directly.

The same goes for use of a song. Contact the publishing company directly with any questions.  They’re use to getting these types of calls, and can point you in the right direction.

Your Thoughts?