Chapter 22:What is Sync Licensing?

Sync licensing is a process that involves an independent party seeking permission from the copyright holder of a piece of music so that they can use the music in sync with a form of visual media. The music is played over the visual aspect.

Having a sync license entitles you to be able to use a song and re–record it in order to use it in whatever way you need over your visual project.

If you would like to use a certain version of the song, that was sang by a specific artist, as opposed to re–recording it yourself, you will have to apply for a master recording license on top of a sync license, which entitles you to use the real recording of the track by the artist of your choice.

Quite simply: A sync license is specifically required if you aren’t bothered about using a particular artist on the song. A master recording license is required if you do.

A music publisher will issue a sync license and a master recording license is issued by the owner of the label that the track was recorded on or the master track owner themselves.

The fee for gaining said licenses tends to be negotiable and the party who owns the rights to the track will go in with a figure to the person who is looking to enquire a license. The fee will be based on how much of the song is used and what calibre of artist is singing it.

Once the flat fee has been agreed and the deal signed, the license owner is free to use the track that is related to the license and it can be replayed with no need to repurchase the licensing agreement as long as it adheres to the original agreement every time.