We recently invited our clients to submit questions that they’d like to ask Brad Navin, our CEO, so that we can post answers right here on The Daily Rind. However, after taking a look at the questions we realized that we’d be most helpful if we get the most qualified Orchard-ite to answer each question.
For the question below, we reached out to Jason Pascal, VP, Licensing & Associate General Counsel of The Orchard:
How does an independent recording company go about obtaining a “master license” for a specific song, not a sample, but the entire song. What is the correct process? There seems to be little information anywhere on the web on this.
Depending upon your intended use, the best answer to this question is that, in order to use a recording owned by another, you need written permission.
In the majority of cases, the record label that released the record (or its successor) owns the recording and that company would have to give you written permission to use their recording. Tell them what you want to use it for; they’ll quote you a price; and you’ll negotiate the license.
Alternatively, the artist will own the recording and you would have to reach out to that artist directly. Rights may have reverted to the artist (or the his/her heirs), or the artist may have created the recording on his or her own dime and now owns it (subject to any licensed he or she may have granted). Artist ownership is becoming more common as a result of the DIY world we currently live in.
Of course, there are exceptions, and if you’re looking for rights to use a recording owned by a major label, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to obtain a license unless you’re willing to pay large fees.
- Jason Pascal, VP, Licensing & Associate General Counsel