I was invited to participate in a panel discussion and make a presentation regarding a licensing framework known in the music industry as “music synch licensing” at the Moshito Music Conference underway at the Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg. What is this framework about? Well chances are you encounter this form of licensing in action all the time when you watch TV and movies:
A music synchronization license – or sync license, for short – is a music license that allows the license holder to “sync” music to some kind of media output. Often sync licenses are used for TV shows and movies, but any kind of visual paired with sound requires a sync license. (Source: About.com)
It is basically a licensing framework that is used when you have music in a TV show, movie or even ads. It is also potentially a relatively complex licensing framework which made my presentation topic particularly interesting. I was asked to focus on alternative licensing options in the context of music synch licenses and here are my presentation slides:
It is a fascinating aspect of the music industry and a potentially lucrative one if you create a work that is in big demand for this sort of use. Music licensing, generally, can be a complex process to navigate with a number of possible rights holders for aspects of a song, all of whom may need to agree to the song’s intended license. Add to that associations like SAMRO and NORM which collect and pay certain types of royalties to copyright owners and it is easy to see how important lawyers become in this industry.