Copyright for Synchronization License

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When it comes to music, copyright is a very important issue. In India, synchronisation licenses are required in order to use copyrighted material in a film or video. These licenses are issued by the Copyright Board of India.

A synchronisation license is needed whenever copyrighted music is used in a film or video. The license ensures that the copyright holder of the music gets compensated for the use of their work. Without a synchronisation license, using copyrighted music in a film or video would be infringement.

What is a Synchronization License?

A synchronisation license, also known as a synch license, is a music license granted by the owner of a copyrighted song to allow another party to record a version of the song and release it in timed coordination with a visual element. The visual element can be a film, television program, commercial, video game, or any other audio-visual work.

Synchronisation licenses are typically negotiated between the copyright holder of the song and the production company responsible for the audio-visual work. The terms of the synchronisation license will spell out exactly how and where the song can be used, as well as what compensation the copyright holder will receive.

Synchronisation licenses are an important tool for filmmakers, television producers, and others who want to use popular songs in their audio-visual works. By securing the appropriate synchronisation license, they can ensure that they are legally allowed to use the song and avoid any potential copyright infringement issues.

What Are Mechanical Licences?

A mechanical license is a document that gives the holder the right to reproduce and distribute copyrighted musical works. In order to obtain a mechanical license, one must first get permission from the copyright holder of the work. The copyright holder can be the composer, lyricist, or publisher of the work. Once permission is obtained, the licensee must pay a royalty fee to the copyright holder. The royalty fee is set by the Copyright Royalty Board and is based on how many copies of the work will be made and distributed.

Benefits of Copyrighting for a Synchronisation License

When it comes to synchronisation licenses, copyrighting your work can provide a number of benefits. First and foremost, it can help ensure that you are properly compensated for the use of your work. Copyright law provides creators with certain exclusive rights, including the right to control how their work is used and to receive compensation for its use.

Additionally, copyrighting your work can help protect it from being used without your permission. By registering your work with the Copyright Office, you create a public record of your ownership which can deter would-be infringers and make it easier to take action against them if they do go ahead and use your work without authorisation.

Finally, copyrighting your work can also make it eligible for certain government benefits, like statutory damages and attorneys’ fees in the event of infringement. These benefits can be helpful in protecting and enforcing your rights as a copyright holder.

Why Do You Need a Synchronisation License?

If you want to use a copyrighted song in your film, video, or other production, you need to obtain a synchronisation license. This type of license gives you the right to match the song with your visual images.

Without a synchronisation license, using even a small portion of a copyrighted song can lead to large financial penalties. In some cases, copyright holders have sued for millions of dollars.

When you obtain a synchronisation license, you are entering into an agreement with the copyright holder. The details of the agreement will vary depending on the project, but typically the copyright holder will grant you the right to use the song in your production in exchange for a fee.

The synchronisation license is just one type of license that you may need to obtain for your production. You may also need to obtain other licenses, such as a master use license or performance rights.


  • Works That are in the Public Domain: If a work is no longer under copyright protection, it is considered to be in the public domain and can be used without a license
  • Fair Use: Indian copyright law includes a 'fair use' exception, which allows for the use of copyrighted material without a license in certain circumstances. For example, fair use would allow for the use of a copyrighted song in a movie review or criticism
  • Use by Government Agencies: Government agencies in India are exempt from needing to obtain synchronisation licenses for copyrighted material
  • Educational Uses: Synchronisation licenses are not required for uses of copyrighted material in an educational setting, such as using a song in a school play or using a clip from a movie in a classroom presentation.

Challenges of Obtaining Synchronisation Licenses

One of the key challenges in obtaining synchronisation licenses in India is the lack of a centralised licensing body. This means that each copyright owner must be individually approached for permission to use their work. This can be a time-consuming and costly process, particularly for businesses who want to use a large number of copyrighted works in their productions.

Another challenge is the fact that Indian copyright law does not specifically recognise synchronisation rights. This means that there is no clear legal framework for negotiating and granting licenses for the use of copyrighted material in audiovisual productions. This can create uncertainty and risk for both licensees and copyright owners.

Finally, it should be noted that the fees charged for synchronisation licenses can vary widely depending on the popularity of the work and the negotiating skills of the parties involved. As such, it is important to seek professional advice before entering into any agreements.

Who Gets Paid via the License?

If you’re the copyright owner of a song, you’re the only one who can give someone permission to use your song (this is called a 'synchronisation license').

When someone wants to use your song in a video, advertisement, movie, etc., they have to get your permission first. If you agree to let them use your song, you’ll need to sign a synchronisation license agreement.

This agreement will outline what type of usage they have rights to, how long they can use it for, where they can use it, and how much you will be paid for the usage.

In most cases, the person or company that wants to use your song will pay you directly. However, there are some instances where the money may come from a third party, such as a production company or music publisher.

Why Vakilsearch?

There are many reasons to choose Vakilsearch to get your synchronisation license in India. We have a team of experienced and knowledgeable attorneys who can guide you through the process and help you obtain the license quickly and easily.

We also offer a variety of other services that can be helpful when obtaining a synchronisation license, such as trademark registration and legal document drafting.

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