Copyright for Synchronization License

Enjoying all the attention your work (video) is getting? Make sure no one else can reap the monetary benefits! Give your work the protection of the synchronization license.

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What is Copyright?

Copyright is an exclusive right given to the creator for his/her work which symbolizes that the work is considered to be a unique one and strictly not to copy someone’s work. The creative work for which you want to get copyright may be in a literary, digital performance, cine field, artistic, educational, music or in any creative form. If you protect your work by copyright, then no one can copy, imitate or reproduce the original work of yours in any other possible way. Copyright is used by one to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of some creative work, but not the idea itself. It does not protect systems, facts, ideas or methods of operation, although it may protect the way how these things or emotions are expressed.

Copyrights can also be given by the public law and are in that case, they are called "territorial rights". This means that you cannot extend your copyright license which is granted by the law of a certain state, cannot go beyond the territory of that specific jurisdiction. Indeed, the public law states that the duration of a copyright expires 50 to 100 years after the creator dies, depending on the jurisdiction of the state. Copyright can be considered for the following works:

  • Music
  • Drama
  • Manuscripts
  • Digital forms
  • Books
  • Films
  • Paintings
  • Performances
  • Fashion Designs
  • Sound recording
  • Software
  • Literary Work
  • Mechanical licensing
  • Training Manuals, etc
  • What is a Synchronization License?

    An agreement between a user (who uses the video) and the owner of a copyrighted composition (video products), that grants permission for the song to be released in a video format, for instance, YouTube, DVDs, etc. is called a synchronization license. This permission which is granted is also called synchronization rights or sync rights or sync rights. There is only a slight difference between a synchronization license and a mechanical license. Let us see what a mechanical license is. Synchronization license cost depends upon the publisher or the songwriter.

    What are Mechanical Licences?

    Starting from the 1920s till now, a mechanical license is an agreement between a music user and the owner of a copyrighted composition (song), that allows releasing the song in an audio-only format i.e., in CDs, interactive audio channels, hard disks and so on. It is the amount paid to a music publishing company in regards to ownership of the particular audio.

    Synchronization licenses are for video format whereas mechanical licenses are for the audio format.

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    Benefits of copyrighting for a synchronization license

  • Copyright helps for legal protection and legal evidence of your work (videos) which you can submit anywhere anytime, if necessary.
  • It makes you and your work(videos) stand out in the crowd.
  • Getting a copyright for a synchronization license will save you from monetary loss.
  • It helps in protecting the reputations and status since you own the idea.
  • The public will notice your work i.e., your videos, if it is something unique and attracts the people.
  • A unique approach helps in generating high revenue.
  • Why do you need a synchronization license?

    You will need a synchronization license when you attempt to release a recording of a song that is already established and published by someone else in a video format, even though it is just a small part of the song. Synchronization licenses are most commonly used for the people who upload videos based on any other origin of the song. Generally, it is used for YouTube videos, wedding videos, television programs, radio, cover song videos, commercials, and corporate videos and lots more.

    Let us talk about an example: If you release a YouTube video of your music band playing a Hindi song, you need a synchronization license, even if you use only a portion of the song.

    If you release a CD of yourself playing the piano or singing your favorite song lyrics, you need a synchronization license.

    It will not take much time for the owner/composer of the song to raise a case or issue against you for plagiarizing the music content.

    A synchronization license is needed no matter how small a piece of the song that you use. It is to be noted that for medleys, each song section requires a separate synchronization license

    There are many sync licensing companies in India and all over the world as well. Also, you can get a sync license for youtube, which is useful for many upcoming artists.

    Exceptions

    Let us look at a few exceptions where a synchronization license is not required:

    You don't need a synchronization license for songs that you wrote yourself or songs that are in the public domain.

    Note that synchronization licenses are for video products (DVDs, YouTube videos, other web videos, and slideshows). If you are creating an audio-only product, such as CDs or vinyl records, you need a mechanical license instead. Mechanical is for audio-only; synchronization is for video.

    If you use an original recording belonging to someone else (for example an actual Taylor Swift recordings or Justin Beiber’s or Shreya Goshal songs) you will need a synchronization license to pay the composer for the right to use the composition (song), and also a master license to pay the artists for the right to use the recording. This is true even if you are sampling only a very small portion of any existing copyrighted audio recording. If you display lyrics or music notes in your video you will also need a print license to pay the composer for the right to display the composition (song).

    Challenges of obtaining synchronization licenses

    It is to be noted that obtaining synchronization licensing can be challenging. This is because, by law, synchronization license rights holders maintain total control of their works, when it comes to video. This means and includes that they can set any fee, take all the time they need to decide and think about the further process of licensing to others and reject the license outright too. This happens regarding the efforts made by the publisher. You should be careful and respectful while getting a synchronization license at any cost, anywhere.

    Who gets paid?

    A synchronization licensee pays a royalty to the owner of the copyright holder who owns the original version of the composition (song). This is typically the composer or their publisher. However, sometimes rights are sold. A song will have a new owner if the synchronization rights are sold. The new owner is apart from the others i.e. the original composer or the publisher. For this reason, it is essential to identify the current copyright holders before making a synchronization request to others. Vakilsearch can help you find out the current copyright holders for you and do the licensing formalities successfully.

    It is to be importantly noted that people think that a song has two components i.e. the composition and the original recorded audio wherein the composition is created by the composers which have the music records and lyrics and the other one is the original recorded audio, which is created by the artists who record the musicians’ song. Often the composers and artists are the same people, but not always. The song components (above-mentioned) can be owned separately by different entities. In regards to that, there are two types of licenses to protect the two types of creations:

  • A mechanical license
  • A master license
  • When you want to obtain a license for a song, it is slightly difficult for you to choose between the licenses and decide which one suits your motive.

    Why Vakilsearch?

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