WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LICENSING AND
The International Recording Media Association’s
(IRMA) Anti-Piracy Compliance Program assists in
copyright owners from unauthorized reproduction of
Trutone Replication proudly participates
in this program.
By properly protecting your intellectual property
(music, film, software, literary, dramatic, artistic,
certain other intellectual works), you ensure that
the rights of all parties involved in the creation
CDs, DVDs, vinyl, and CD-ROMs are safeguarded.
No legitimate disc manufacturer would replicate discs
or vinyl without first requiring that you prove
or licensing of all copyrighted material first. That
is why Trutone Inc. is committed to making
as easy as possible.
The industry standard for providing ownership and
licensing information is the Intellectual Property
Rights Form or IPR form. The IPR must be submitted
at the time you place your order with Trutone in
to avoid delays.
Before we can explain how to fill out the IPR form
properly we must first understand what a copyright
is and how to obtain one.
What is a copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the
laws of the United States to the authors of “original
works of authorship,” including literary, musical,
artistic and certain other intellectual works. This
protection is available to both published and unpublished
Who can claim copyright?
Copyright protection exists from the time the work
is created in fixed form. A “fixed form” is
creating a copy of your created work on paper,
CD, tape, phonorecord, video, etc. The copyright
property of the author who created the work. Only the
author or those deriving
their rights through the author
can rightfully claim copyright.
How to secure a copyright
Copyright is secured automatically when the
work is created. A work is “created” when
it is fixed in a
copy or phonorecord for the first
However, there are advantages to registering your
copyright. For one, it provides you with written
that you are the owner of the copyright.
To register a work, send the following three elements
in the same envelope or package to:
Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000
1. A properly completed application
2. A non-refundable filing fee for
3. A non-refundable deposit of the
work being registered
For further information please log onto the Copyright
Office website at: www.loc.gov/copyright.
Filling out the IPR Form
The project you are submitting to us may either be
a music project or a business/software application.
In either case, the IPR form must state that you are
the rightful owner or licensee of the intellectual
property material contained therein.
Songs that you composed
From an Intellectual Property Rights perspective,
a project where you, the artist, composed the songs
and recorded the music is the most simplest and straightforward
of projects. Since you own the rights to the compositions
and the recording just simply fill out your IPR documentation
and indicate that you are the
owner of all the recordings
Songs that you did not
If you are manufacturing and distributing copies of
a song, which you did not write, you need to obtain
from the owner to include that song.
The key words here are “manufacturing” and “distributing”.
Please note that it does not matter if you are
the product or using it for promotional purposes only.
Selling your product is not related to securing clearance. Permission
is required to use someone else's material, even if
it is for promotional
Mechanical License vs.
Master Use License
Including pre-recorded songs composed by someone other
than yourself in your project in most cases
you to obtain two separate licenses.
This is necessary because a recorded song consists
of both the composition (the intellectual
containing the lyrics and/or music written
by the composer) and the master recording (the
actual physical recording of those lyrics and music
performed by an artist). In many cases the owners of
these respective copyrights are separate.
A publishing company normally controls composition
rights. In order to use their composition, you must
obtain what is called a Mechanical License.
A mechanical license is written permission from the
publisher to manufacture and distribute a
device” such as a record, CD, DVD, or audiotape
for a specific copyrighted composition.
of the royalty paid to a songwriter from a mechanical
license is determined by such factors
as how many recordings
are manufactured, distributed, or sold. (See Licensing
To find out who owns a copyright, contact ASCAP (www.ascap.com),
or the Harry Fox Agency (www.harryfox.com).
and SESAC only
license music for performance
and theatrical use. For mechanical licenses, you
contact the publisher
directly to negotiate your own
rate or contact the Harry Fox Agency
and agree to pay
(The statutory rate is a rate set by the Copyright
Office. It is currently 8.5 cents per
songs 5 minutes
or less and 1.65 cents per minute or fraction
over 5 minutes.)
Most people go through the Harry Fox Agency because
they offer publishers and licensees a single source
for licensing and for the collection and distribution
Master Use License
When you include a previously released song in your
project, you will have to obtain the permission of
owner of the master of the recording. To do this,
you will need to know the title of the recording, the
of the artist, and hopefully the name of the
album and its record number. Contact the record label
released the source recording. The departments
normally in charge of licensing are the Business Affairs
and/or Copyright Licensing Departments. When you contact
a label, mention that you would like a Master
If you include recordings from different artists on
one project, this is called a Compilation.
require a Master Use License for every
track by every artist on your album.
If the record company agrees to license the master
to you (they can always say “no”), you
then have to
negotiate a rate or fee. The rates vary,
but it will usually involve payment of a lump sum,
usually before the
record comes out, anywhere from
a couple of hundred to a few thousand dollars. This
can be a flat fee, or
paid on a rollover basis (i.e.,
paid again and again, each time the record reaches
a certain sales plateau), or
it may be expressed as
an advance against a royalty (such royalty anywhere
in the range of less than 1 cent,
to 5 or 6 cents per
Full-length vs. Sampling vs. Cover Version
Whether or not you need to acquire rights from the
master holder (which in most cases is a record label)
depends on whether or not you are using the actual
song, portions thereof (sample), or re-recording the
song yourself (cover version).
Since a Cover Version means you are re-recording
someone else’s composition, you will need to
a Mechanical License, but since you are re-recording
the song you do not require a Master Use License.
are, in essence, creating a new master that you will
The same clearance procedure applies for samples as
for full versions of a song. There are two consents
required in order to use a sample of another's recorded
songs in your work: (1) from the owner of the
(usually a record label) and (2) from the owner
Sound effects, either manufactured or recordings of
natural sounds are all capable of achieving copyright
protection. It is the recording itself rather than
the source material, which is subject to copyright
Thus, only one consent is required from
the owner, usually a record company or sound lab. Contact
company for its licensing terms. Sound effects
may be licensed on a per use basis, just as samples
licensed from the record companies, or they may
be licensed in connection with the purchase of the
discs, or whatever they're recorded on; purchasing
an entire sound effects library can run into tens of
thousands of dollars.
There are several clearances involved in the use of
a sound bite:
a. Source Material
First, a written speech is source material, like a
composition, and its author would have to grant permission.
Like all copyright clearances, this may take some detective
work to ascertain who owns the rights.
b. Recording of the Speech
Just as in the cases of recorded music and sound effects,
the copyright holder of the master sound recording
of the speech would also need to give consent for your
There are some cases where the song, sample, or sound
bite you are looking to license is in the public
and therefore does not require license authority. Music
and lyrics written by an American author
in 1922 or earlier are in the Public Domain (PD) in
the United States. No one can claim
of a song in the public domain; therefore everyone
may use public domain songs. PD songs
may be used for
profit making without paying any royalties. If you
create a new version or derivative of
a public domain
song, you can copyright your version and no one can
use it without your permission.
song remains in the public domain, and anyone else
can also make and copyright a version
of the same PD
If you don’t know whether or not your song is
in the public domain, we suggest you search on
If you are obtaining your mechanical license through
the Harry Fox Agency they will ask how many units
are manufacturing and distributing.
If you would like to obtain a license to manufacture
and distribute your product within the U.S. for 2,500
or less units, you can get an HFA (Harry Fox Agency)
mechanical license at SongFile.com
The license allows for the production of a minimum
of 500 units to a maximum of 2,500 units for a fee
based on the current statutory mechanical rate.
(The statutory rate is a rate set by the Copyright
All processing is done automatically online.
Confirmations by e-mail are issued immediately and
follow via e-mail to the licensee within forty-eight
If you file through SongFile.com you pay for your
licenses in advance based on the amount of units
manufactured, not sold or distributed.
For 2,501 units or more, you must
submit a Mechanical License Request Form through
The Harry Fox Agency or the publisher directly. Payment
terms may differ based on a one time manufacturing
fee or on a
per sale basis.
If your term is a per sale basis, in most cases you
will be invoiced for the first 500 units. Subsequently,
you are required to report quarterly on your manufacturing
For example, if you were to manufacture 10,000 CDs,
but only sell 5,000, you would only be responsible
for royalty payments on 5,000 units. If you sell 5,000
units and give away 1,000 promotional copies, you
responsible for payment on 6,000 units.
Through the Harry Fox Agency, the licensee (you) is
responsible to pay on all units manufactured
or distributed. This is HFA’s policy,
but you may negotiate terms based on the amount of
units sold and/or distributed rather than manufactured.
For further information regarding payment and reporting
methods, please log onto www.harryfox.com
phone them at (212) 370-5330.
Master Use License
Terms are similar to Mechanical License terms in that
they can differ from company to company.
Some may issue
a one-time manufacturing payment license, while others
may offer terms based
on units sold. Using the latter,
the licensee (you) would then report your sales on
a quarterly basis.
Film and Synchronization Rights
When copyrighted music is included in a film (or any
other visual medium such as TV, commercial,
etc.) a Synchronization License is required. A
Synchronization License grants you the
right to reproduce
an audio representation of a copyrighted work with
a visual image on film, tape,
or other visual media.
Obtaining a Synchronization License requires licenses
for the musical composition from the publisher
for the specific recording or master owned by the master
holder (a record label in most cases).
to this case would be if the music used in the visual
medium were created specifically for
Including third-party software applications such as
Windows Media Player or Apple QuickTime on
may require a license. These applications are considered
Intellectual property and are therefore afforded the
same rights as music and literary compositions.
will need a User Distribution License to include
them on your project. If you are unsure whether
not a license is required please visit the respective
company’s website. Most third-party software
companies have downloadable licensing agreements on
Once we receive your completed IPR form we can begin
manufacturing your project. An IPR form must
regardless of whether or not you are including third
party material or not.
If you are obtaining licenses, copies of all licenses
should be submitted with your completed IPR form.
REMEMBER: To avoid production delays we suggest
submitting a completed Intellectual Property Rights
(IPR) form along with your master and other appropriate
paperwork and files.
If you still have questions about completing IPR form,
please contact your Customer