Introduction to Music Clearances

Production Date: January 10, 2017 Practice Areas: Contract Law and Sports & Entertainment Law Estimated Length: 3601 minutes


$ 59 Contract Law and Sports & Entertainment Law In Stock

Music clearances refers to securing licenses to use pre-existing songs and music recordings for various projects. The term music clearances does not pertain to creating new music (e.g., hiring a musician or a composer to create original music.)

Securing the rights to use pre-existing music, such as an Elvis Presley song, for an entertainment project such as a feature movie, ad campaign or documentary can be a daunting task for the uninitiated. This is due in part to the fact that the standard business practices for securing rights to use music vary from project to project. For instance, the standard practices pertaining to licensing a song for a feature movie is completely different than licensing the same song for musical theatre.  

This program explains the standard practices applying to a wide variety of entertainment projects including:

  • Feature Films

  • Television programs

  • Documentaries

  • Musical Theatre

  • Ad Campaigns

  • Museums & Galleries

  • Internet projects including clearing music for:

  • VOD Services

  • Music Based Apps

  • Kickstarter and other Crowd Sourcing Campaign

  • Digital Sheet Music

In this program, attorney Steven Gordon focuses not only on the basic legal and business practices applying to each of these projects, but also on how to create a realistic music budget and/or re-calibrate how much music they can afford. 

Learning Objectives: 
  1. Identify the differences between licensing “songs” as opposed to “masters,” and when it is necessary to secure rights from record labels and when it is not
  2. Understand why producers of programs for PBS do not need to clear music at all
  3. Recognize the basic range of costs a producer will incur in clearing music
  4. Grasp how Youtube’s “Content ID” system works and whether it is legally necessary to clear music for YouTube
  5. Discuss how much it will cost your client to secure a blanket license from the major labels
James J.
Broomfield, CO

Great program on the nuts-and-bolts and standard license fees for music clearance

Randy B.
New York, NY

The was a very good overview and covered more aspects of the industry than expected. Good work.

Phyllis C.
new suffolk, NY

Overall approach and apecifics, esp. fee schedules, was very helpful.

Kevin G.
Williamsburg, VA

Speaker was knowledgeable about rates for various kinds of clearances. I do wish there was more info on the law itself, and less time hawking the speaker's books.

George N.
Arlington, VA

Excellent overview in a short period of time. Very knowledgeable. I would highlyrecommend.

Lisa K.
Hollywood, FL

Very practical information. Much appreciated.

Richard L.
Alexandria, VA


Justin L.
Richmond, VA

Great program!

Frank E.
Newport News, VA

Very informative introductory program with good specifics

Hans K.
New York, NY

Very experienced presenter.

Rodrick W.
Chicago, IL

i highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in this area. The practical information on the costs of the various clearances was invaluable. It is so greatly appreciated by all prospective practitioners in this area. Thank you!

Bernard D.
Richmond, VA

I really appreciated the information about the business models and standard payment terms that were shared

Victoria I.
Fenton, MO

Very Informative!

Denielle P.
Arlington, VA

Very clear and practical discussion.

Pamela C.
Santa Fe, NM

Excellent presenter; really useful information.

Linda R.
Winter Springs, FL

Appreciated the specific numbers.

William B. C.
Franklin, TN

Very good

Geoffrey K.
Chappaqua, NY

The speaker is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in his field. He provided the type of information which you probably wouldn't get in a class in law school.

Jay M.
Memphis, TN

Best practical program on int. prop. I've watched on lawline. Highly recommend.

Quietta B.
Columbia, SC


Elizabeth B.
Osprey, FL

thanks- I learned a lot-it was very informative to hear the going rates for different uses of copyrighted music

Scott C.
Charlotte, NC

Please ask him to do more programs - this was great.

Walter T.
Charlotte, NC