All You Need to Know About Clearing a Song (See Details)

January 28, 2024


This is what you need to know about clearing a song.

Before putting out a song for commercial use, it’s essential to obtain all the required permissions and licenses to use copyrighted material legally.

Often, artists neglect to secure the necessary clearance before releasing a song, resulting in the song being removed from streaming platforms.

Clearing a song can be a tedious process, especially when negotiating split sheets and other usage details. However, the procedure typically involves obtaining permission from the relevant parties and completing all necessary paperwork.


Here are the general steps involved in clearing a song:


Identify Rights Holders:

Determine who owns the rights to the song, including copyright holders for the composition (lyrics and music) and the sound recording. This may include songwriters, recording artists, and producers.


Negotiate Licensing Terms:

Discuss and negotiate licensing terms, such as the scope of use, duration, territory, and compensation. Terms may vary based on the intended use, whether in a film, TV show, commercial, or another project.


Obtain Synchronization License:

If using the song in visual media like films or TV shows, obtain a synchronization license to synchronize the song with visual content.


Secure Mechanical License:

If reproducing and distributing the song as part of a new recording (e.g., a cover version), obtain a mechanical license, usually through the music publisher.


Clear Samples (if applicable):

If the song contains samples from other copyrighted works, clear those samples separately by identifying the rights holders and obtaining permission.


Review Contracts:

Carefully review and sign contracts with all involved parties, including the music publisher, record label, and any other relevant stakeholders. Ensure legal professionals experienced in Entertainment and Intellectual Property law review and approve the contracts.


It’s crucial to note that the clearance process can be intricate, and seeking legal guidance is advisable to navigate specific issues related to copyright law.


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