Whenever you record a song that someone else wrote and distribute it on DVD or digital
video, you need a Synchronization License. This pays a royalty to the composer of
the song for the right to use their song on your new video recording.
One common use of a Synchronization License is to record a video of yourself playing
a song that someone else wrote. This is known as a cover song. For example, if you
or your band record a video of yourselves playing the Beatles song, "Here Comes
the Sun", you would need to get a Synchronization License.
A Synchronization License is also required whenever you obtain a Master License
to use a recording that someone else made, on your DVD or digital video. For example,
if you put the original Beatles studio recording, featuring Paul McCartney, Ringo
Starr, and George Harrison on your DVD during the credits (assuming you are able
to get permission to do so), you would also need a Synchronization License to pay a royalty
to George Harrison for the right to use his song (composition).
Synchronization Licenses are required no matter how small a portion of the song
you use. Medleys require licensing of each song part separately. Synchronization
Licenses should be secured before distribution. Reputable manufacturers require
Proof of Licensing before they press your DVDs. Reputable web sites will remove
videos with unlicensed copyrighted material.
Synchronization Licenses are custom negotiated between the licensee and the
copyright holder. This means that the copyright holder can demand any price or
deny permission altogether. For synchronization licensing help,
check out our Custom Licensing Assistance and
Handling service, or contact us.