Frequently Asked Questions

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How It Works

Do I get the actual licenses, the paperwork signed by the publishers?
Cover Song Licensing
No. Under Compulsory Law, no paperwork is received from the copyright holders. Instead, a license is automatically granted and the copyright holder is not required to send any return paperwork. You get a signed PDF document from us explaining our commitment to follow every step of the United States Compulsory Mechanical Licensing law on your behalf to the extent that you may legally distribute your recording of the listed copyrighted songs.

Custom Licensing
If your license request is accepted, yes, you will receive custom paperwork from the copyright holder. Both parties sign the paperwork to make the license official.
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How are medleys handled? Do we have to get a license for each separate song part of the medley?
Yes. For medleys each song part counts as a separate song, and requires separate royalties and our fee to process each part separately. Unfortunately, this is required by law.
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How do I credit the copyright holders?
Cover Song Licensing
After you have paid and the song status reads "Licensed", copy the complete text that you see below each song title exactly as it is listed on your project page, and paste it into your album artwork. Include the song title, composers, and publishers. If no publisher is listed, we licensed the song either directly with the composer, or through the United States Copyright Office. In this situation, follow the instructions above regardless. If you are not able to include credits because of design limitations, you can leave them out. They are not required by law. However, it's a good idea to include credits if you can, as a courtesy to the copyright holder.

Custom Licensing
For all custom licenses obtained through our Custom Licensing services, please follow the instructions for credits on the license documents you receive. By law, credits must exactly match the instructions from the license agreement. If there are no explicit instructions for crediting the copyright holder, we suggest following our instructions described above (the instructions for "Cover Song Licensing").
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How does licensing for digital downloads and interactive audio streams work?
Cover Song Licensing
For digital downloads and interactive audio streams, you pre-pay for a certain number of downloads or streams up-front before you distribute. We suggest you license what you think you will sell in one year. It's up to you to monitor your sales and make sure you do not exceed what you have licensed. You can always come back and get a new license for additional units. If it's an exact re-order without changes, our fee is half-price. This makes it easy for you to license only what you need upfront and avoid paying too much in fees for reorders.

Custom Licensing
The license duration, terms, quantities, and territories will be established in the custom agreement. You can always come back to us and request a new license for additional units if necessary. For Custom Licensing, we must charge our full fee for every request, including reorders.
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How is it possible for you to help me license any song?
Cover Song Licensing
Meant to foster creativity, the Compulsory Mechanical Licensing Law makes it possible for you to legally record your new version of any existing song, even without the copyright holder's express permission. If you ask a publisher directly, they can demand any fee or reject your request outright. But under Compulsory Law, they cannot reject the license. Even in cases where the copyright holder is highly protective of their work, this law allows small-timers to cover some very popular songs.

Custom Licensing
Compulsory law is restrictive and does not cover every use. When your project demands more than the compulsory law allows, Easy Song Licensing’s Custom Licensing services are the answer. We help you submit your request to the copyright holder. However, custom licensing is not guaranteed. The copyright holder has complete control, can set any price, take as much time as they want, and reject the request altogether.
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How long does it take to get my Proof of Licensing?
Cover Song Licensing
About 1-2 business days after we receive your payment. If you choose to wait for search results before buying, add 1-2 business days for a total of 2-4 business days from the time you submit your songs.

Custom Licensing
Custom Licensing can be challenging because, by law, the copyright holders maintain total control of their works. This means they can set any fee, take all the time they need, and reject the license outright. For this reason, it is important to temper expectations. Many factors affect the response, including budget, use, and even the current workload of the copyright holder’s processing department. For this reason, we do not guarantee licensure in whole or in part for any custom request, and we also do not guarantee timing, or even that you will get a response from the copyright holder.
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If I do CDs and digital downloads, does that require two separate licenses?
Yes. We have to send separate paperwork for each different format you release. So, if you plan to distribute on multiple formats, such as CDs and digital downloads, you will need to buy a separate license for each, and we will have to charge our fee each time.
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Song information changed after your experts researched the song. Now the wrong song is listed. What's up?
Cover Song Licensing
This usually happens when you provide an original artist different from the actual composer. It can also happen if the song has multiple copyrighted arrangements or if multiple songs go by the same title. If after we research, you are pretty sure the song does not match what you requested, please let us know and we'll get it corrected.

Custom Licensing
Incorrect song information should never happen with custom license requests since each request is thoroughly vetted and discussed with your custom licensing expert before any request is made. However, if you feel our research is not correct, this is something to discuss with your representative.
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What do I get as Proof of Licensing?
Cover Song Licensing
You get a signed PDF document from us explaining our commitment to follow every step of the United States Compulsory Mechanical Licensing law on your behalf to the extent that you may legally distribute your recording of the listed copyrighted songs. We also provide information about how to include liner note credits for the publishers and composers of the songs you use.

Custom Licensing
You get a counter-signed copy of the custom-negotiated license agreement between you and the copyright holder.
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What do you do for me?
Cover Song Licensing
We help you legally release your new recording of a song that someone else wrote, quickly and easily in 1-2 business days. You can talk to a real person and we handle everything for you. We deliver Proof of Licensing to you via email, and each request is securely saved online so you can easily store and access all of your licensing for years to come.

Custom Licensing
When your project demands more than basic cover song licensing, Easy Song Licensing’s Custom Licensing services are the answer. One payment of $79 for Custom Assistance gets you everything you need to submit your requests to the copyright holders and clear the rights you need. Choose Custom Handling for $129 and we process the request for you.
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What if I sell out and need to distribute more copies of my album?
Cover Song Licensing
It's up to you to monitor your sales and make sure you do not exceed what you have licensed. You can always come back to us and get a new license for additional units. If it's an exact reorder without changes, our fee is half-price. This makes it easy for you to license only what you need upfront and avoid paying too much in fees for reorders.

Custom Licensing
It's up to you to monitor your sales and make sure you do not exceed what you have licensed. You can always come back to us and get a new license for additional units. For Custom Licensing, we must charge our full fee for every request, including reorders.
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What information do you need from me?
Cover Song Licensing
We need to know your complete contact information, the title of your album, and the artist (you or your group). We need to know what formats you will release (CDs, Digital Downloads, Interactive Audio Streams) and how many copies of each format. Finally, we need to know the title, composer or original recording artist, and length of your recording of each song in minutes and seconds. You can submit this online or email it to us.

Custom Licensing
We will ask you to complete our proprietary custom license request form in preparation for your consultation. This form asks for specific information about how you are using the music. The greater the detail you can provide, the better. You can then use this completed form to make your request to the copyright holder, or choose Custom Handling and have us handle that.
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What is the licensing process?
Cover Song Licensing
First, we ask you some questions about your project and about the songs you want to license. You can buy right away for the fastest delivery, or wait for us to research the copyright holders of the songs. You can pay online or over the phone with a credit card or PayPal. After we receive your payment, we follow the Compulsory Law to obtain your mechanical licenses for you. We deliver PDF Proof of Licensing in your email in 1-2 business days. This is what you keep on hand or give to your manufacturer as proof that you have done things legally.

Custom Licensing
We help you submit your request to the copyright holder in the most efficient way, using our years of knowledge, and our proprietary request form. However, the copyright holder can set any price, or reject the license outright. For this reason, custom licensing is not guaranteed.
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What types of coupons and discounts do you offer?
Cover Song Licensing
We offer free research of your songs before or after you buy, volume discounts when you license multiple songs, half-price fees on exact reorders, and a 100% money back guarantee for Public Domain songs. From time to time, we offer coupons through email or through our Facebook page. Like us on Facebook for notifications and exclusive deals.

Custom Licensing
We do not currently offer discounts for Custom Licensing, although this is something we might add in the future.
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Payment

Can I make changes to my project after licensing has started?
In some cases, minor changes will be allowed depending on the timing. However, once requests have been sent to the publishers changes are not allowed. If you have concerns, ask your licensing expert for details.
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How much does it cost?
Cover Song Licensing
Licensing costs vary depending on how many copies you plan to distribute. That's because royalties are calculated based on number of copies. Click the link below for more information on pricing, or to estimate how much your licensing will cost. You can get an exact quote by submitting your songs to us for a free search.
Custom Licensing
The copyright holders maintain total control of their works. This means they can set any fee, take all the time they need, and reject the license outright. Depending on your use, the cost will typically range from $200 to thousands.
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What is your refund policy?
Our refund policy is available online here: http://www.easysonglicensing.com/Pages/About/RefundPolicy.aspx
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What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards and PayPal. If you want to send a check, make the check out to Legacy Productions Inc. and send to Legacy Productions, 2600 N 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55411
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Limitations

Can I change the lyrics with this license?
Cover Song Licensing
No. One of the limitations of the Compulsory Law is that changes to the lyrics or fundamental melody of the song are not allowed.
Custom Licensing
If you want permission to change the lyrics, the fundamental melody, or the sheet music you need a Print license, which can only be obtained through direct negotiations with the copyright holder. We can help you make your request with our Custom Licensing services.
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Can I change the melody of the song with this license?
Cover Song Licensing
Yes. However, you cannot change the fundamental nature of the melody. In other words, the original song must remain recognizable in your new version.
If you want permission to change the lyrics, the fundamental melody, or the sheet music you need a Print license, which can only be obtained through direct negotiations with the copyright holder. We can help you make your request with our Custom Licensing services.
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Can I distribute internationally with this license?
Cover Song Licensing
No. The licenses you obtain from us are valid for releases within the United States only. This includes digital releases on web sites and servers hosted in the United States, and physical releases within our borders. To get permission to release outside of the United States, please check with your local rights agency, or check out our Custom Licensing services.
Custom Licensing
With Custom Licensing, you can request a license for distribution outside of the United States. The allowed territories will be established in your custom agreement with the copyright holders.
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Can I get just one license for a song that I will put on multiple albums?
Cover Song Licensing
No. For reporting and tracking reasons, you need a separate license for each release, even if the same song is used on multiple releases.
Custom Licensing
In some cases, you can request multiple uses on one request form. This depends on each unique scenario and is something you can discuss with our Custom Licensing expert during your consultation.
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Can I rearrange the song with this license?
Cover Song Licensing
Yes. You can make your own arrangement. However you cannot change the lyrics or fundamental nature of the melody of the song. Also, permission to arrange is limited to your recording. This means you cannot release any sort of sheet music arrangement under this license.
Custom Licensing
If you want permission to change the lyrics, the fundamental melody, or the sheet music you need a Print license, which can only be obtained through direct negotiations with the copyright holder. We can help you make your request with our Custom Licensing services.
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Can I sample existing recordings with this license?
Cover Song Licensing
No. A Master License is required when licensing an existing recording that you did not make. For these, you will need to contact the copyright holder directly, typically the artist or their record label.
Custom Licensing
You can request a master license from the copyright holder, typically the artist or their record label. However, the copyright holder can set any price, or reject the license outright. For this reason, Custom Licensing is not guaranteed.
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Can I split the license, and get just one license for two different formats?
Cover Song Licensing
No. We have to send separate paperwork for each different format you release. So, if you plan to distribute on multiple formats, such as CDs and digital downloads, you will need to buy a separate license for each, and we will have to charge our fee each time.
Custom Licensing
In some cases, you can request multiple uses on one request form. This depends on each unique scenario and is something you can discuss with our Custom Licensing expert during your consultation.
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Can you copyright my songs for me?
No. We don't do this right now. Click the following link for information about why you should register your copyright and how you can do it.
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Can you help me get a license for YouTube, video, or DVD?
Yes, but not with our standard cover song license. Video requires a Synchronization license, which can only be obtained through direct negotiations with the copyright holder. We can help you make your request with our Custom Licensing services.
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Can you help me get a license to play my songs on the radio?
No. Radio airplay requires Public Performance Rights. In the United States, all Public Performance Rights are handled by three agencies, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. Artists often do not need to secure Public Performance Rights for radio because they are covered by the station. Also most reputable web sites (such as Pandora) handle this for you. However, if you plan to stream on your own web site, you need to obtain rights. If you are unsure whether you need Public Performance Rights, you should contact these agencies.
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Can you help me license a song that has never before been released?
Cover Song Licensing
No. One of the limitations of the Compulsory Law is that it applies only to songs that have previously been released. First release is one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder.
Custom Licensing
If you want permission to be the first to release a song, you must get permission directly from the copyright holders. We can help you make your request with our Custom Licensing services.
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Do the licenses expire?
Cover Song Licensing
No. However, we suggest buying what you will use in a year's time.
Custom Licensing
Usually, yes. The terms of the expiration will be established in the custom license agreement made with the copyright holder.
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Do you license for Karaoke or performance tracks?
Cover Song Licensing
Yes, but this is not included in our standard cover song license. Check out our Custom Licensing services.
Custom Licensing
If you want to use a recording that someone else made, you need a master license, which can only be obtained through direct negotiations with the copyright holder. We can help you make your request with our Custom Licensing services.
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Do you license internationally for customers in Canada, Australia, United Kingdom (UK) and other countries outside of the United States?
Cover Song Licensing
Yes. However, the licenses you obtain from us are valid for releases within the United States only. This includes digital releases on web sites and servers hosted in the United States, and physical releases within our borders. To get permission to release outside of the United States, please check with your local rights agency, or ask us for assistance negotiating a custom license directly with the copyright holder.
Custom Licensing
With Custom Licensing, you can request a license for distribution outside of the United States. The allowed territories will be established in your custom agreement with the copyright holders.
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Do you license songs written by international composers, such as a song by a composer living in Japan?
We respect the laws of the land of the copyright holder. If a song is not represented by a United States copyright holder or agency appointed to administer the copyrights, we will not license it without written permission from the copyright holder. If you request an international song, we reach out to the copyright holder and try to reach a custom agreement. If that's not possible, we will not be able to obtain the license and we will process a refund in accordance with our refund policy.
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What types of uses does this license cover?
Cover Song Licensing
The Compulsory Mechanical License allows you to record your new version of an existing song that someone else wrote. It does not cover new recordings of existing recordings. Your release must be for personal, private use only (Selling your album is allowed under this license, but not for public performance, background track, or karaoke purposes. Only for private listening by the end user.)
Custom Licensing
With Custom Licensing, you can request a license for any use. However, the copyright holder can set any price, or reject the license outright. For this reason, Custom Licensing is not guaranteed.
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General

Do you need a music license?
If you use music that other people created, no matter how you use it, you need to get a license. This is true even if you are giving away your project for free, or if it's for a non-profit. You do not need permission to use songs that you wrote yourself or songs that you know are in the Public Domain.
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Does my album track order matter for licensing purposes?
Cover Song Licensing
For cover song licensing, no, track order does not matter. However, you can edit the track order if you want. To set your track order: 1) Go to your projects. Click your profile pic top right, then "Your Projects". 2) On "Your Projects" page, click the project you want to work with. 3) On the project page, click "Add or Edit Songs". 4) On "Add or Edit Songs" page, click and hold to drag and drop your songs in any order you want. 5) Click "Save Track Order" to save your changes. 6) Repeat steps 1 and 2 to return to your project and confirm the changes.
Custom Licensing
For Custom Licensing, yes, it is possible that your track order could matter. This is something to discuss with your Custom Licensing representative.
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How long have you been in business?
Since 2005. We started out as a mobile recording service for churches, schools, and indie artists (Legacy Productions). From the start, we knew we wanted to do things legally, even when some of our competitors were not. That involved learning about mechanical licensing. In 2007 we began offering our music licensing services to the public through Easy Song Licensing. We still license music for our own productions and for our thousands of licensing customers across the country.
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What is a license?
A license is a formal agreement between the music owner and you that says it's okay for you to use their music. If you use music that other people created, you need to get a license.
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What is Fair Use?
Fair Use is an exception in the copyright law that allows small portions of a work to be used without permission for nonprofit, news, educational, or parody purposes. The doctrine is "murky" and often misunderstood. To fall under fair use, only a small portion of the work may be used and the use must not affect the value or marketability of the work. Selling concert recordings or photocopying sheet music without permission would not fall under fair use. Check out the following links for more information on Fair Use.
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What is Public Domain?
Songs published before 1923 are in the Public Domain and do not require licensing for any use. However, make sure you are not playing from copyrighted sheet music arrangements. If you are unsure, you can submit your songs to us and we will research for you for free.
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Where do I find arranger, composer, and publisher information on sheet music? What if I am playing by ear?
If you are using sheet music...
You can find the song title, composer, arranger (if any), and publisher information on the first page of sheet music with music notes. The song title is at the top center. Composer and arranger information is smaller, positioned just below the title, aligned left and/or right. Publisher information is at the bottom center of the first page with music notes. Sometimes, people confuse distributor information with publisher information. Note that distributor information often appears on the cover of the sheet music (no music notes, the two major distributors are Alfred and Hal Leonard), while publisher information is always at the bottom center of the first page with music notes. We need to know the publisher, not the distributor. Follow the link below to see an example. If you have concerns, you can always leave the publisher information blank when submitting your songs. Our service includes a free copyright search to learn the current publisher or copyright owner, before or after you buy.
If you are playing by ear...
Usually, all we need to license your song is the song title and name of a well-known artist that recorded the song. We can use that to start our free copyright owner search. The search is free, before or after you buy. If you want, you can help us out by providing composer information as well. You can usually find composer information on Wikipedia. Try searching the song title followed by the word “song”. For example, a Wikipedia search for “Here Comes the Sun Song” tells us that George Harrison is the composer/writer. This information is helpful because it further confirms the exact song you want to use. If we are unable to find your song, we might ask your for publisher information or lyrics. You can often find publisher information by browsing the sheet music scans available at SheetMusicPlus.com and MusicNotes.com. You can find lyrics at several popular lyric sites, or by Googling. Any information you find is helpful. You can email this information to us, or post it to your project wall. If we are unable to find the song with the information you provide, we will ask if you have any other information that can help us locate the copyright owner, such as an address or phone number.
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Why should you get a music license?
Even if you think you probably wouldn't get caught, there are five good reasons to get a license: 1) Confidence, 2) Reputation, 3) Karma, 4) Ethics, and 5) Example.
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For Publishers

Do I need to provide proof that I represent the catalog I am requesting access to?
Yes. As part of the verification process, after you sign up, we might call or email you, and depending on the size of the catalog requested, we might ask for your W-9, or an email or letter on your company letterhead indicating you are an authorized manager of the catalog in question.
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How do I sign up for Go Digital for publishers, songwriters, and copyright holders?
Complete the Go Digital Form you receive from us (accompanies Notices of Intention and Statements of Account) and follow the instructions to return it to us. Once we receive your completed form, we will complete a verification process and give you access. Watch for an email from us with an invitation, and link to access your info online.
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How do licensees benefit from Go Digital for publishers, songwriters, and copyright holders?
We deliver the Notice of Intention to you instantly online. Licensees benefit from faster delivery of their Proof of Licensing. What took a few days with the United States Postal Service, now can happen instantly online.
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I work for a publisher. We prefer that you report to us digitally. What are my options?
Go Digital! You get unlimited access to all of the licensing information you receive from us (Notice of Intention, Statement of Account, Royalty Payment), online, for free. View requests live, as they come in. Search by date, title, composer, song ID and more. Easily print one request or many. Export custom reports to Microsoft Excel. Share access with colleagues or business partners.
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What are the specific benefits of Go Digital for publishers, songwriters, and copyright holders?
You get unlimited access to all of the licensing information you receive from us (Notice of Intention, Statement of Account, Royalty Payment), online, for free. View requests live, as they come in. Search by date, title, composer, song ID and more. Easily print one request or many. Export custom reports to Microsoft Excel. Share access with colleagues or business partners.
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What is Go Digital for publishers, songwriters, and copyright holders?
We have released a new digital rights management platform for publishers and copyright holders. Now, you can manage cover song requests from us online from your account at EasySongLicensing.com. Best of all, it's totally free. Ditch the paper today!
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Who can sign up for Go Digital for publishers, songwriters, and copyright holders?
If you work for a publisher, you self-publish, or you simply own the mechanical rights to a song, you can sign up. If you are not sure, please contact us.
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Why should I Go Digital for publishers, songwriters, and copyright holders?
If you manage copyrighted materials, you know how the paper can pile up. Managing that paper can be a mess. We created this platform to eliminate the mess, and make rights management easier than ever.
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Resources

Do you offer digital distribution services?
No. We suggest you work with our partner CD Baby, the leader in independent music distribution.
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Do you provide barcodes?
No. You can get these from your manufacturer or online distributor.
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Do you provide ISRC numbers?
No. Please contact your record label or digital distributor for help obtaining ISRC codes, or visit this link:
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