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Licensing question for video streaming

I have researched this topic and come up with different answers from different sources, so I am hoping someone can shed light for me.  Our choir is producing a 4-minute promotional video, containing short clips of our singers performing three copyrighted songs, interspersed with interviews and other information. We hope to share it with prospective families through a link on our website.  One publisher has explained that we will need a digital internet broadcast license, and has offered us a rate of $35 per song per year.  A second publisher has said there would be a minimum charge of $250 per song.  The third publisher has not responded at all to my inquiry. Here are my questions.  First, is it correct that the license we need is called a digital internet broadcast license, and should we expect that each publisher will charge a different rate for that?  (I assume the license is not compulsory, and therefore may also be denied.)  Second, is the same type of license required when posting a song on Youtube? (i.e., do choirs who post performances on that website pay licensing fees to the respective publishers? Or is that handled differently?)  Third, if anyone can think of a different way we might approach / proceed with this project, I would appreciate hearing it.  (Please do not suggest using public domain pieces, as this is a children's choir, and we need flexibility in our choice of music for the project.)  Thanks so much.
 
Replies (3): Threaded | Chronological
on March 6, 2015 8:15am
Abbie Betinis has some helpful info on her site:    http://abbiebetinis.com/licensing/new_music--flowchart.html
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on March 8, 2015 8:48am
Thanks for the shout-out Rich!  I should say that some of these laws may be changing, and I'm not exactly an expert either -- just trying to do my best to make it easier for people.
 
Denise -- since synchronization licenses are entirely at the publisher's discretion and don't have standard rates set by congress (unlike sound recordings), how you explain your project to the publisher is really important.  Make sure you're letting each publisher know what percent of the copyrighted pieces you're using.  I forgot to add that to my flow chart.  (If you're excerpting 10% or less of a copyrighted score for your promotional video, they might simply give you permisison -- do get that permission in writing for sure.)  It might also make a difference to them whether the audio is from a live performance or from a studio recording you've made that you're matching (i.e. synchronizing) to new video.  If you're putting it on YouTube and linking from there to your website, they might give you a different rate than if you're hosting the video on your website yourself.  In the latter case, giving them an estimate of how many visitors your website receives per quarter might also be useful to them in determining the price.
 
It can be really hard to do this licensing stuff alone -- especially synch licenses like this.  You might like getting help from an independent licensing company like CopyCat Licensing.  It looks like Tresona might be working with Hal Leonard on this now too. 
 
Thank you so much -- on behalf of publishers and copyright holders -- for your dedication to doing this right.  It really makes a difference.
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on March 25, 2015 2:38pm
Hi Abbie - Thanks for your post.  In the end, I have decided to choose music for the project based on which publishers are willing to offer a reasonable price. That means some beautiful snippets of music will not be shared, which is unfortunate.  Some publishers have not even gotten back to me with quotes.  I do hope the industry gets this all sorted out at some point.  Meanwhile, I appreciate your good advice, as well as the information posted on your website.
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