Legal Question in Entertainment Law in New Jersey

Licensing music for educational purposes


I am working with a fitness instructor to create a mixed CD inspired by her class, to be sold to other fitness instructors only. We'd like to include songs by major artists. Is there any specific law regulating this type of licensing? How much in average could cost to obtain the licensing for each track?

Asked on 8/17/08, 10:43 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Daniel Pepper Pepper Law Group, LLC
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Re: Licensing music for educational purposes

Yes, you need to receive a mechanical license for each track. Mechanical licenses are granted by the publishers of each recording, so you need to approach the publishers to obtain this license. Most publishers are registered through administration companies like ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

Alternatively, you can work through the Harry Fox Agency, which is a service in which Harry Fox will provide the publishers' information.

Rates are as follows:

The current statutory mechanical royalty rate is $.091 (9.1 cents) per song per unit for recordings of compositions up to five minutes (5:00) in length.

For example, if one were to make a recording of a song that is less than five minutes in length (e.g. 4:07) and then manufacture and distribute 500 units of the recording, the total amount of royalties due would be $45.50. ($0.091 X 500 (units) = $45.50).

For songs over five minutes in length, the rate is based upon $.0175 (1.75 cents) per minute or fraction thereof as demonstrated below:

5:01 to 6:00 = $0.105 (6 X $.0175)

6:01 to 7:00 = $0.1225 (7 X $.0175)

7:01 to 8:00 = $0.14 (8 X $.0175)

For example, if one were to make a recording of a song that is six minutes and thirty-eight seconds in length (6:38) and then manufacture and distribute 500 units, the total amount of royalties due is $56.25. ($0.1225 X 500 (units) = $61.25).

Publishers may negotiate lower rates with you.

We work with publishers for mechanical license rights on a regular basis, so please let me know if you'd like to discuss how we can help.

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Answered on 8/18/08, 8:53 am

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