Music Broadcast & Film License Question

Hey guy,

I have customer who wants to use a track in a film and they are asking if audiojungle MUSIC BROADCAST & FILM license covers the mechanical/sync rights for the track in question.

I’m NOT a member of a Performing Rights Organization.

They also asked me if I was happy to agree a deal for them to buyout the performing rights for usage in the film (and the mechanical/sync rights if not licensed on my behalf by Envato)

Can anyone shed some light on this? I want to be sure I understand before answering them.



Yes, if they buy it, they get right to use it (= sync, mechanical and performance rights to use), though there are some limirations in the license. It should be ok for them.

And of course you keep rights to get royalties from performance and mechanical distributions of a compisition and recording from PROs. It is a standard in the industry.

Right to use (usually paid directly to composer) and right to get royalties via PROs are two separate rights and they may vary in various countries. Almost always we sell only rights to use.

Performance and mechanical royalties are usually paid by tv stations, cinemas, festivals etc. via PROs so you definitely should register there.

Sync license is a standard license which gives right to synchronize video with audio. Broadcast & Film license is a kind of such license, which gives rights to use it on other fields as well.

It’s an industry standard that’s is regularly under attack in some parts of the world.

@AllenGrey, you want to make sure you are not indeed giving up your right to Performance Royalties with this buy-out. As this would be unacceptable for you and for us as a trade.

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Wouldn’t that depend on the amount of money being offered? In today’s landscape it seems to me that it might not be unthinkable, if the price is right.

Thanks @RedOctopus @PurpleFog

They offered me extra $$$ for a non-exclusive license to buyout performance rights for this usage only for that film. But what I was confused about is that I thought the MUSIC BROADCAST & FILM license covered that.

In clause #3 of the license it says: “The license includes the right to utilise the Item through communication to the public (performance), display, distribution, and unlimited reproduction.”

and in clause #4 it says: For P.R.O. Music, public performance rights are not included with this license.

So since my item is NOT PRO is the PERFORMANCE RIGHT FOR USAGE included in the MUSIC BROADCAST & FILM license . Seems to say so in clause #3 to me, but I might be wrong.

Anyway that is why I’m wondering why they are offering me more cash when all they need is the MUSIC BROADCAST & FILM license ???

Yes if we talk about rights for use. And it doesn’t make difference if you are with PRO or not.

But no if we talk about right to collect performance royalties. I suppose it may vary in different countries but I know model which obligates local PRO to collect royalties even for unregistered composers and keep it until they register. Many young composers do not know that there may be cash waiting for them even if they didn’t register with PRO.

You can resign from collecting those royallties by signing contract which should be VERY expensive. It is unusual behavior and I am surprised that they want to do so.

If you make a deal directly with the composer and the PRO (if applicable), they will tell you the allowances and restrictions. If you just take the license from Audiojungle, it has a clear limitation about using the product ALWAYS synced with other components like video or other sound bites (other music maybe, spoken bites, sfx), not to be used (the music track) as standalone.

I think AllenGrey asked about performance of already synced film.

Well, it is an attack on a model we depend on not to end up in the gutter, so yes, it is unthinkable to me. I’m close-minded like that, but I’m sure some people are willing to sell their souls… if the price is right.

It does sound weird and very foreign to my European ears. Are they looking for a performance royalty waiver? You may want to ask them what exactly they want, and why. Or wait for an author with experience with buy-outs to give you some advice.

Leaving broadcast royalties completely to the side, if you had told me 15-20 years ago that I’d be licensing my tracks for $19 or $49 or even $99, I too would have made snarky remarks about selling souls. Yet here we are. Times change. Models change. Supply and demand. And so on and so forth.

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So they told me they will purchase a mechanical licence from Envato for this track.
but they also asked if I can agree to an additional direct licence between them and me for (£££) as a full buyout of performance rights for the “usage” in this film?

So they are talking about PERFORMANCE RIGHTS TO USE and not PERFORMANCE RIGHT TO GET ROYALTIES. But the words “Full buyout” scares me. Does this mean I won’t be able to register this track as PRO in the future?

I also asked them some questions that was concerning me, here are the answers the gave me: (the third answer got me thinking a bit about all my previously purchased MUSIC BROADCAST & FILM licenses.) Hmmm!

Q-1 Does this mean I can continue to sell licenses for this track on audiojungle?

A-1 Yes, this is a non-exclusive licence to buyout performance rights for this usage only for this project. A one off licence.

Q-2 Do I keep full rights and ownership of this music track?

A-2 Of course, yes. Absolutely.

Q-3 I have all ready sold licenses to other customers for this track, and they have the right to use the music in certain ways depending on the license they have purchased. What does this mean for them?

A-3 They should all have come to you for a performance licence too. You have said by email you are not a PRO member. This means as the Audiojunglelicence is a mechanical rights licence only and does not include performance rights. That the performance rights are not included or granted. And if the project is in any media that is broadcast on TV, online, streaming platform etc, a performing rights licence is required. I know these rights well because I used to work at a PRO, PRS For Music.

I don’t get it. Your client uses PRO terminology in a way that nobody uses here.

IMHO Broadcast license gives him all he needs for a film except rights to collect performance and mechanical royalties. You can tell him it is unusual inquiry and ask to precise what exactly he needs in terms of performance rights. What such a buyout would give him exactly. Right to publicly performance? Even standard license allows it if I remember correctly. Right to sync? Broadcast license deals with it.

The Audio Jungle licence isn’t a mechanical rights licence either. Mechanical royalties would be collected by MCPS (in the UK) on your behalf if you were a member, just as Performance royalties are collected by PRS.
Audio Jungle doesn’t deal with copyright royalties in any way (thank god!).
It sounds to me like your customer is looking to make sure that they won’t have to make future royalty payments for the performance of the music in the film (or mechanical royalties when the film is distributed via pay-to-download services or physical medium). As it stands, you are not PRO registered, but that doesn’t stop you from registering the track at some point in the future, and at that point, they would be required to pay royalties.

If I’ve understood the situation properly, the only way that you can give them what they want is to sign a contract with them which says that you promise never to register that track with a PRO, which is a strange deal to make.

The problem with that is, if you talk to PRS, they will tell you that as a member, you are required to submit all the music that you make. It’s not supposed to be on a track-by-track basis. I see that you are based in Canada, so I’m not sure whether your PRO (SOCAN) has the same policy. It might be worth getting in touch with them to get some advice on the matter, because at some point in the future, you may realise the benefits and register yourself.

I am familiar with model which allows to exclude specific usage or fields from collecting royalties. This is more convinient than excluding whole track. Though I suppose it may vary in different countries.

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That’s interesting. Kind of like how you would clear a claim or whitelist a client for content id, only for performing rights with your PRO instead?
@AllenGrey in that case, the solution would be to actually register with SOCAN if they can offer such a deal.

In any case, I think SOCAN might be the best people to talk to about the situation. They are likely more familiar with these kinds of arrangements.

Thanks @criskcracker I will get in touch with SOCAN

I think BMI or ASCAP might be better.

Hey AllenGrey,

I think I understand what the customers is saying, but better checking twice and take this with a grain of salt :smiley:

With AudioJungle a customer gets the sync license; if he wants to use the track on tv, he needs a broadcast sync license.

But he doesn’t get the performance right. The broadcaster usually gets the rights to broadcast by paying yearly fixed fees to each PRO to be able to use all the music he needs.

Look at the Envato FAQ:

Do I need to pay a performing rights organization (P.R.O.) if my end product containing AudioJungle music is publicly performed or broadcast?

For the vast majority of buyers and end uses, typically no, you shouldn’t need to worry about any additional performing rights fees.

Maybe this is the small minority where your customer is the broadcaster himself?

If I remember correctly, BMI members have two choices:

  1. Tell the customer who needs a performance license to contact BMI, which will sell him the license.
  2. Sell the license directly to the customer for the amount of money you feel right to you.

In the first case you will sooner or later get your royalties from BMI. In the second case you won’t ever get those royalties because you already got the money (and emailed about this in a timely fashion to BMI, of course).

Again I’m going by memory now, but looks like it’s your case. Please do a bit of research and talk to your PRO before taking any step.

Once this is confirmed, I would ask your customer how often he will perform the music, so you can have an idea of how much charging for the performance buyout.

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This is exactly why it is so important to stop everything you are doing and affiliate with a PRO then register all of your AJ titles at that PRO. Anyone thinking that they are getting a competitive advantage by advertising your brand as “Not a member of a any performing rights organizations” is foolish. There are nothing but advantages and financial benefits by being affilliated with a PRO and by registering all of your titles at that PRO. Because this client used to work at the PRS, he knows exactly what to do, but because you are not a member of a PRO, that is creating the “problem”. The solution is simple; affiliate with a PRO now and register all your titles tomorrow. And NO, I would never grant a “performance buyout” under any and all circumstances. You want to collect “performance royalties” every time your music airs on broadcast TV or streams on Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Youtube, etc…Spotify, Apple, all of them.