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Copyright Q&A for September 2012

Copyright Q&A for September 2012

By Christian Copyright Solutions on September 20, 2012

Here is  a question we received for our monthly Copyright Q&A feature. Answers are provided by the CopyrightSolver.com Team. Feel free to email us your questions to copyright[at]allaboutworship.com or tweet them to @allaboutworship w/ hashtag #copyright. We answer as many as we can here on our site once a month. Question

Where can I find contact information for individual copyright owners if I want to obtain music licenses on my own?


One of the easiest ways to find song information is to check out the Performance Rights Organization (PRO) websites.

There are three major PROs in the U.S.—ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Virtually all songwriters and publishers who want to be paid when their music is played or performed in the U.S. are registered with one of the three.

To conduct a search on a PRO website, you must know the title of the song and the name of the songwriter. It’s important to have both because multiple songs often have the same title, and you’ll want to make sure you identify the correct one. These PRO websites are extremely helpful because they give you the songwriter and publisher information, which can help you contact the song owner.

Another source is the U.S. Copyright Office’s website (www.copyright.gov), although it can be a bit more difficult to navigate. Again, you’ll need the title of the song and the songwriter’s name. The Copyright Office deals with all types of copyrighted materials so you’ll have to filter for the materials you want, and it may not always provide the contact details you want.

When you conduct a Copyright Office search, it’s important to realize that songwriters are permitted to file multiple songs as a collection. So, if you conduct a search for a particular song and it doesn’t show up, and the author has filed one or more groups of collections, you cannot know for sure (without paying for a detailed search) if a song is included in one of the collections filed.

If you are seeking permission to use a particular product—such as a master recording or printed music—the copyright owner’s and publisher’s names are located on the product itself.

If you find that the task becomes too daunting and time consuming, CopyrightSolver can assist you in locating the copyright owners and securing licensing through their PERMISSIONSplus Service.

The CopyrightSolver answers provided are information, not legal advice. For more information and resources, including fact sheets, videos and idea kits, visitwww.copyrightsolver.com. Use promo code “ABOUTWORSHIP” to receive 10% off the PERFORMmusic and WORSHIPcast licenses and the PERMISSIONSplus service.

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