2014 © Graham Rabbitts [You are welcome to use original material from this site, but the source should be acknowledged]


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Music copyright is a jungle, and I am not sure I have yet fully understood it. Basically, there are two copyrights, one for the composer (which expires 75 years after his death) and one for the performer.

The composition licences are usually controlled by the Performing Rights Society. If I am using copyright music by current composers, I buy a Limited Manufacture licence. For example, for my recent S American DVD I used a cd by a pan piper called Ramon who I heard in Puerto Varas, Chile. I bought the cd, and got his verbal OK to use it on my DVD on a ‘no profit’ basis. But he was playing some well known music such as Beatles numbers and extracts from the Rodrigo Concerto. So I needed a limited manufacture licence. This cost less than £15 to have more than 25 mins of music on up to 5 DVD copies. This does NOT cover web publishing such as You Tube - see Publishing to You Tube.

On other occasions, I have bought Royalty Free music from the Apollo Orchestra

That worked out very well. When I did a DVD for the Solent Protection Society, we were able to produce 1000 copies of the DVD for less that £100. For my own DVDs I have typically paid less that £40 for several classical movements.

More recently, I have had good results from the FreeSFX website which offers genuinely royalty free music. This tends to be a place for performers to self publish, but it can provide useful background music for video. I used 4 items on my S American DVD. The only requirement is that you acknowledge the source and the performer/creator.

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