June 20, 2013

How to Get Free Music for Your Film from Moby

free-music-for-your-film-from-moby-at-mobygratis-com-nofilmschool-2For independent filmmakers making non-profit films and student filmmakers working on projects, budgets can be non-existent and favors are called in left and right just to get the projects "in the can." Inevitably, these filmmakers find themselves cutting their projects and realize they need to add music to their films, but they have nothing left in their tiny budgets. For those lucky few who happen to be amazing musicians themselves or who know really talented composers looking to showcase their work, this is not a problem. For the rest of these student and non-profit filmmakers, they now have a free, professional music resource: Moby. Yes, that Moby.

Check out the video below to hear Moby describe his free music service for independent, non-profit and student filmmakers called mobygratis.com:

Hopefully, for the non-profit and student filmmakers in the NFS community, you've already established relationships with composers to support your projects. If you haven't, or you just can't find the right piece of music to go with your project, mobygratis.com offers over 150 tracks, including music from his last two albums, that can be used in non-commercial projects.

Are you editing a non-commercial project right now and need some music fast? According to Moby and his website, mobygratis.com will turn around music requests in a 24-hour period. As long as your project is non-commercial, mobygratis.com basically says "yes" when asked for permission for songs listed in its catalog.

Films made for commercial purposes will still have to acquire and pay for the rights to Moby's music the traditional way, so don't expect to fill the film you hope to sell into distribution with a free wall-to-wall Moby soundtrack. That ain't happening.

If you have specific questions for mobygratis.com, you can head over to the website's support forum to ask your question or see if someone else has made the same inquiry.

So, students and non-profit filmmakers, will you be using Moby's music in your next project? Do you have experience working with mobygratis.com on past projects? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments.

Link: Free Music -- Mobygratis

[via Indiewire]

Your Comment

23 Comments

I fortunately happen to have a world-class composer on hand, but this is still an intriguing opportunity which I might well make use of one day!

June 20, 2013

-1
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Great idea if i couldn't help but think for someone who works in sound and has made brilliant pieces maybe they should have gotten better sound for his intro piece...

June 20, 2013

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Chris Lambert

Site's been around for years now. Nothing new, just a little makeover.

June 20, 2013

0
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Indeed. But it is still awesome, and many people don't know about it.

This video of mine got its music from mobygratis:
http://vimeo.com/50709685

June 20, 2013

4
Reply

Also used MobyGratis about six years ago for a faux-trailer I made right after college. Super cool of Moby, and really easy service to use. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afatS7jjNUM

June 20, 2013

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Allan

didn't read the article .. but ... no thanks.

June 20, 2013

1
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sjk

oh, wow you are the famous Sam Just Knowsitall that works ONLY with Alexandre Desplat, aren't you?

June 21, 2013

0
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Agni Ortiz

Great to hear. It's always a kick in the pants to pay for music for side/for-fun projects and shorts. Way cool of Moby to support indie artists like this.

June 20, 2013

1
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David L.

Used it 3 years ago and have been in my mind ever since, waiting for the right project..

June 20, 2013

1
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Archie

Could someone lay out what is Commercial and Non-profit. particularly when it comes to Shorts. Most shorts will never get distribution, but might win some awards at a festival that might include some money. Is that a commercial project? Or your intention is to put it online. If you add "Tip Jar" on vimeo or "monetize" on youtube does that make the project 'commercial'? Thanks.

June 20, 2013

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That'd be interesting to know for me too.

June 20, 2013

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Here are the terms and conditions
http://www.mobygratis.com/license-agreement.pdf

"you hereby confirm that this may not be made available for sale or public broadcasts (paid for). it may be used in film festivals and student (non-paying) venues."

It still isn't very clear. Neither is it spelled out in detail in the forums on the site.

Not every one of his tracks can be used on YouTube without copyright problems. Some of his music is "licensed" and only "unlicensed" tracks can be used on YouTube.

June 20, 2013

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steve

Thanks Steve. So from this I would read that Festivals are ok. Even through people are paying for tickets cause that money is going to the festival, (for good reason). I would also say 'Tip Jar' on Vimeo would be ok, since that his people choosing to donate to you after having seen the video. They are not paying for the right to watch it. As well as "monetizing" on YouTube. But with YouTube you run into whether or not some label has the rights to that music. Great. But it sounds like it would exclude you from TV broadcasts if say some festival had a deal with IFC that their winners get play on that station. Ok.

June 20, 2013

0
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A few years ago I helped create a documentary film which used Moby's music. Here is the link in case anyone is interested:
http://geoffmobile.com/blog/change-a-film-by-jason-knight-hq

cheers!
Geoff

June 20, 2013

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This has really got me thinking. I'm a long time lurker here. I'm not Moby-grade famous, but I do write music that is very soundtrack-friendly. I took a deliberate decision to avoid signing to a label, because frankly these days all they can offer that you can't set up for yourself in an afternoon for a couple of hundred dollars is promotion, and a lot of them don't really do that very well anyway. Consequently, I own all the publishing and copyright rights to my music, so I can license it however I like. I am registered for mechanical copyright, so I'm pretty sure it's not actually possible to waive those fees, but I can waive copyright clearance fees.

Having worked on the film side somewhat, as a producer I'd be nervous as hell about a deal that got me awesome music but that doomed me to open-ended costs should my film happen to become successful. Consequently, it occurred to me that I'd rather offer a license that's just tied to budget, so basically anyone shooting a short or a modest indie feature could use my material in exchange for credits, link backs on the web site and of course the mechanical copyright royalties (so it's not actually free, just not up-front spendy, and not generally the producer's problem).

My thinking is that if it doesn't actually *cost* me anything, and could help promote one or more albums, hey, why not, particularly when the alternative would just be the producer not being able to afford my music anyway. Technically it's marginal production. I know some composers might be majorly pissed if people start doing this, but I don't really see a down side.

I've written up my idea of the basis on which I'd license my music here: http://mageofmachines.com/licensing.html -- I'd be very interested in people's reaction to that. It seems to me that it would be pretty cool to be able to work that way (with my producer hat on), and potentially useful from a promotional point of view with my musician/composer hat on. I know most people on this site tend more toward the indie DP/director side, so I might be an odd duck in the conversation, but I would be keen to hear people's reactions to this idea.

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