September 22, 2014 at 5:31AM


Using pre-existing music in a film for festivals and perhaps online?

New to getting music rights for film:
 I understand I need non-theatre-rights for film festival - and does getting a entail Synchronisation Licence and a Master Use Licence?

If I make an enquiry for these rights any tips towards keeping the price down would be appreciated! I am uncertain of who the actual owners of these rights are, they are not listed through music right search engines. I want to avoid my e-mails being bounced back and forth between various people, any tips in regard to this would be great too.

Thanks, Jamie


Is it popular music you've heard on the radio that you are looking at obtaining the rights to use or music you're looking at getting from one of the music services like The Music Bed?

September 22, 2014 at 8:21AM, Edited September 22, 8:21AM


If you uses buy music with the etiquete free royale, you can use it. Just read the rights you have with the licence.

September 23, 2014 at 5:11AM

Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director

Hi Jamie,

Synch Licenses and Master Use Licenses are always required when licensing music, they are THE licenses that say "I can use this music" and "I can use this music in my movie". There are people out there called music supervisors who take care of all this stuff so that the filmmaker doesn't have to worry about it. I am one of those people! I'm happy to chat if you have any other questions.

November 7, 2014 at 8:15PM

Nick Dolan
Film Composer

As Nick said you need a music supervisor to work with, so to get all the necessary licences for pre-existing music.
However consider also the price for the full rights, because if your film gets, say, a VOD distribution those festivals rights won't do and the distributor won't be willing to buy the new licenses for $$$$ more. Often you may have to settle for another "similar" song and you would have to edit according to the new one... etc. So it may be better instead to work from the beginning with a composer and get some original music, that fits your film and only your film.

November 9, 2014 at 3:33PM, Edited November 9, 3:33PM

Stelios Kouk

Hi Jamie,
In your case I would use Copyleft Music. It is the best way to win time from licensing...
I use because it is Free, there's plenty of music and only one License... Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY).
To download, you just have to register...
When you use music, you just need to quote the site "" and the "Artist Name" ...
Hope it is useful for you!

February 27, 2017 at 3:20AM


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