A Mercifully Brief History of Music Licensing

Ok so you may be asking yourself why as a content creator should I be in any way interested in music licensing, let alone the history of music licensing? Well, however unpalatable, the bottom line is that music licensing and copyright law determine pretty much what we can and can’t do online. Knowledge is power and It's important not to be left holding the bag (or the baby!)

Episode Summary

Any asset in our content will in some way come with some sort of license or permission of use, and music licensing can get complicated fast. 

In fact different licensing models and terms can greatly affect how you can use music and how much you end up paying for it in the long run.

But, if you know the backstory you’ll be in a much better position to make an informed choice and the right decision.


“Let’s just nail down the difference between what is Commercial Music and what is music for private use,..Because not knowing the difference between these two, (which is surprisingly more common than you think), can lead to your YouTube and Social media channels being shut down or worse still, a copyright infringement battle with a big shot record company or music publishing company, which in turn leads to a tonne of heartache, wasted time, money, massive inconvenience, and ultimately feelings of regret and self loathing which we want to avoid at all costs”

Topics Discussed

Here are some of the topics we covered in this episode. Be sure to listen to the end and don’t forget to pick up your free companion guide.

What ‘copyright’ means

The difference between PA copyright and SR copyright.

Why ‘concrete’ can be cool, and why you’ll never hear Pink Floyd’s ‘Another brick in the wall’ the same way again.

Why using commercial music is usually more trouble than it’s worth.

How traditional production music libraries were forged

What Stock music is, and what it isn’t

Needle drop licensing, and why you should avoid it.

References & Links

Check out some of the resources and references mentioned in this episode, along with other relevant links we think you’ll find useful.

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