Friday, June 8, 2012
Music License confusion - Non-PRO vs PRO tracks
This particular customer is in Italy, so her local collection society is SIAE, but the same applies in other countries. For example, if you're in the UK, the performing rights society is PRS and if you're in Germany, they are GEMA. But pretty much, the same principles apply.
Many of you will have noticed that whilst you search or browse for music on our site, you always have the option to "Display PRO and Non-PRO Tracks", or "Display Non-PRO Tracks only". But what really is the difference, and when / how / why does it matter?
PRO in this case does not stand for "Professional" as you may first think. It stands for Performing Rights Organization. PRO tracks are composed by composers who are members of Performing Rights Organizations. For those composers, neither we, nor any other stock music site, can legally sell the Performing Rights to their tracks. Non-PRO tracks are composed by composers who are not members of a Performing Rights Organization, and as such, we at Shockwave-Sound.com or other stock music sites can in fact sell you the Performing Rights to their music.
In a music track there are three "rights", three different parts of the copyright:
- Sync rights = The rights to use the music and put it into a media project, such as a film or a video game.
- Mechanical rights = The rights to produce CD's, DVD's or other physical objects that contain the music.
- Performing rights = The rights to broadcast the music on TV or radio, or to play it in a public place (such as a restaurant, cinema, etc.)
Or maybe you are going to make a film about your local city and make 1,000 DVD's of that film. And you want to use our music in your film. Then you need the Sync- rights (to put our music in your film) and you need the Mechanical rights (to manufacture DVD's that contain the film that contains our music). But you don't need the Performing rights, because you have no plans to broadcast this music on TV or Radio, or to play the film in a public place such as a restaurant etc.
|Broadcasters such as NBC, BBC etc|
already have performing licenses, so
you don't need one.
So... you see, whether or not you need Non-PRO Tracks, or just any tracks from our site, depends on how you are going to use the music. If you are going to play the music in public, or on your website, then you need the Performing rights. But if you are not going to play the music in public, or on a website, then you don't need the Performing rights. And if you don't need the performing rights, then you can use any tracks from our site.
If you need the Performing Rights to a track, and that track is "Non-PRO", then simply buy the track from our site. With the Non-PRO tracks you are buying all three rights from us.
If you need the Performing Rights to a track and that track is "PRO", then you have to buy that right from the performing rights society in your country. From our site you can buy only the two other rights; the Sync rights and the Mechanical rights.
As it turns out, the vast majority of our customers do not need the performing rights. They only need the Sync- and or Mechanical rights. And if that's the case, it doesn't matter if you choose "PRO" or "Non-PRO" tracks. Many royalty-free music websites don't even tell you which tracks are PRO and which are Non-PRO, because they figure it is so unlikely that you actually need the Performing Rights, that they don't want to confuse you with PRO vs Non-PRO music.
On our website you can choose to browse only Non-PRO tracks if you like. As you Search or Browse for music tracks on our website, take a note of the options: "Display PRO and Non-PRO Tracks" / "Display Non-PRO Tracks only" options on top of the list of tracks.
I hope this has been helpful.
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