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3 Online Tools That Make Copyrights and Licensing Way Easier for Musicians (And Everyone Else)

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Our copyright system in the US isn’t exactly known for being high tech, or for making it easy for musicians and businesses to license music and to get the permissions to use music they didn’t write. But the Harry Fox Agency (HFA), the organization that helps musicians purchase rights to record cover songs, is doing its part to bring some copyright and licensing processes into the 21st century.

Though musicians aren’t the primary customers for some of the HFA high-tech tools, you can benefit from knowing more about them and making sure your music is available for others to license through these systems (more on how to do that below). Here are the three tools you should know about.

The DIY Musician’s Ultimate Guide to Indie Production Music Libraries

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It’s no secret that synchronization (or sync) licenses are one of the best ways for independent artists to earn income these days. Understanding how to actually get your songs placed in film and TV productions, however, can be more of a mystery. Independent musicians often focus on finding music supervisors and convincing them to use one of your songs, and this focus makes a lot of sense, since music supervisors are the ultimate gatekeepers in the sync world. But it can also be extremely taxing, as locating and contacting music supervisors can be an awful lot of work, especially for busy DIY musicians.

In the absence of representation by a publisher or record label, many indie artists have turned to a variety of “middleman” type companies that help bridge the gap between music creators and the people who place music in film and TV productions. One such option that has been gaining in popularity in recent years is the curated production music library.

4 Pro Tips to Find Music Supervisors and Get Your Foot in the Door (That Actually Work)

Paul Loeb. (Photo courtesy of the author)

Now, more than ever, songwriters and producers hunger for visual-media placements as opportunities for sync licensing surge and traditional record sales from CDs and downloads sag. Busy music supervisors hold the keys to placements in ads, films, TV, and video games, but how do you find them and get your foot in the door?

Here's Exactly What a CEO of a Music House Looks for When Licensing Songs

Tanvi Patel. (Photo courtesy the author)

Revenue from music for video is surging, and savvy composers diversify – pursuing placement in ads, films, TV, video games, and countless other opportunities. As CEO of virtual music house Crucial Custom, Tanvi Patel's duties include finding, creating, honing, and licensing custom music for internet advertisements. Check out her tips to help songwriters excel at meeting video creators’ distinct specifications.

What’s the Difference Between a Music Library and a Music Publisher?

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Music libraries have exploded in popularity since musicians and composers discovered synchronization ("sync") placements as an opportunity to make money and gain exposure in the music business. However, songwriters are often confused about the differences between music libraries and music publishers, especially because many libraries are trying to cross over into the publishing space. Here's what you need to know.