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FAQ's for Rights & Clearances:

What is a Clearance or Rights and Clearances?

Clearance = authorization required to secure the rights to use intellectual property (music, footage, photos, artwork, words, photos, products, talent, etc.) for a purpose restricted under copyright law. This includes making copies of the work(s), Creating a new work based on an existing work, distributing copies to the public by sale, rental, lease or lending.

Rights & Clearances (aka R&C) professionals negotiate and secure the necessary rights for you to include third-party materials within your production/project. They serve as your representative to the many licensors who control the rights to these materials through their relationships within the licensing community.

What kind of elements can you help me obtain for my project?

We have an extensive amount of experience in assisting producers obtain the necessary rights to use music, footage, artwork, words/reprints, photos, talent and products within their production.

What kind of duties would you perform to help me get appropriate clearances for my project?

Determining which permissions are needed to make use of the work, ascertaining the owners of the work, contacting rights owners and negotiating an appropriate license, administering license agreements, providing tracking/licensing reports to Production, and handling other day-to-day functions related to use and licensing materials.

How can I be sure that I will know what the outcome will be?

Getting permission to incorporate someone else's creative work into a new project is never guaranteed. If you are told otherwise, you should consider other clearance companies. It's very possible that a work will be denied, or never responded to in time for your production deadline. Typically, allow at least two weeks for a response from the owner, but it can be responded to in less or more time.

What is an example of getting a work denied?

There are many reasons why a copyright owner will deny a request. For instance, a song might be tied up in an exclusive agreement with another production or entity, or it might contain other contractual restrictions, or there might be some conflicting issues with how the work is set up in being used (in the presence of alcohol, drugs, violence, etc...) that the owner or their representative might think the owner might not want to be associated with. The most popular reason for denial though, is that the owner may feel that the usage warrants a higher fee than proposed or budgeted for. Certainly, a big budget production will usually get more attention and at a faster rate of response than a small budgeted production. (Example: Big = Major feature film or movie trailer vs. Small = film festival or educational usage)

How much does it cost to use something in a production?

Licensing fees vary based on a number of things, such as the fame of the song, artist, or photographer associated with the song or piece of art/photograpyh), the type of use for the song (background instrumental, background vocal, visual instrumental, or visual vocal), the Territory (Worldwide, U.S., Provincial), Media (Theatrical, Radio, Television, Home Video, Online, Interactive, etc.) etc...), Version (original or re-recorded version), how many times a photo is being shown throughout a segment or project, how much footage is being used, amongst many other factors. The broader the distribution, the more it is going to cost.

How does one license a song for use in a film or a television program?

Once a song is selected by a creative, we locate and contact the master and copyright owners and based on a particular production's music budget and the necessary licensing rights needed, we proceed with the negotiation process.

Will you help me locate an owner of a work?

We can provide you with sourcing services at reasonable fees or build them into the fees for a project we are already working on with you.

How much does it cost to hire your services?

Clearances are billed on a per element (song, photo, talent clearance, footage, etc.), per project, or hourly basis. Costs vary depending on the complexity and depth of each element. For example, a hip-hop song with various writers and publishers would be a more in-depth and time consuming clearance than a song owned solely by a band and its publisher.

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