The Master Use License is for the actual recording of the song that you’re wanting to burn to a CD. As an example the song, “Tell The World” has been recorded by multiple artists, but if you’re using the Amber Sky Version of the song off The Big Story you would contact www.Amberskyrecords.com as the owner of that recording. But if you’re using the Hillsong Kids version of the song, then you’d be contacting Hillsong’s US representative for that project which is Integrity.
The master use license fee is not something that is set in stone like the mechanical license. The price you pay is at the owner’s discretion and could range anywhere from $.95 down to $.15 per unit depending on your request and that companies policy. So who do you contact about who owns the recording you’re wanting to use? It’s either the Artist who recorded it or the record company they are with who actually owns that recording. If you’re looking at the back of a CD, the correct company probably has their address or website listed. Contact them and say you want to get master use permission.
To save you time, you could always use Christian Copyright Solutions and their Permissions Plus program. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, they will do the legwork for you (for both the mechanical and the master use licenses).
I know this can seem a bit overwhelming and I understand it will cost you some time; but I know you, your church or the organization you represent care about your integrity and obeying the copyright laws that protect the songwriters, musicians and producers. Name any song and there’s been a lot of time, people and finances involved in creating it, whether it’s on the radio, your iPod or a CD. As a musician, I guarantee they don’t just show up, play the song once or twice in the studio and call it a day. Many days, weeks and sometimes even months of hard work are represented in the music we all hear and enjoy. The only way those artists can support their families is when we pay them what is rightfully theirs. 1 Timothy 5:18 says it well, “A worker deserves his pay.” (MSG) And then they are able to keep creating more. What questions do you still have about burning CDs to share with others?