Why Should I Get A License For My Music?

Learn music licensing & publishing.

By Rast Team

Why would you need to understand the essentials of the music business, licensing and publishing as an artist?

If you want to have a career as a music producer, composer or sound artist, you have to make sure your music is generating income in the long term. Music is an asset like your house when you own a house, you sign a contract, and that keeps the value to your name over the years. You should do the same thing for your music, and this process happens through licensing and publishing.

The better you understand how these two concepts work, the better you will have control over your assets and your finances as an artist. If you do not have a team (even most experienced artists don’t), let this booklet give you the necessary information on how the music business works. Then, you will better understand what actions to take when releasing new music and hopefully your artistic asset, your music, will create recurring income over time.

If you even think you are not interested in earning income for your music, in protecting your tracks from getting stolen or claimed by another person, in other words, to have proper legal protection, you have to understand licensing and publishing. Enjoy the booklet; I hope it becomes a step towards becoming music professional.

You can go ahead and read the free booklet or see more licensing details below.

Allow us to explain a few of the most common types of licensing types there are:

Mechanical License: A Mechanical License is an agreement that grants permission between the individual, industries or team that desires to release a song or composition and the owner of the copyrighted content (band, solo artist, publisher or promoter). It can also be called Mechanical right.

A Mechanical License or right only allows the song or composition to be published or released in an Audio-only format (CD’s, Vinyl, covers, remix)

A mechanical license grants also the usage of only a portion of the song or sounds in it, this is legally handled by a special section of the copyright law, meant to foster creativity in music creation, establishes what is known as the compulsory mechanical licensing law. Compulsory law states that a licensee can obtain mechanical rights without the express permission of the copyright holder, as long as certain steps are followed.

Synchronization License: A synchronization License is an agreement that grants permission for the use of your music, audio tracks, sound design and all of your music elements included in the agreement in video or visual media (Youtube videos, Ads, Content creators, Commercials, TV, Cinema, etc…)

A Synchronization License is usually negotiated directly with the copyright holder as the person, team or business requesting to use the audio material must give a very detailed explanation of how it will be used and for what purpose. This also includes for how long it will be integrated to the visual content and if it will be audible as background music or up-front full volume, among several other details that must be covered for each particular scenario.

Master License: A master license is an agreement between a music user and the owner of a copyrighted audio recording that grants permission to use the recording. This permission is also called a master lease or master rights.

A Master license gives total freedom to a certain degree, as it allows you to work or use the original audio tracks. As a musician, licensing your music under a Master License is probably the most effective way to protect your music.

Public Performance License: Allows a song or composition to be played publicly.
This type of license must be handled by one of the following, inside the United States, as they are considered the

PROs in licensing in general, they are mostly always working on Public Performance Licensing deals:




In case you are not from the United States, you must search for your local performing rights society (like GEMA in Germany), these are the companies that administer all forms of public copyrighted content.

This also allows restaurants, bars or any establishment to play the song, it pays the artist, composer or band in the form of royalties and it is usually collected and administrated by one of the three companies mentioned above, depending on how much you get paid depends on the contract agreements for the use of the content.