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Obtaining the Rights to Use Music in a Live Performance

Intellectual property disputes can be tricky. One of the most common areas where this becomes an issue is in reproduction of music in live performances. Any individuals with experience in theater or dramatic arts should be well aware of the process for gaining permission to use copyrighted music in a live performance. This is an issue that comes up surprisingly often, and failure to complete all of the required steps can lead to serious legal consequences.

Individuals who seek to reproduce performances should take every measure to educate themselves on the process in order to prevent charges of intellectual property theft. Unfortunately, the difficulty of the process often results in an individual’s failure to complete it properly, which in turn creates cause for legal action on part of the copyright owner.

Information You’ll Need

In order to properly obtain permission for use, you must contact the appropriate party according to your intended use of the music. If you seek to use a version of the song as performed by a specific artist, you must submit your request in writing to the record company and publisher of the song. If you want to perform a unique version of the song, you must contact the publisher as well as the representation of the composer and lyricist. Either way, you will need to know as much about the song as possible. Try to find the following pieces of information before making your request:

  • Record company
  • Record company’s contact information
  • Name of the song
  • Name of the artist who performed the song
  • Name of the person who wrote the song
  • Name of the album

Once you have acquired all of this information, you can compose letters to send out. Be sure you allow yourself enough time to receive responses before your performance, and keep the letters of permission for your records. You may be required to make a payment before you are allowed to use copyrighted music in a live performance.

Contact an Intellectual Property Attorney

Facing charges for intellectual property theft can be particularly confusing, as many individuals do not even know what exactly they did wrong. If you are having any issues with intellectual property infringement, the attorneys at Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C. are qualified and experienced in this area. Call us today at (214) 824-1414 to speak with a representative.