The Music Licensing Quagmire Part 3 - Responses.
Previously on Mikeymo's Place:
We talked about the basics of music licensing.
Also about different resources that are available.
So now, I want to comment on the different ways different music publishers handle music licensing, by saying one thing:
Get your act together, guys!
It's amazing the depth and breath of the different ways music publishers handle this topic. In my last post on the subject, I explained the process for applying for mechanical licenses for the songs we will be doing on our Prepare album. We are dealing with four different publishers: Integrity, EMI, Vineyard and Fire Rain Music. They all handle things very differently.
Vineyard and EMI
I'll group these two together, because I applied for the licenses together. Both publishers use Music Services to administer their compulsory licenses. Music Services has an easy-to-navigate website, and I could submit the entire project together. Once I filled out the form, I got an email back right away indicating the receipt of the application.
Six days after I applied for the licenses, they arrived via email. Music Services requires that we take a minimum of 200 licenses for each song. We have to pay for the licenses before we press any CDs. Once we send payment, Music Services then emails signed copies of the licences, and we are official.
Let me start by saying the people at Integrity are great. Their website leaves a little to be desired. The site is a bloated, flash-laden hot mess. The music licensing request form is buried deep in the site, under some tabs and flash dropdowns.
Once you get to it, it's a pretty straightforward process. Fill out the form. You have to fill out a separate form for each song you wish to license. Contrary to the site's recommendations, clicking the "Back" button does not repopulate the form.
It took 29 days to hear back from Integrity. There was no confirmation that they had gotten the request, which would have been nice. They did send all the licenses in one email, which was cool. Integrity's process is a little different from Music Services. We are supposed to press the CD, and send them a copy of it along with the payment for however many CDs we pressed. (I can only hope that someone down in Mobile will actually listen to it.) They also - and this was cool - did include a prayer for the project in the letter. Very nice - it is ministry after all.
Fire Rain Music
As I said, I made the mistake of first writing to Fire Rain during the holidays. I think Rick Pino was also on the road at that point, so likely no one was in the office. An email in January was returned the same day by a real-live person! They mailed me (Remember that? The thing with the stamp?) a signed license to fax back to them. (Both parties have to sign all the licenses.) We just have to make quarterly royalty payments to them. Easy, peasy, nice and easy.