[LAU] [OT] creative commons non-commercial licensed music - ask for advice

Ken Restivo ken at restivo.org
Fri Jan 25 21:03:02 EST 2008

On Thu, Jan 24, 2008 at 03:06:07PM +0100, Cesare Marilungo wrote:
> I received an email from a film producer (based in Los Angeles, probably 
> an indie studio) in which he wrote that the director of a movie they're 
> just finishing (they're at post-production stage) is interested in using 
> two tracks of mine, 'Balloon' (http://www.cesaremarilungo.com/media) and 
> 'As we grow older' (http://www.cesaremarilungo.com/media/the-moon-ep).
> I released these tracks under a non-commercial Creative Commons license:
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed-music.
> In the past some of my music has been used for some short films, but 
> these were clearly non commercial projects or film schools thesis.
> Has anybody some experience on this topic? What should I do? Should I 
> re-license these tracks? Can I just make them a written permission? Or 
> should I ask for some kind of royalty (or would it be ridiculous, also 
> considering that AFAIK Gyorgy Ligeti has never been paid for its music 
> on '2001 A space odyssey' :-) )?
> Thanks in advance,

Congratulations! I consider licensing deals the holy grail; much as I love publishing my work as CC-BY-SA, and will continue to do so, I would love to close a licensing deal and make some money. More money == more time to make music and more ability to upgrade gear in the future if needed. Moby, here I come.

You may cross-license anything any way you like. You own it. The rights you define via any license are for anyone else, not for you. But be careful in any contract you might sign, to make sure it doesn't restrict you from licensing it any way you want (the scary word to look for here is "exclusive").

Definitely see a lawyer. Not just any lawyer, but an entertainment industry lawyer with experience in Hollywood. The big issue here isn't so much legal as negotiating leverage: how much do these guys want your music, and how much are they willing to pay for it? Make sure you get a fair price. I recommend a lawyer whose offices are in Los Angeles for something like this, and who is very active in the movie industry.

By the way, I put some of my music up on musicsupervisor.com on a bandmember's recommendation. It looks like it might be a good site for trying to get licensing deals. Also, Magnatune.com operates this way too: they try to find licensing deals (movies, TV, commercials, games, ringtones, etc.) and they split it 50% with you. I haven't submitted anything to them yet because I can't choose what to send them, I have too much stuff. 


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