This is the process whereby the copyright holder of a song (or songs) authorises its usage by a third party. Unlike assignment, licensing will usually take place for a finite period of time. This might be in the form of allowing a song’s appearance on a compilation right through to allowing a third party to reissue an artist’s entire back catalogue in full. The terms of the agreement will cover the term of the license (for example, how long the third party is allowed to use the song(s) for) as well as what kind of recompense will be received. Licensing also covers the commercial use of repertoire in adverts, films, TV etc (see sync licensing).
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