The first type is a mechanical license which is the license you get from the songwriter(s) for them writing the song. For example, if we were talking about the song, “How Great Is Our God”, then the answer would be Chris Tomlin and his co-writers.
You’re probably wondering, “How do I figure out who wrote the song and how to contact them?” If you have the liner notes to the CD, it probably has in there who wrote the song and then a © with a year, then a publishing company name(s) followed by some letters of etiher BMI, ASCAP or SESAC. Those companies I just mentioned are performing rights associations and they represent the songwriters of the songs and work to get them paid whenever there song is played on the radio, tv or even in a restaurant.
You can go to each of their websites (www.bmi.com, www.ascap.com, www.sesac.com )and search their catalog by entering the song title and if that song is registered by one of their songwriters, you’ll find the contact name, address, phone of the company you need to contact with your request. You’ll pay a royalty that at the time of this writing is $.091 per song, per unit. So you’ll let them know the song you want to use, information about your project, when it will release and how many copies you’re making. Multiply that quantity by $.091 (some companies may have a minimum amount they require in order to issue a license) and that will be the cost involved with the songwriter portion of the song aka the mechanical license.
A few other bigger companies that represent the different publishing companies that can you can use to request mechanical licenses are:
*Music Services -They represent a lot of Christian record companies.
*Harry Fox Agency -This is national organization representing both Christian and mainstream copyright holders.
*Integrity Music-This is one of the largest worship music record companies.
*Christian Copyright Solutions has a Permissions Plus program. If you don’t have much time to spend researching who to contact for these licenses, CCS could be a great solution because they do the legwork for you. You just tell them the songs you need and the information on your project. They hunt down the writers and recording owners, make the requests, get the licenses and this saves you a lot of time.
Any questions about mechanical licenses?