Who do i contact if i want to use a piece of music in my film or Visual Media?
Artist, Composers, Publishers and Record Companies, but the easiest answer is the Rights Owner. You will need the approval of the person/s responsible for the recording you would like to use.
Whats a music library?
Let's see... A Music Library or Stock Music is the name given to recorded music that can be licensed to customers for use in film, television, radio & other media. Music Libraries act as a bridge between the Music Creator and Music Users.
Here is how it works for: Music Users
lets say you wanted to use a piece of music, but the music you originally wanted is so exclusive that its going to cost you thousands of dollars you might not be willing to cough up for a 60 second television commercial. Don't worry the internet has provided you with many choices of libraries that can meet your needs, with a broad range of musical styles and genres, enabling producers and editors to find what they need in the same library. For Licencing or Synchronization prices can range from a few dollars for an internet usage, to thousands for a network commercial usage.
Here is how it works for: Music Creators
If you are a Creator of Music pay close attention here. Lets start off with something important. If you are under contract with a music publisher or record label, you should first seek their advise on how to proceed with licensing your music.
If you are not obligated to a contractual agreement, then you could be missing out on the potential exploitation of your Musical Work. Here's how... Non-exclusive music libraries.
Non-exclusive production libraries allow a composer/author or owner of copyright, to sign a non-exclusive agreement allowing the artist to license the same piece to their libraries and clients with the same non-exclusive agreement. In other words, your intellectual property (Your Composition) can be licensed to multiple clients simultaneously, provided that they are not contractually bound by an exclusive agreement with another company. The non-exclusive library doesn't own rights outside of the licenses that are made by that library. Typically the library does not pay for the piece, and the artist doesn't get any payment until the piece is licensed at which point the library and the artist split the license fee, in some cases equally but there are companies that will license music for a lesser portion of the share. Some Libraries might require the artist to rename the piece in effect to create a unique artistic work for the library to register with their PRO (Performance Rights Organisation). Should the composer want to enter the piece into an exclusive agreement with a library or client, they would first need to remove that piece from all non-exclusive agreements. An advantage to using a non-exclusive library is the possible broad exposure through multiple outlets, and the ability of the artist/creator to retain control. Conversely, if an artist sells his/her piece to an exclusive library, he/she is paid upfront for the piece. In this case the artist typically sells the publishing rights, hence losing control of the piece and future licensing fees.