Rights Required For Performance Sports
Performance Sports are sports where music is intrinsic to the routine or performance such as:
Cheerleading DanceSport Gymnastics Figure Skating Synchronised Swimming Jump Rope and more.
Music licensing is complicated and there is often misleading information about what rights are required for performance sports teams to make a mix of music to accompany their routine.
In this section you’ll find everything you need to know about the rights required for performance sports and how to license them.
The Rights Explained
There are different parties that require different rights for different things.
1) the Team/Music Producer making the mix/music
2) the Team/Individual performing to the mix/music
3) the Event Producer running the competition
1. The team/music producer making the mix needs the rights to:
Edit and adapt music and combine it with other tracks, sound effects, voiceovers, beats etc.
2. The team performing to the mix need the rights to:
Set choreography to the mix
Make up to 35 copies of the mix to distribute between team members for training purposes and
Perform the routine in public* subject to the venue having a performing rights license
It's also natural for us as sports performers to want to share video of what we do with the music, typically by uploading a video onto YouTube/Facebook
This last one is actually covered under the UGC agreements the music industry have with YT and FB have and will use YT and FBsContent ID/rights claiming system for un-monetised videos.
However if you wish to monetise the video including music, or use it commercially (eg to advertise your team or a competition) then you’ll need to negotiate and purchase a sync license from the music rightsholders which will cost a LOT more.
3. The Event Producer running a competition needs the rights to:
play (“perform”) music in their venue . This is called a performing rights license and is available from the local collecting society in their country
Sync music to DVDs, USBs or other memorabilia to sell
A Livestreaming license to broadcast the competition online
A video on demand license (referred to as an online sync license) in order to play the routine videos WITH music on the video on demand service.
A Broadcast license if the competition is to be shown on TV.
So to recap, here are the rights each party needs:
You can learn more about Copyright here
Traditionally you needed to:
research who owns the rights, contact each label and publisher and then negotiate with them, but that
isn’t scalable from the music industry’s point of view because they are set up to do big deals for music in adverts, films and more;
is a complex process for teams who are inexperienced in intellectual property licensing
Will be time consuming and expensive when most teams are on a quick turnaround with a limited budget.
This can be even more complicated if a song has many writers on the work.
Lets take a look at Travis Scott 'Sicko Mode':
As you can see, here we have the recording artist who performs the song, which in this case is Travis Scott, and then the songwriters - the people who write the lyrics and melodies. In this example there are 30 writers, some of whom own less than 1%(**) of the music! - its the most extreme case we’ve found so far, but the AVERAGE hit song now has 9 writers, each who need to give permission before you license their song.
Each writer will probably be represented by a different music publisher, and that could also be different in different countries, which can also change over time.
In order to license any of the rights previously mentioned, then you need permission from every single one of these writers, PLUS the record label representing the recording artist and would need to contact and negotiate with each and every one of them.
The Licensing Solution
ClicknClear deliver officially licensed music to performance sports worldwide.
We’re a team of performance sports athletes, coaches, music licensing professionals and software developers who are passionate about both music AND sport - we want to see both flourish, and we have the expertise to make it happen.
Over the last few years we have been doing deals with labels and publishers including Sony, Warner, Universal, BMG, Kobalt and many more to get access to popular music for your mixes.
We are piecing together the most complex jigsaw puzzle of music rights so we can offer you a portfolio of music industry tracks, performed by the original artists, that offer the rights performance sports need.
Our rights are from both the recording artists and songwriters, and are pre-approved so you get them with a ‘click’ of a button. We’ve already negotiated affordable prices on your behalf and we guarantee that they are legal to use.
Contract Language To Look For
If you have purchased a ‘license’ from a music producer and are unsure that your license agreement covers you for the rights you need, take a look at some example contract language below:.
Using a Song in a Mix:
Make sure the rights have been licensed from both Master AND Publishing sides to:
edit (cut down) and adapt (including tempo shifting) the song into a mix with other tracks, and add voice over and sound effects if you need to.
The type of contract language you are looking for regarding rights needed to mix is:
Use the Track for the making of a bespoke Mix for the purpose of accompanying a Routine, which may include the Recording (and thereby the underlying Composition) being edited and adapted and combined with other recordings (including without limitation being cut down, tempo-shifted, combined with other recordings as a remix/medley and sound effects and voice over being added).
Set Choreography to the Mix:
Setting a track to a choreographed routine needs permission from the owners of the song for both Master and Publishing sides because you are interpreting the music in a different way to what was intended.
The type of contract language you are looking for to put choreography to the song / Mix is:
Put the Track as all or part of the Mix to choreography as a Routine.
Create Copies to Train to your Mix:
Typically you will want each member of your team to have a copy of the song / mix to practice with at home or at the gym. Therefore, you need the music owners’ permission to do any necessary copying or distribution.
Within cheerleading, a 35 copy limit is set so every member is able to get a copy.
The type of contract language you are looking for to use the track in the Mix is:
Use the Track as part of the Mix for training and preparation purposes with respect to the Routine by Performer(s) limited to a maximum of no more than 35 individuals;
Play your Mix at Competition:
The act of playing of music in a venue also needs a separate license from collecting societies – there are different societies in each country, such as BMI, ASCAP etc. in the US, or a PPL and PRS licence in the UK.
It’s the responsibility of event producers and gym owners to have performing rights licenses for the venues they use.
The type of contract language you’ll see being used to to deal with this is:
The license grant is subject to any performing rights managed by any collecting society in the relevant territory.
Everyone wants to show off their routine and attract new members!
Using music online is a thorny issue, and you need the music owners’ permission to do this, often referred to as a 'Sync License'
The music industry have deals in place with some social media platforms to enable them to monetise videos where their music is being used without a license but not all social media platforms have the necessary content ID systems or music licenses to allow the music owners to properly monetise the music.
If as a team / team member decide to make available (on a non-commercial basis) videos of your routine with the mix playing on Facebook, YouTube or other social media channels you personally control, then that will be subject to the monetisation and/or takedown rules of those channels as operated by each Copyright owner of the Track (both the Recording and the underlying Composition) in their absolute sole discretion.
The vast majority of our rightsholders are happy for you to use tracks you license from us for your mix in this way and will choose to monetise it rather than issue a take-down notice, but it is not something we can guarantee. It could also be subject to change in future, for example, if the rightsholder changes their policy, or the rights are assigned to a new rightsholder with a different policy, or there is a legal dispute regarding the track.
Our standard EULA does NOT include sync uses such as a DVD memento, livestream, video on demand archive or television broadcast.
We are able to grant additional rights for commercial use in such cases to the person wishing to commercially exploit video incorporating the track as part of a mix - please contact us directly about such commercial uses through our website.