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Original Lyrics

Original Lyrics: Licensing Agreements

Whether you play guitar, piano, or lay down electronic beats—putting words to music and music to words requires a variety of skills. Writers and musicians have collaborated throughout musical history to come up with original lyrics to tunes that needed words. A licensing agreement grants the right to use original lyrics. Keep in mind, though, that there are a few different types of licensing contracts you should be aware of if you want to put words to music you've written.

First, a non-commercial-use license means you can use original lyrics for performances and presentations. Still, you can not put words to music you've written and make money on those original lyrics unless you've struck a commercial licensing agreement with the writer.

What's more—original lyrics will most always remain copyrighted to the person who wrote them—unless otherwise specified. And you cannot alter the words without express consent.

A commercial-limited-right-of-reproduction license enables you to record the original lyrics for use in a sound recording or video. However, as the name suggests, the number of copies you can produce under this agreement is limited. Similarly, a commercial-unlimited-right-of-reproduction license gives you unlimited rights to reproduction. In this case, the writer will also most likely require a percentage once you reach the limited-right-of-reproduction license sales.

For example, Dale Kidd puts words to music. He also offers original lyrics for license, on his website. He asks for shareable revenue based on the total number of tracks on the CD, even if a CD has ten tracks with one track containing his licensed lyrics.

If you need to put words to music, offers original lyrics with social themes. Visit his website to see what he has for license, and if you have any questions, make sure to get in touch.

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