February 27, 2014

Is "Royalty Free Music" Really Royalty Free?

Well apparently not where the "royalty free music" sold on Amazon.com and iTunes are concerned.  Fact is you're uses are limited to the personal and non-commercial.  Basically, you can listen to the music and maybe sync it to a presentation that again is personal and non-commercial.  By this definition, all music that reaches your ears hear is royalty free.  Be careful. Read the license of your proposed music library and ask questions if you don't understand.

February 22, 2014

CSS Music Radio! Still On the "Air" and Pumping 24-7

When was the last time you listened to CSS Music Radio?  Oh come now? Really?  Well there's no time like the present. Why not pop in for a listen at CSSMusic.com

September 20, 2013

The Benefits of Royalty Free Production Music: Can it Save You From Legal Troubles?

By Mike Fuller. mfuller@cssmusic.com


Royalty Free Production Music in addition to cost effectiveness can be one way to avoid legal problems.  The key is proper licensing.  Licensors ideally should warrant that they own or control the copyright in a musical composition and/or sound recording.  One problem today is the prevalence of re-titling and re-publishing music. On the surface this is legal when all the proper documents are signed by legitimate parties but in today’s world of music sound recording fingerprints and music recognition issues of copyright often occur despite perfectly legal licensing and sub-licensing.

Many libraries today are made up of almost totally re-titled tunes.  A composer or publisher can submit his or her material to a large number of libraries.  The question becomes, “Who is the real copyright holder?” It’s no wonder that many music supervisors are not licensing re-titled music.  It’s just too risky.

Those who think they can use any piece of royalty free music they may stumble upon, assuming the owner will never catch on, are sadly mistaken.  Music recognition is here to stay.  At CSS, we use TuneSat (NYC) to monitor our performances.  In addition to broadcasts around the world, they also monitor the worldwide web. Fingerprinting is very accurate and strong evidence of infringement when it occurs.  Quite frankly, with music as inexpensive as it is, cheating just doesn’t pay.  Corollary to this is the fact that often even when music is properly licensed, cue sheets are not filled out or even submitted to BMI, ASCAP, SOCAN, etc. as required in the license.  Again, musical fingerprints like their human counterparts, don’t lie.

When cue sheets are not submitted, song writers and publishers don’t get their fair payment for public performance as provided for in the copyright act.  Pure and simple though, using music without written permission is probably illegal, not ethical and a risky business proposition.  Just remember that’s why CSS Music and our competitors are in business.  We sell peace of mind at a very affordable price.   You may think you’re buying music but in reality you’re buying the license.  Make sure you get it in writing and that it conveys the terms and conditions you need for the projects you will be working on.  Make sure also that if you buy a needle drop license, you know that it’s not a lifetime blanket and that it’s good for one use and one project only.

Another good way to avoid legal problems is the custom score.  Aside from quality, make sure the composer warrants among other things that his work is original and does not infringe on the rights of any third party and of course spells out which rights are actually being conveyed to you and which rights if any are being retained by the composer.  So called “Napkin” Licenses or deal memos written on the back of an envelope are not recommended.

Another way to possibly avoid legal problems is the use of music in the public domain.  This sounds good but has many problems associated with it.  Make sure PD music is PD worldwide not just in the US.  Each territory has different laws about what is or is not in the PD.  Always best to pay the fee and check with a copyright clearance house.  We recommend BZ Rights and Permissions in NYC.
Have you run into legal troubles with production music that was not royalty free? Share some of your horror stories.

July 08, 2013

May 31, 2013

Give Redi-Trax a try and let us know what you think

Hi everyone.  I hope you'll try our new Redi-Trax waveform search portal.  It takes a little time to get to know but once you get the hang of it, it is a powerful new music search tool.  I've put in over 40 hours just playing with it.  I promise, it will be worth the effort.  Try just the SonicSearch function.  Sometimes the results are flat out amazing.  Other times you can add a keyword to focus and refine.  I find that one of the system's greatest uses is doing internal comparison searches of music that's already in the libraries.  Of course you can drag and drop a tune of your choice.  Try to keep the sample short if you can.  And remember, when you find a tune or tunes that you want to download, simply jot down the 5 digit Tele-Trax Code (catalog #) and enter them into the Search by Tele-Trax Code field on our individual download site www.dawnmusic.com.  From there you can download or add to a playlist if you like.   Most important, have fun.  Sound design shouldn't be just a job.

Leading Royalty-Free Music Provider, CSS Music, Debuts Redi-Trax Waveform Searching Technology

Leading Royalty-Free Music Provider, CSS Music, debuts Redi-Trax Waveform Searching technology. CSS Music continues to help users find the perfect track with innovative search program.

Los Angeles, CA, May 28, 2013

CSS Music, a leader in royalty free production music has introduced Redi-Trax Waveform Analysis. Redi-Trax is a music recognition program that helps users find the “perfect” tune. With Redi-Trax, users import a sample of the kind of music they are looking for in the CSS Music library, Redi-Trax then provides good alternatives for the tune.

Redi-Trax Music Waveform Searching allows users to drag and drop a song into a search field and with the touch of a button, instantly find a credible sound-alike tune. Up until now, users were required to either know their music library like the back of their hand or have the services of a music supervisor, but now thanks to mathematical algorithms, a song can be imported into a search system and used to create a “3-D” model or digital wrapper that along with meta tag specifics focuses and refines a search, bringing back results that imitate the original sample.
As with any form of technology there is the chance of error.

The results are largely dependent on the size of the body of music being searched, the accuracy of the original keyword assignments by human beings and the ability of the user to accurately interpret and categorize a music sample. However, when the best of meta tag keyword searching is combined with a form of music recognition technology used to identify music being performed on broadcast venues the results can be amazing.

“I honestly don’t think music supervisors have anything to fear from Redi-Trax or music recognition in general,” says CSS Music Marketing Director, Mike Fuller. “I know some wags have referred to this technology as ‘A Music Supervisor in a Can’ but that really isn’t anywhere near the case. In the hands of a knowledgeable user Redi-Trax can provide good results. But it isn’t a magic button. It is a lot of fun though and I invite everyone to come play with it. Sound design should be fun not just a job.”

About CSS Music:

Established in 1982 in Los Angeles, CA, CSS Music is a royalty-free music company with a library of more than 12,000 tracks. CSS Music provides royalty free music and sound FX for film, video and television producers. CSS is dedicated to working with music supervisors, editors, directors and producers to meet their creative needs.

For more information on CSS Music visit www.cssmusic.com