OK - back in August 2020, I really wanted to record the piano piece Canon de Noel for a Christmas album I was putting together. Canon de Noel, a combination of Pachelbel’s Canon and the Christmas carol, The First Noel, was composed / arranged by the wonderful contemporary composer and pianist Joseph Martin . Mr. Martin is also the Director of Sacred Publications at Shawnee Press, Inc. – the publisher that holds the copyright to this music.
When you wish to release a recording of a copyright-protected musical composition in an audio-only format, it is absolutely necessary to obtain the appropriate license for the rights to do this. Under Section 115 of the Copyright Act, anyone is entitled to record and distribute a musical piece that has already been released publically by another artist, irrespective of the copyright owner’s permission. This type of license is referred to as a compulsory mechanical license, and is obtained by submitting to the copyright owner a Notice of Intent to Obtain a Compulsory License and abiding by Section 115 licensing and accounting (royalties) regulations. Fortunately, there exist licensing services that can acquire the compulsory mechanical license for you, and these services are very easy to use and inexpensive. Two agencies that provide such services are:
Harry Fox Agency https://www.harryfox.com
Easy Song Licensing https://www.easysonglicensing.com
Here’s the license I obtained for Canon de Noel :
This license is registered with the International Database of Licensed Music (IDBLM). IDBLM is a free, searchable online database that provides a public record of licensed works and displays proof of licensing.
This seal can be attached to cover artwork, and points to the registered license in the IDBLM database. Alternatively, the link https://www.idblm.org/Pages/Album.aspx?q=266468 can be directly embedded in the music file metadata. The IDBLM entry appears as:
So now I felt “legal” and could proceed to record and mix the Canon de Noel for my Christmas album. The recording of Canon de Noel is freely available for digital download by family, friends, and readers of this Pedal Point Sound website – just click on the Christmas album cover below !
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