Synchronization rights are a subcategory of publishing
rights. It includes the right to re-record and sync a particular musical composition with visual
elements in your game. There is no compulsory license for synchronization rights: mutual agreement needs to
be reached. Sync licenses do not fall under statutory law. In the USA, a sync license can generally be obtained
via the Harry Fox Agency. Usually a flat fee must be paid to use the song for a particular period
of time. This is an important part of the music clearance process.
In case you want to combine audio and video in your project and use the original recording you'll
also need a master recording license. Generally, the sync license is obtained from the owner of the
publishing (artist or publisher), while the master recording license is obtained from the owner of
the master rights, usually being the record company. This also depends on the
types of music used in a particular game.
In some countries music contractual arrangements must be made directly with the
copyrightholder, usually the songwriter or a publisher, in other countries a license
needs to be obtained via the copyrightholder's performance rights organization (only if the owner of
the publishing rights is affiliated of course).
When you are on a tight budget you can choose to use a cover version of the song instead of the
original hitparade version: in this case just a sync license is needed, no master recording
license. Other negotiation points are prominence of the song, length of the segment, territory and future
For more information about synchronization rights, our services and rates contact us or email
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