Music Licensing | What Is a Mechanical License?
Copyright isn’t exactly the fun part of creating, but it’s important to be aware of. Find out what a mechanical license is, and when you might need one here!
No, it’s actually got nothing to do with whatever is under the bonnet of your car.
We’ve talked a lot about sync licensing here already. I mean, it’s to be expected, right? For content creators, it’s an important area of copyright to know about. At Synchedin, we’re determined that creators from all walks of life should be able to obtain sync licenses for music, so they can use it in their video projects.
We also want to make copyright and the business side of music easy to understand. It’s important, whatever type of creating you do, to understand the legalities of music, video, art, and just about anything creative. This empowers you to make decisions, protect yourself, but also enjoy creating without fear of reproach.
Now, if you aren’t a musician, this may not apply to you. But, there’s no such thing as useless knowledge, in truth. You may have heard of master rights, which refers to the copyright of a musical recording. This is symbolised with the letter P in a circle, which you may have seen on physical formats of music.
Compositional rights are represented with a C, and cover the songwriting aspect of a piece of music.
A mechanical license relates to the reproduction of a song. This is in terms of the composition, not the sound recording. What does this mean, exactly?
A mechanical license allows you to cover a track. You can take the composition and reimagine it, and record it yourself. However, it does not allow you to use any of the original audio. You couldn’t remaster someone else’s track or use samples of it in your cover. If you wanted to do that, you would need a master license.
When it comes to releasing a cover, you can distribute to some stores without a mechanical license. This depends on who you distribute through, though.
Our official partner RouteNote enables you to release covers to Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, and more without a mechanical license. However, with a mechanical license, you can release to any store you like in all territories.