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Royalty free music

What does GEMA-free mean?

Generally GEMA-free refers to music whose right of use is not licensed via GEMA, but directly at the author or their representatives. The collecting society GEMA (Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte) can therefore not make any claims on royalties; therefore no payments to GEMA fall due. It is important to note, that in order to be GEMA-free, simply not registering a title to GEMA is not sufficient. When a composer is a member of GEMA, the rights of use are automatically transferred to GEMA by contract - regardless of whether the track itself has been registered. All titles available at Sonic Liberty have previously cleared for the offered types of usage; meaning that you obtain sync-rights as well as master-rights for the respective usage from one source. GEMA will not collect any additional fees. If you'd like to license any music for TV or radio (aside from advertising), please contact us as license@sonicliberty.com.

What is the difference between GEMA-free and royalty-free?

GEMA-free is not to be confused with royalty-free. Royalty-free pieces of music can still be represented by GEMA in regard to certain rights. Therefore "royalty free" simply refers to an exemption from regular payments for multiple or continues usages of a work. The music at Sonic Liberty is GEMA-free as well as royalty-free. In many other cases, performance rights are not part of royalty-free licenses and have to be obtained via the appropriate collecting society. This means that in order to use a royalty-free title, one must pay a one-time amount to the royalty-free provider for the creation of the track; afterwards however the performance or presentation have to be resolved via the associated collecting society.

Does royalty-free mean free of cost?

No - royalty free (or license free) music is not to be confused with public domain or simply "free" music. Royalty-free music generally refers to the unrestrained temporal and areal acquisition of usage rights. This is the case for most of the types of licenses we offer - although it is not free (of cost), it is GEMA-free as well as royalty-free.