Music Industry Resources:
•        The American Music Center
•        Hollywood Reporter - Music listings
•        IMMEDIA - Australian music resource covers the Asian/Pacific music industry
•        Indiana University Music Page - links to scholarly resources, labels, stores, etc
•        International Alliance for Women in Music
•        International Country Music Association
•        The Music Business Journal
•        Music Educators National Conference
•        National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences (NARAS) (U.S.)
•        National Association of Recording Merchandisers (U.S.)
•        Pollstar - Online tour information
•        RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America
•        The Texas Music Office
Music Industry Organizations:
•        The Recording Academy (NARAS)
•        The Recording Academy - Producers + Engineers Wing
•        AES- Audio Engineering Society
•        ASCAP: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
•        BMI
•        CMA World- Country Music Association
•        H.E.A.R. | Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers
•        NAB- National Association of Broadcasters
•        NAMM
•        Recording Industry Association of America
•        SMPTE
•        SPARS- The Society of Professional Audio Recording Services
What is the difference between leased soundtracks and performance tracks like I buy online or at the local bookstore to sing with?

Performance tracks are typically tapes or CDs that can be bought for performance purposes. (Usually to sing along with for public
performance). Most often these soundtracks are purchased from Christian bookstores or distributors. Typically, it is illegal to use
performance tracks for recording purposes. To use the soundtrack for recording purposes you'd need to get a lease agreement
that may cost as much as $175 per song or more.
Our goal at is to provide soundtrack leasing for much less.

If I order a custom soundtrack will leasing fees still be due or are they included in the custom soundtrack price?

When you have a CUSTOM SOUNDTRACK created you have ownership in it therefore you don't have to pay a lease fee to
yourself to use it. However you may partner with to lease it to others. This provides a great possibility for
return on the investment of having a custom track made.
Licenses, Legals, Information
A Master Use License allows you to legally use an accompaniment track in an audio or
video project that you do not own.  They can be obtained from the owner of the master
recording which is usually a record company.  It is recommended that you obtain the master
use license prior to requesting a mechanical license.

A Mechanical License allows you to legally record someone else's song.  This is usually
obtained through the publishing company which is listed on the CD or insert, usually followed
by the name of the performing rights society the publisher is affiliated with (ASCAP, SESAC,
or BMI).  A call to one of these organizations or a search on their webpage can help you find
the publisher.

Royalties - Once the publisher is located, you explain that you intend to record X number of
copies of their song and request a mechanical license for the song you are recording.  The
publisher or their agent will then issue the license along with a bill at the current royalty rate
($.091 or 9.1 cents per copy) times the number of CDs you will be selling.  

If the song you are recording is a very old traditional song, the copyright may be expired, as in
the case of "Amazing Grace."  These songs are considered
Public Domain, meaning that
they are open to the public to record and licensing is not required.  However, check each song
to determine the copyright status.
If you are the songwriter, all you need to do to establish a legal copyright is affix a
copyright notice on your recording (© YOUR NAME 2008).  The revised Copyright Law of
1976 states that a songwriter legally owns the copyright to his/her song the moment the song
is written.  Experienced songwriters often wait until their songs are completed and ready to be
published or released commercially before filing formal copyrights with the U.S. Copyright
To find out who owns a copyright, contact:

U.S. Copyright Office (you can search their database for copyrighted songs by title or author)

BMI - 212-586-2000, or 1-800-925-8451

ASCAP - 212-321-6160

SESAC - 212-586-3450

Church Copyright Administration
Harry Fox Agency


To apply for a copyright, contact:

Library of Congress Copyright site

To learn more about Copyrights contact:

•        Musicians' Intellectual Law & Resources Links
•        The Music Law office
•        Copyright & Fair Use (Stanford University Library)
•        Kohn on Music Licensing
•        Library of Congress
•        U.S. Copyright Office

Copyright law resources:
•        Berne Convention (International Copyright Treaty)
•        Canadian Copyright Law
•        International Intellectual Property Alliance
•        World Intellectual Property Organization
Songwriting resources:
•        American Songwriter Magazine
•        Great American Song Contest
•        International Songwriters Association
•        Nashville Songwriters Assocation International
•        Seth Jackson's Songwriting and Music Business Page
•        Society of Swedish Composers
•        SongLink International - An industry resource for music publishers and songwriters
•        Songwriters Association of Canada
•        Songwriters Association of Washington
•        Songwriters Guild of America
•        Songwriters Resource Network
These links are provided for their educational value. Our link to any company or organization is not an endorsement of
their products.  We have not checked every single page on these sites for their accuracy or their content, nor have we
checked the links to other web sites that these companies have made available. If you should find anything on any of
these sites that is objectionable or technically inaccurate, please bring it to our attention as quickly as possible.
Everyone who is involved in music needs help sooner or later
with copyrights, music licensing, songwriting and publishing.
Here is an excellent collection of resources to help you!
(May be looked at as permission to use someone's sound or audio) If you hire studio musicians to
play on your album then you have paid the musicians and studio to make the sound and you have
ownership in the audio being used. Typically you then own that audio recording of the musicians
playing. That audio soundtrack is yours. This does not free you from the obligation of mechanical
licensing which is permission to use someone's song or arrangement. But you do not have to worry
about infringing on someone by using their 'sound' or 'audio' without permission.

If, however, you use a pre-made soundtrack to record with you would be infringing if you did not get
permission to do so from the owner. Most companies such as Daywind, Christian World, Benson
etc...require that you pay a leasing fee to use their audio for a recording. This is why you see the
disclaimer on the store bought performance tracks saying that this recording should not be used for
recording purposes. They usually also supply a contact number where you can lease "master tracks"
etc...Usually runs about $175 per song.

Servant Music is similar to other leasing companies in that we lease master track recordings of
songs for recording purposes. Our prices are much lower and half of the profit goes to the Christian
artist or studio that partnered with us to create the sound track. We also provide custom soundtrack
creation services allowing you to become owners of sound recordings. With Servant Music you now
have the possibility of leasing the sound recording to others for use in the future if you like.
There are two common ways in which you may infringe on someone's rights when recording and
distributing music: Using someone's song (writing or arrangement) without permission or using
someone's sound recording (audio) without permission.

1. MECHANICAL LICENSING - permission from the copyright holder (usually the writer or publisher
who hold the copyrights to a song). (In other words "Permission to Use Someone's Song") This
usually costs $0.091 per song, per copy of the song that you distribute at the time of this writing.
This can be obtained by contacting the writer or publisher and requesting the mechanical rights
agreement. They may refer you to a company that handle this service for them such as the Harry
Fox agency. But it's usually cheaper to go directly with the publisher or writer if possible.
The two most FAQs