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What is custom licensing?

When your project demands more than basic cover song licensing, Easy Song’s Custom Licensing services are the answer. One payment of $129 for Custom Assistance gets you everything you need to submit your requests to the copyright owners and clear the rights you need. Choose Custom Handling for $179 and we process the request for you.

Is custom licensing required for cover songs?

Usually not. Most cover songs can be easily obtained in 1-2 business days for a small fee of $16.99 or less (Check out our cover song licensing services). However, if you change the lyrics, the fundamental melody (general rearrangement is allowed however), or otherwise don't fit within the compulsory law limitations, custom licensing is necessary.

Do I need a custom license?

If you use music that other people created, no matter how you use it, you need to get a license. This is true even if you are giving away your project for free, or if it's for a non-profit. No matter the use, we can help you get the permission you need. There are two scenarios we handle:

For cover songs, if any of the following apply, you need a custom license:

  • Changed the lyrics or melody (more than general rearrangement).
  • Want to use a song that has never been released.
  • Want to license retroactively (a release that happened in the past).
  • Want to release for any purpose other than private listening (performance, karaoke).
  • Want to license an international song, not copyrighted in the United States.
  • Learn about the compulsory law where these limitations come from.

If your cover song fits within the Compulsory Law (in other words, none of the above apply), you don't need a custom license: Click here to start your cover song licensing. If any of the above apply, or if you require some other use (see below), you need a custom license.

Please note that as a result of legislative changes from the Music Modernization Act, interactive audio streams are no longer available for licensing through our Cover Song Licensing service. In some cases they remain available via our Custom Licensing services. Please contact us for details.

For all of the following, you need a custom license:

  • non-compulsory cover songs,
  • video (including YouTube),
  • existing audio recordings,
  • music notes or lyrics,
  • theatrical productions,
  • parodies, and
  • songs that have never been released.
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