Types of Copyright Rights
Public Performing Right
The exclusive right of the copyright owner, granted by the Copyright Law, to publicly perform a copyrighted work. For musical works (performance rights organizations — i.e. PRO) issues licenses on behalf of copyright owners affiliated with their organizations granting others the right to perform the work in, or transmit the work to, the public.
The exclusive right of the copyright owner, granted by the Copyright Act, to authorize the reproduction of a musical work as in a record, cassette or CD. For musical works, the issues what are known as “mechanical” licenses on behalf of copyright owners granting others (usually a record company) the right to reproduce and distribute a specific composition at an agreed upon fee per unit manufactured and sold.
Derivative Work Right
The exclusive right of a copyright owner to make other works that utilize major parts or components of his or her work. Think remixes, mashups or videos. For example, when a producer wants to incorporate someone’s copyrighted musical work into a visual work like a movie, the producer needs to obtain a synchronization license to synchronize the musical composition in timed relation with audio-visual images on film or videotape.
Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings
Sound Exchange along with Record Companies license the exclusive rights on behalf of copyright owners in a sound recording (which is separate from the copyright in the underlying musical works that) under Copyright Law to authorize many digital transmissions (e.g., Internet streaming).
There are two types of licenses for digital streaming of a sound recording:
- The license to use the music composition embodied in the sound recording. Acquired from the PROs.
- The license to digitally broadcast the sound recording of the musical composition. Acquired from Sound Exchange.
Can DJs use Spotify: Is it legal to DJ with Spotify?
The work of a DJ has become more complex over the years, at least in the legal aspects of it. That’s because, unlike in the past when a DJ could get music through tapes and CDs from artists and their affiliates, most music is now released online. Platforms pretty much own most of the music released nowadays. The increased dominancespecifically, then leads to the question.
This is a tough question and there may not be a direct answer to it. That’s because, as per the terms and conditions, you cannot use music from to DJ. The terms and conditions state that, “the company only grants you a limited, revocable license to use their content for non-commercial purposes.” In other words, you can use their content to DJ for your own entertainment, but not for the use at commercial gigs. But here is where it gets interesting. Spotify does allow the use of its music within certain DJ software. These are App, djay 2 and djay pro. This means that you have expanded rights to music entertainment, when using their music on these DJ software programs. These rights emanate from the fact that they have exclusive agreements with these specific companies. With such selective rights to usage, it is difficult to tell, on which side of the law you are on when you DJ using music.
Do DJs Have To Pay For Their Music?
So, do DJs have to pay for their music?
Absolutely. DJs have to purchase the singles, albums, tracks and anything else that they plan to alter and include in their mixes. However, besides this legal purchase, they may or may not need a specific license that allows them to play copyrighted music in front of a large crowd. Several countries impose this law, making DJs pay a fee for this digital license, and others do not, as the location and associations responsible for the even have to pay them instead.
In several countries, the law is very specific about the type of payment DJ need to make to acquire the digital license. This fee qualifies them to play, copy and alter tracks from any copyrighted material, including CDs, vinyl, cassettes, digital recordings, and other media. They can also legally copy these to a digital audio player, hard drive, mp3 player, etc… In these countries, DJs must acquire this permission before starting their professional career that implies using copyrighted music for their mixes.
When it comes to the US, DJ’s don’t have to pay for this permit to play the music. Of course, they still need to keep it legal and purchase all the tracks they plan to use, but there’s no need for the digital license. Venues such as restaurants, halls, or clubs, are the ones who pay for the DJ’s rights to play music. There are the so-called Performing Rights Organizations, in short PROs, that act like a middle man between the music producers, songwriters, artist, and the venue that wants to play their music. In the US, such organizations are… After they pay their fees to the music’s respective owners, the venues are now allowed to play it for the crowd. When a DJ works for such a place, they are also automatically allowed to play these tracks without paying any fee.
BeatStars is one of the biggest and most popular sites for DJ/producers looking for beats because it’s an online marketplace for hip-hop and bass instrumentals. Budding beatsmiths and professionals upload their music here looking to sell or license them to MCs and vocalists looking for instrumentals to rap or sing over.
It’s hot right now because there are a lot of respected producers and beatmakers on the platform selling quality beats for cheap. One story is of the young rapper who bought a beat on it for $30, recorded a vocal at home and put the song out on the internet.
How to get free music on BeatStars
The best part is that while the beats here are cheap, there are also lots of free downloads to be had. The quickest way is to go to the Tracks menu at the top of the screen, and then click on “Free Beats”. This brings up a big list of all the tracks you can grab for free in exchange for an email address or a follow on BeatStars (it has a social feature similar).
Another way to go about it is to just click on a playlist you like: the BeatStars interface feels like browsing through (smart!) so you have different playlists based on mood and genre. Once you pick a playlist, the beats will show up and you can pick out the ones that are free because they’ve got a download icon beside them. All you need to do is to click it and enter an email or follow the beatmaker on BeatStars to grab the instrumental.
Pros: Hot site now for hip-hop beats and instrumentals, thriving marketplace and community
Cons: Hip-hop and bass music-focused selection may leave those looking for house / techno and EDM out in the cold
How Many Songs Should I Have in My DJ Set Library?
It is often a safe measure to preselect twice as many songs in your library then you plan on playing during your DJ set. You can only play a maximum amount of songs in a DJ set but it is important to have more songs as a backup for when you want to switch energy levels or genres. There are multiple places where DJs get their music from. So if you want to enlarge your DJ set library feel free to take a look at the article.
It is important to think about what you are going to play at your DJ set and to keep in mind what you might play based on what the crowd wants at the time.
So, take the amount of songs you are going to be playing per hour based on the genres you are going to play and multiply them by 2 or 3 times. This way you are prepared for every change that might happen when playing live. Just enter the artist name, genre or custom tag you gave your songs to quickly find them and mix them in.