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Three easy steps

If you plan to use music in a film, TV or DVD production, there are certain rights you need to clear first.

1
Check what license you need

NCB can license your production in most cases, but there are exceptions when you need to contact the rights holder directly. Find all info below.

2
Fill in the music report

The fee depends on the production category and number of music seconds you use. Fill out the report, send it to us and we’ll send you an invoice.

3
Pay the invoice

You will not receive any additional documents from us, the paid invoice is your license. We will distribute the royalties to the rights holder.

The license you get covers a certain territory. If you later on decide to show the production in other countries not covered by the license – or make copies of your production – you will need an additional license.

How to acquire a music license for film and TV productions

Synchronization license

The use of music in film, TV, video and web production involves synchronization rights. Synchronization refers to the right to use a piece of music together with visual images in a film, video, television show, commercial, or other audio visual production. You need a license for all music that can be recognized in the production, including background music. A license for synchronization is put in place to ensure payment to copyright owners when their music is used.

The synchronization license can be obtained from NCB for most types of Nordic productions. NCB grants these licenses on behalf of composers, authors and other rights holders.  For production categories that cannot be licensed directly by NCB, such as commercials and marketing campaigns, you must contact the rights holder directly.

Master License

This is the right to use an existing recording of a song in your film or TV production. You clear this right with the record label who owns the specific recording you would like to use; see the liner notes of the recording to find out which company this is. Alternatively, you can contact IFPI, who has local offices in all the Nordic countries.

In the absence of a record label, it’s the artists themselves that own the master rights.

What type of production are you planning?

Commissioned music

If you plan to use music that is especially composed for your production, different rules apply in different countries.
  • In Denmark, Norway and Finland we can clear the music rights. Check the fees in the price list of your country, fill in the music report and send it to us.
  • In Sweden, you need to contact the rights holder directly to negotiate permission and price.

Need to find the rights holder?

You can try to find the information using these links: All Music, ASCAP or BMI. If you want us to help you find the information, feel free to contact us.
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Fill in

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Submit

Almost there! Now, just send the music report to your country’s representative.

Denmark av.dk@ncb.dk
Finland av.fi@ncb.dk
Norway av.no@ncb.dk
Sweden av.se@ncb.dk

Standard agreements

Most distributors of audio-visual products have standard agreements with us. In these cases, we charge you license fees twice a year, based on how many copies you have sold.
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Standard agreements

NCB offers three standard agreements for audio-visual products.

NCB’s audio-visual standard agreements are generally the appropriate license for distributors of audio-visual products.

Standard agreement – distribution of audio-visual products

This standard agreement (“2012 Standard Contract – Audio-visual products”) covers the distribution of audio-visual products on DVDs, Blue-ray discs or similar physical formats by way of sale or rental to private consumers. The agreement covers audio-visual products that contain copyright music, but music is not the primary content (e.g. feature films, documentaries, short films etc.).

Standard agreement – Audio-visual products


Additional agreement – distribution of entertainment videos

This agreement is an additional agreement to the “2012 Standard Contract – Audio-visual products”, and it covers the distribution of audio-visual products on DVDs, Blue-ray discs or similar physical formats by way of sale or rental to private consumers.

The additional agreement covers audio-visual products that contain copyright music, where music is the primary content (e.g. musicals, operas, concerts etc.).

Additional agreement entertainment videos


Standard agreement – Karaoke

This standard agreement (“Standard Contract – Karaoke Productions 2006”) covers the distribution of karaoke products on DVDs, Blue-ray discs or similar physical formats by way of sale or rental to private consumers.

The agreement does not include the graphic rights = the lyrics shown during playback of the music. You have to obtain this license from the relevant rights holders (usually the music publisher).

Standard agreement Karaoke

shutterstock_362558078_Additional agreement
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RELATED DOCUMENTS

Documents related to audio-visual products.

Below you will find information about release registration, formats and minimums rates, feature film distributers and plants with NCB standard agreement, as well as related products that are not covered by any standard agreement.

Release registration

You must register all new releases with NCB before they are marketed. There are two ways in which you can register your releases – either using our web-based application (WebCover) or using an Excel spreadsheet.

 

Web-based application (WebCover)

Using WebCover makes it easy to:

  • Report reissues – reuse the information already present in the system.
  • Have a full index of your back catalogue which makes it easier when you need to check your sales report or invoice specification. WebCover also offers you search facilities that extend to releases made by other Nordic record companies – the most recent as well as the very old ones.
  • All products except promotions can be registered in WebCover.
  • In order to use WebCover you must have a user name and a password. If you do not already have access to WebCover, please contact NCB: webcover@ncb.dk
  • On the following links you can find all the necessary instructions as well as login link to the WebCover application:

WebCover login
WebCover guide (updated 2013-11-28)

 

Excel template

  • An alternative to using WebCover is reporting made by using an Excel spreadsheet. NCB has designed a special Excel template for this purpose.
  • Please always use the latest version of the template, which can be downloaded from here:


Formats and minimum rates

Below you will find a list of applicable formats and minimum rates covered by NCB’s standard agreement

Minimum rates 2017
Minimum rates 2016


Feature film distributers and CD/DVD plants with an NCB agreement

Feature film distributors
CD/DVD plants


Covermounts, premiums and kiosk deals (read more)

Covermounts, premiums and kiosk deals are not covered by any of NCB’s standard agreements. Consequently, you will have to apply for a license and pay copyright on a case-by-case basis.

A covermount is a CD or DVD audio bagged with or affixed to a newspaper or magazine and supplied free or against a token amount – e.g. to cover handling, forwarding charges or the like.

A premium product is a CD or DVD audio supplied free with another merchandise or service or against a token amount – e.g. to cover handling, forwarding charges or the like.

A kiosk deal is a CD or DVD audio that is sold together with a newspaper or magazine – usually at a favorable price. The CD or DVD audio cannot be bought separately; however, you can still buy the newspaper/magazine at its ordinary price without the CD/DVD audio.

Application form kiosk deals
Application form covermounts
Licensing terms audio

FAQ

If you wonder how to fill in the music report, check the Explanation tab in the excel document. If you have other questions, check here. Or call us.

What is copyright?

The rights granted by copyright fall into two categories: economic rights and moral rights.

Economic rights give the right holder the opportunity to make commercial gain from the exploitation of his/her work. This would usually be by granting others license to use the work/music piece in another production, e.g. to copy a work, to distribute copies of work or to communicate a video/film to the public.

Moral rights refer to the rights holder’s right to be recognized as the author of a work and the right not to have his/her work subjected to offensive treatment.

Isn’t there such a thing as free music?

The copyright lasts until 70 years after the death of the composer/lyricist. However, there might be new versions of copyright-free music that are still protected. Therefore, you should always contact NCB to make sure.

What is the difference between NCB and the national performance rights societies STIM/TONO/KODA/TEOSTO/STEF?

NCB manages mechanical rights (synchronization, recording and copying rights) and the national societies handle performing rights (the right to perform and communicate the music in public). We explain more here.

When does the rights holder get the money?

We distribute royalties twice a year, in June and December.

How do I know who owns the rights?

You can try to find the information using these links: All Music, Ascap or BMI. If you want us to help you find the information, feel free to contact us.

What is synchronization?

Synchronization refers to the right to use a piece of music together with visual images in a film, television show, commercial, or other audio visual production.

What are master rights?

Master rights refers to the right to use an existing recording of a song (e.g. from a CD) in a production. You can clear this right with the record label who owns the rights to the recording you wish to use.

When do I have to pay mechanical fee?

All productions that contain copyright protected music must be cleared through NCB if digital or physical copies are made (DVD, BluRay, USB, DCPP/KMD-key etc.). NCB collects such a payment on behalf of the rights holder.

Do I also have to pay for background music?

You need a license for all types of protected music that can be heard and recognized in your production. This includes background music.

How much does it cost to use music in my production?

The price depends on the type of production you are making and the amount of music in it. You will find an overview over the different categories in the pricelist. We have fixed prices for all the productions that can be licensed by NCB.