If you plan to use music in a film, TV or DVD production, there are certain rights you need to clear first. NCB can license your production in most cases, but there are exceptions when you need to contact the rights holder directly. See more information below.
When to contact NCB
When you use music in a film, TV or video production, the person who created the music has a right to be compensated. Therefore, you need a license to use the music. In most cases, you can get this license through NCB, and in other cases you need to contact the rights holder directly. Click on your production type in the menu below to find out how to get a license.
When to contact the record company
If you use an existing recording in your production, you need a license from the record company (or artist) that owns the recording/master. If you are unsure of who owns the recording you want to use, you can contact IFPI. If the music is performed in your production, and you do not use someone else’s recording, you do not need to get a master license.
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
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.
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:
Formats and minimum rates
Below you will find a list of applicable formats and minimum rates covered by NCB’s standard agreement
Feature film distributers and CD/DVD plants with an NCB agreement
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.
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.
Commissioned music is music that has been especially composed for a video/film/TV production.
The handling of the synchronization fee is different in each Nordic country. In Denmark, Norway and Finland NCB clears the music rights. Check the fees in the price list of your country. In Sweden, the producer clears the synchronization rights directly with the rights holder.
Existing music is all music that was not created for the production in which it is being used. The handling of the synchronization rights for existing/commercial music is the same in the all the Nordic countries.
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.
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.
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.
We distribute royalties twice a year, in June and December.
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.
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.
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.
You need a license for all types of protected music that can be heard and recognized in your production. This includes background music.
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.