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How obtain a remix license
Old 18th October 2016
Gear Nut
🎧 5 years
How obtain a remix license

Hi Steffi and Martyn

There has been a growing trend over the past few years of electronic "bedroom" producers finding acapellas of popular songs, remixing them and uploading the remixes to soundcloud or youtube.

I'm sure a lot of these remixes are not authorised by the rights holders of the original recordings but maybe some are. If I did want to obtain a license to remix a popular song, is there a system I could use for doing this? Would I just have to contact the label directly?

Also, is it possible to obtain a license to actually put the remix on itunes, spotify etc for sale/stream under the remixer's artist name?

Finally, are there any serious repercussions that could arise as a result of doing an unlicensed remix?

Old 18th October 2016
Special Guest
martyn3024's Avatar
Hi thanks for the question...
To be really honest with you .. I have no idea how licensing for remixes work in the cases you describe. My attitude towards remixing in general has changed quite a bit from when I started, as I'm sure you have noticed the "value" of a remix also has changed quite drastically over the years.

First of all, unauthorized remixes - I just don't like them. No one's asked you to do a remix so leave someone else's work alone. I wouldn't appreciate it either if someone would take my hard work and do a remix of it without asking or checking what I think of the end result. Also, typically, the artist being remixed is always "bigger" than the remixer, in other words, you hitch hike on someone else's reputation or fame which I don't think is fair. To take it a step further and also make money off of an unauthorized mix, well... Spend your time trying to write original material, and you will sleep better at night

Secondly, I have done my fair share of remixing, some of the results I am very proud of, others maybe not so, but one thing I have learned is that if you put a lot of energy into writing a good remix, you almost always give away a great idea that you could've used for yourself. Personally, I rather use all my ideas for original work as Martyn (or as Doms & Deykers) instead of something useful disappearing on the B2 side of some remix package from someone you didn't really like in the first place but you said yes to cos they offered some quick $.. Of course not all remixing is like that, ometimes you share a common vibe with peers and its fun to work on each other's projects.. but I definitely want to stay far away from "PR remixes" ..

Hope this helps!
Old 18th October 2016 | Show parent
Gear Nut
🎧 5 years
Originally Posted by martyn3024 ➡️
Hi thanks for the question...
To be really honest with you .. I have ..........snip.........want to stay far away from "PR remixes" ..

Hope this helps!

Thanks very much for the reply.
<post edited by moderator: no general questions pls? thanks>
Old 19th October 2016
Special Guest
destefster's Avatar
this is quite complicated question yes.

it all depends of the deal the original artist has with the recordlabel. most of the time the label signs for like 10 years and that means all license requests go through the recordlabel. of course a decent record label decides together with the artist but it also happens with major labels that sometimes the artist has no control over it anymore because of their contract so their song can be covered by somebody when the recordlabel agrees without consulting the artist.

most of the time these youtube 'edits' are not 'cleared' and it an unofficial mix. see if nobody earns any money of it then most of the time people get away with it but as soon as you start to sell your edit/remix without permission then you are in the red zone. it happened to me with a track from my first album called yours. it was remixed somebody and the sample/voice wasn't officially cleared and they pressed it on vinyl even! it was a lot of hassle to get all the records from the shelves and unfortunately its still for sale on discogs. its a shame because if you contact the label, there might be a big chance that people are actually willing to listen to your idea, unless you are trying to use a sample from a major pop artist ;-) money makes the world go round
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