To obtain permission to use a work protected by copyright, you must determine who is the copyright owner of the material you intend to use, contact the owner, and request the right to use the work in the territory and format you intend, and -- in some cases -- pay the owner a fee. Often the most difficult part of this process is finding the owner to ask permission to use the work.
ASCAP's research tool is called the "ACE" system. When you arrive at the ASCAP web site, there is a menu choice at the top of the homepage labeled "ACE on the Web." When you click on this, it will give you a choice to "Query the Database;" choose this option. Next, you will see a box that says "Find." Make sure you put in the complete title of the song and highlight the choice that says "Title." When you find the song you are looking for, click on the publisher name(s) and you will find the contact information
BMI's research tool is called "HyperRepertoire Song Search" and it is at the bottom of the BMI site homepage. Type in the title of the song you are looking for and hit "enter." The default setting for this search tool is the song title. When you find the song you are looking for, click on the publisher name(s) and you will find the contact information.
SESAC's research tool is at the top right side of the SESAC web site's homepage. Click on the word "Repertory." This will lead you to a page about the "Terms of Usage" of the web site. Click on the acceptance line and this will lead you to SESAC's search engine. Type in the song title you are looking for and hit "enter." The default setting for this search tool is the song title. When you find the song you are looking for, click on the publisher name(s) and you will find the contact information.
Asking for permission would be expensive. You'd need permission from the record company that owns the recording and a second company, known as a music publisher, that owns the song. Assuming someone at one of these companies takes your phone call -- a big assumption, unless you disguise your voice as Dave Matthews or some such -- they'd probably demand several thousand dollars for the use.
Last update: 08:48 PM Sunday, November 8, 2009