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Pascua2019

How a Game get permission to use Licensed Music

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13 minutes ago, Gnollrunner said:

We sometimes we had unpaid interns for a whole summer. There was no guarantee of a job after the internship was over. You did work for the company and they made money from your free labor.

As someone that has worked at an executive position as well as running my own companies, I personally detest the idea of an 'intern'. I've seen far too many companies that simply exploit summer students with no intention of hiring them. I know of several companies that cycle through interns with the "potential opportunity for employment", which never materializes. I also have friends who are in executive positions and they also cycle through the "free labour" which I don't agree with. I would sooner hire someone under a junior salary then have someone come to work each day for free while I benefit from their time. I've talked to struggling individuals outside of post-secondary who needed experience and couldn't even pay their bills but a company wanted them to work for free to get that experience as an intern... Not everyone is living at home with mom and dad, or has roommates willing to pay for their upkeep.

I'm not saying all companies take advantage of interns and that all the benefits are fully one-sided, but I've seen enough exploitation to leave a sour taste in my mouth. It's simply not my style. Everyone's time is worth something even at the lowest experience level. I would personally feel bad having anyone coming to work without being compensated financially.

One could still debate if internships should require at least minimum wage which I strongly agree with and should be enforced. Heck, when I started I had to work at the bottom of the pay scale to gain experience. I was offered "internships" before, and kindly declined... I still found work.

Again, this is just my personal opinion on the matter.

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5 hours ago, Rutin said:

Just my opinion, but I honestly think it would be fair that if any person intends on profiting from a project they should at the bare minimum place a clause in their agreement that will give the other parties who provided assets under "exposure" some form of a royalty deal on NET profit.

If you think about this scenario.... You provided voice acting, or music, or graphical assets, ect... and the project you helped to establish then went onto generate millions of dollars in sales but you netted zero due to your 'exposure' deal. I think it would be fair to say you wouldn't feel too great about that.

It would be the right thing to do by having some way to financially compensate parties that helped bring your project to market, and ultimately added to the overall success of that project no matter how big or small.

Just my 2 cents!

I guess all opinions are good but your text makes me another question :

What is the most ussually way to get permission to use songs? Pay once or gives a % of benefits depending the sales ? Or can be both?

Because i cant understand how Rockstar puts hundreds of songs in their games.

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20 minutes ago, Pascua2019 said:

What is the most ussually way to get permission to use songs? Pay once or gives a % of benefits depending the sales ? Or can be both?

Because i cant understand how Rockstar puts hundreds of songs in their games.

I cannot speak for Rockstar Games on how they've setup their deals with the various holders of the music they use.

I've seen a variety of deal structures:

1. Upfront fee + royalties on units sold

2. Upfront fee for single project usage (non exclusive)

3. Yearly fee per year for each song

4. Yearly fee + royalties

5. Royalties only

6. Fee based on (x) units sold

7. Exclusive rights (very expensive)

8. Buying out rights (less common from what I've seen)

(Could vary with elements mixing) - It's not uncommon for music licensing to have time limits which require renewing. This is why you see music removed from older games.

The deals you'll be able to make will depend on who holds the rights. You're going to see much different deals when dealing with smaller entities (even less well known) as opposed to going to a power house like Sony, or getting the hottest track playing in your game.

At the end of the day, popular mainstream music is going to cost a lot and will have many moving parts in your contracts.

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On 11/28/2018 at 12:13 PM, Gnollrunner said:

We sometimes we had unpaid interns for a whole summer. There was no guarantee of a job after the internship was over. You did work for the company and they made money from your free labor

In the USA that is generally not legal under the Fair Labour Standards Act. I know there are similar laws in the UK, and I'm sure those exist in many other jurisdictions. In both cases, for unpaid internships to be legal they have to be carefully orchestrated in concert with the student's university, and not displace a full-time worker you would otherwise have hired.

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1 hour ago, swiftcoder said:

In the USA that is generally not legal under the Fair Labour Standards Act. I know there are similar laws in the UK, and I'm sure those exist in many other jurisdictions. In both cases, for unpaid internships to be legal they have to be carefully orchestrated in concert with the student's university, and not displace a full-time worker you would otherwise have hired.

Nevertheless we had unpaid interns (in the US), and I'm 100 percent sure the company l worked for was within the law given their stature and reputation.

Edited by Gnollrunner

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Sadly there are companies in the US who abuse it.  Usually when caught they face large fines, plus back pay for the person who was abused. As mentioned, to be an unpaid intern there are several legal requirements but the two biggest are that they must be crafted as a learning experience (typically meaning the business must coordinate with a school), they must not do the job of a regular worker or displace a regular worker.

I've been at several companies who had paid interns, students hired on a temporary basis who appear bright and promising. I'm not aware of any unpaid interns, because we expect people to work, even if they are learning while they work.

If you know about abuses, the best thing you can do is report it and encourage the victim to also report it.

 

But getting back on topic of music ...

You generally get what you pay for, although sometimes you get lucky with an unexpectedly catchy song.  Skilled, experienced composers and musicians come with a price tag corresponding with their skill and experience.  I've been places where we paid multiple small bands for music, it was a relatively low cost for the studio but a relatively high amount of money for the gig. We take the songs people like, archive the songs that don't work as well. The musicians were glad to get money, the game company was glad to get music, everybody was satisfied.

On 11/28/2018 at 4:37 PM, Pascua2019 said:

What is the most ussually way to get permission to use songs? Pay once or gives a % of benefits depending the sales ? Or can be both?

Because i cant understand how Rockstar puts hundreds of songs in their games.

The most typical pattern is a one-time payment for either exclusive use (the song belongs to the buyer) or for non-exclusive use (the song ownership stays with the musicians). Exclusive use costs more but ensures the game stays associated with the songs. Non-exclusive is cheaper because the musicians can sell the music many times to many groups. 

Percentage points are nearly always a horrible idea, but if someone decides to do it, they should be for both a fixed amount at the time of service plus a percentage on the back-end. When that happens they tend to accept less than they would with a completely up-front payment, but should still expect that money to cover their costs. Usually you can expect $0 from percentage points, so if the group doesn't make enough from the first payout they need to renegotiate.  If they're lucky they may see a few thousand dollars from royalties over time, maybe more, but should expect $0.

As for Rockstar's volume of music, like most problems, they can become easier when you throw lots of money at them. There are thousands of bands, musicians, and songwriters hunting for their big break. There are organizations and web sites where they meet and communicate. 

Go look at the price tag to develop Rockstar's games.  They crossed the hundred million dollars mark for GTA 4, for GTA 5, for Max Payne 3, for Red Dead Redemption 1. RDR2 likely hit a quarter billion dollars in development alone.

With a budget most easily measured in billions, you can expect several million dollars toward music.  That kind of money can buy a lot of professional work plus an enormous amount of budding amateur talent.  Bring in both.

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Music is a lot like GameDev - it's a business, we create an entertainment product, and after that, it's all about getting exposure - particularly in the music industry: if nobody hears your music, or sees your game, then it's very hard to sell it. At this point in the product development, almost any advertising is good advertising, it's not about making money from the work of others, but I agree that it's important to have a contract which is both mutually beneficial, and states clearly the interests and liabilities of both parties.

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