How do I obtain a license for a song which I want to use in a commercial?
Answer by Ben Perreau:
Quite often people have a song they would like to use but find it cost prohibitive to carry out their original vision. Disclosure: At the company I run,we’re finding a way around this, by establishing what you can get for your budget up front and making it easier to license the music you want whilst working with lots of major publishers, labels, musicians and composers to try to make it possible to access great music more easily.
It’s a confusing environment, what rights do you need and where do you get them from?
If you’re specifically after a Michael Jackson song, and you’re confident you have enough money (I would assume six figures, but I’m not sure which song, for what use and over what period), the next best avenue is to try the publisher directly. They manage the rights to the ‘song’ and have people who can help you work this out, I would start with Sony/ATV, as they control a large portion of the Michael Jackson song estate - in fact they are a company formed as a result of Michael Jackson’s significant interests in music, which at one point included many of the Beatles songs too.
I hope that helps.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. — Theodore Roosevelt