Easy Music Licensing

I don’t do much video work now, but when I did, music was always an unfortunate issue. The boundaries were unclear when it came to educational/non-profit work, “free” music wasn’t really free, and even when one was willing to spend the money for a license, the process was prohibitively confusing.

Nearly three years ago, in a post titled iTunes Pro, I suggested that someone make it easy to license music for production use. This hasn’t happened yet. But, I was happy to hear on a recent episode of This Week in Media that at least one artist, Moby, has stepped up and explicitly allowed a portion of his catalog to be used for free by independent non-profit filmmakers. And for those who want the music for commercial use? Moby offers an “easy license,” with all revenue going to the Humane Society. I’m not sure about the details of this license (site requires registration), but anything “easy” is a step in the right direction.

On a side note, I also wish there was an easy way for small-time producers (meaning anyone with at least one original piece of content, whether it’s a video, song, book, or thingamajig) to sell downloads. I’ve heard of a few services that come close, but nobody does it quite right yet.

After these problems are sorted out, all we need are online haircuts. Then I’ll be satisfied.

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