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Main aspects of content licensing
The licensing of karaoke content
has its own specifics.

To understand the process of licensing karaoke content one would need to keep in mind the intellectual property rights associated with this specific content.

Karaoke tracks consist of two copyrightable parts: publishing rights for musical work and neighbouring rights for sound recording.

Publishing rights include author's rights to lyrics and composed music (or notation). Neighbouring rights are associated with performers who recorded the music, resulting in the creation of a phonogram that will accompany the karaoke track.

Legal use of karaoke content involves acquiring both publishing and neighbouring rights for the musical work

Respective publishers need to be contacted and agreements have to be signed for every separate case (more than 10 authors can be involved in the composition of a single song). Last but not least, the right holder for the karaoke phonogram (recorded with reproduction permissions from the authors) needs to be identified and contacted for the purpose of acquiring the neighbouring rights.

It is important to understand that right holders for publishing and neighbouring rights constantly rotate, agreements with authors expire and rights for the same song change ownership. Each and every case needs to be monitored separately as long as the song remains in catalogue.

Agreements with right holders need to include all the necessary information about types of distribution supported by the service, the possibility of sublicensing and geographical restrictions.

You need to include the information about the ways you are going to use the content in your service, about the possible transfer of rights and about the territories your are able to use the content in into the contract.