CrucialCustom - Music Licensing, Advertising & Marketing Blog - Film


How Close is Too Close: Licensing and the Law

April 3, 2017

For this week’s blog we thought we’d take a look at an issue that’s equally important to music supervisors AND artist – copyright law. When it comes to music, how close is too close? We’re all familiar with at least a few examples of artists getting into legal trouble after recording a song that closely resembles another. Recently we’ve heard about Led Zeppelin being accused of plagiarism by the band Spirit, Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” being compared with Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down,” and probably the most complex instance, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” cutting it too close to Marvin Gaye’s “Gotta Give It Up.”

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Oscar Music 2017

February 24, 2017

Posted in: Music, Film

It’s that time again! Oscar weekend is upon us, with this year’s show featuring a typically stellar lineup of nominees. But compared to previous years, music is in a more featured role this time around, primarily due to one film – Damien Chazelle’s colorful La La Land (whose music we’ve covered in more detail here). The last musical nominated for an Oscar was Les Miserables back in 2012 – and it seems that the genre was dearly missed by Oscar voters, given the 14 nominations that went to La La Land.


Licensing Lessons from La La Land

January 20, 2017

Posted in: Music, Film

A few weeks ago, the Hollywood Foreign Press voters awarded a whopping 7 Golden Globes to Damien Chazelle’s Los Angeles musical romance, La La Land. The film has been a hit with audiences and critics alike, hitting over $130 million in sales (as of this writing) on a budget of only $30 million. La La Land proved that America still has an appetite for great music, original stories, and of course, two megastars with amazing chemistry.


The DOJ Music Licensing Ruling, Explained

September 20, 2016

Posted in: Composers, Film, Music

If you haven’t been keeping up with music licensing news (let’s be honest, it’s not glamorous, and it’s often complicated), you may be blissfully unaware of the battle between performing rights organizations (such as BMI and ASCAP) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The dispute affects anyone who’s even remotely connected to music licensing – composers, clients, venues, advertisers, filmmakers, and music fans. It’s important to know the facts on the issue, if not to join the fight, then to be aware of how it might affect your future as a licensor or licensee.


How to Use Source Music: 5 Lessons from Classic Film

May 23, 2016

Posted in: Music, Film

In the world of TV and film, background music is used in a variety of ways. In a broad sense, we can divide music into what film theorists call diagetic and non-diagetic music. Diagetic music is part of the reality of the scene. It is what the character hears and occasionally reacts to in the moment. Non-diagetic music is heard only by the audience. This includes the film’s score, as well as songs that play over the picture as an expression of emotion, tone, or narrative.

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