Copyrights and licensing

Fill out the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Documentation

We need to know that you own the rights to reproduce the product you’re ordering. Without a completed IPR form, which we will email to you, we cannot start your order. If you are ordering online, through our Project Center, this is part of the typical check-out process.
Audio Intellectual Property Rights Form
Film/Video Intellectual Property Rights Form

For more information on copyrights, licensing, and intellectual property rights, read below.

A guide to copyrights and licensing

Disc Makers is committed to protecting your intellectual property - your music, film, software, presentations, and any other copyrighted material. That's why we participate in the Content Delivery & Storage Association (CDSA) Anti-Piracy Compliance Program, which protects copyright owners from unauthorized reproduction of their property. We actively help protect your property rights and those of the owners of any third-party material you use on your project.

Questions about Intellectual Property Protection, Copyrights, or Licensing?

While intellectual property rights procedures can sometimes be time-consuming, they are a necessary safeguard to protect the rights of everyone involved in creating digital media. Every legitimate disc manufacturer will require you to prove ownership of all copyrighted material before your discs can be replicated.

We know that obtaining copyrights and licenses can be confusing, so we've put together these step-by-step audio files to help guide you through the process:

Copyrights

Protect your material by reregistering all original work - songs, films, scripts, artwork, software, etc. - with the United States Copyright Office. (http://www.copyright.gov) You automatically own the rights to your creation, but registering it with the Copyright Office is the best way to prove and protect your ownership.

Songwriters may also want to affiliate and license your songs with a performing rights society, like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC to collect performance royalties for your copyrighted songs.

Using samples and other third-party material

Note: If your project contains any material owned by a third-party, Disc Makers cannot begin replication unless you send in a copy of the proper licensing.

If your master contains any form of sampling you are required to purchase Master Use Licensing and include proof-of-purchase with your project. Sampling a portion of another artist's work, regardless of the length, from TV shows, movies, commercial sound bites, or music and video clips of any kind, requires Licensing. The owner will generally request information about the number of discs you are making and the countries where you intend to distribute, and will often charge you a fee.

If you are a musician who has recorded a cover version of someone else’s song, you need to get a mechanical license authorizing you to reproduce their composition. You will have to get a separate license for each song and each format configuration (CD, digital download, ringtone). The prevailing statutory rate is 9.10¢ for songs five minutes or less, or 1.75¢ per minute or fraction thereof over five minutes.

Disc Makers has partnered with Easy Song Licensing, a leading license clearing firm, which offers an easy way to pay for mechanical licenses all in one easy on-line spot. Go here to get started. It really only takes a few minutes to be in compliance.

If you do not own the rights to any content on your master you must also submit a completed Audio Manufacturing Agreement or a contract authorizing you to reproduce the content.

If your master contains third-party software applications, such as Apple QuickTime, Windows Media Player, etc. additional licensing may be required. These applications are the property of the organizations that developed them. Even for freeware or shareware applications, you need a User Distribution License to include them on your project. Most software owners will require you to print their logo, trademark, or copyright symbol on your packaging, inserts, and discs. They may even mandate inclusion of warranty disclaimers and other legal information. Most third-party software, shareware, and freeware companies have downloadable licensing agreements on their websites.

Submit a completed IPR form (Audio and Enhanced CD projects).
Submit a completed IPR form (DVD and CD-ROM projects).

To avoid delays, you must submit the following to Disc Makers with your master:

Copies of the following licenses

  • Master Use License (if your project contains samples of previously released material)
  • User Distribution License (if you are using someone else's software on your disc)

Reminder: Third-party material should be credited on your artwork (for music CDs) or in the on-screen credits (for films on DVD/CD-ROMs).

Copyright and licensing FAQs

I have a few samples on my recording. I've heard that I'm able to include short samples without royalty clearance. Is that true?

No. You need to clear every sample on your recording, regardless of the length of the sample - even if it’s under a second long! Prior to replication, you need to clear all permissions to use each sample on your recording. If you can recognize the original recording (the sample) in any way, you are considered to have taken value. Click here to see what license(s) are required for your project.

If my product is for promotion only and I am not going to sell my product, then do I still have to obtain licensing?

Yes; whether or not you sell a product is not related to securing clearance. Permission is required to use someone else's material, even if it is for promotional purposes only.

I place many reorders on my selections at Disc Makers. Does each selection need to be reviewed and must I include an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) form for every reorder?

If your initial order was placed prior to May 1st, 2000 (the date when our piracy program went into effect) we will need to review your reorder and require a completed Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Form for your Audio or DVD/CD-ROM project. Any order placed on or after May 1st, 2000 falls under our piracy program procedures, and does not need to be reviewed again. Once your order has been reviewed once, it will not be reviewed again.

If my master source is reviewed by Disc Makers and is considered unacceptable under the CDSA program, will my order be canceled?

No, but it may be delayed! Your project manager will explain exactly why it failed and what is needed to bring your project into compliance to proceed with your order. If you are unable to make the necessary changes, or if Disc Makers does not receive the necessary information, your source master will be returned to you and your order will be canceled.

Does the CDSA program include the review of songwriting and publishing rights?

No, but you still must secure these rights prior to replication. You can obtain these rights through our partner Easy Song Licensing.

Are blank Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) forms available on the Internet for me to download?

Yes. Click here to access our Audio Intellectual Property Rights Form or click here to download our Film/Video Intellectual Property Rights Form.