Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Sep 25, 2011

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Simply call the performance rights organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC to determine the owner(s) of any song(s) you want to sample.

Once you get the address of the copyright owner(s), write or fax over your proposal to the owners or their licensing agent. If this does not work, try contacting Warner Bros. Publications or Hal Leonard, Inc. They are owners or agents of many copyrights of different publishing companies and are good at responding to inquires.

When negotiating a “sampling license,” remember you must secure two licenses: (1) a mechanical license from the record company (which owns the sound recording); and (2) a licence from the writer/publisher (which owns the underlying song).

(Reprinted with permission of Ruben Salazar, Esq.)