Help & FAQs

General

What is a music license?

A music license allows you to use an artist's music within your film or video. Regardless of whether a film or video is intended for personal use, for business or non-profit use, or for any other kind of use, anytime you use someone's music within a films or video you must have a license. A license gives you legal and official permission to use an artist's music for your project.

Why should I create a User Account?

A Marmoset user account is sort like opening the door to The Land of Oz. The air is crisper and the colors just a bit more saturated. And there are also these other awesome features:

  • Scratch Tracks: Low resolution MP3's are available for you to download as scratch tracks to try out in your edits and present to your fellow creatives and clients. Once you get everyone's approval, you come back and get the proper license.

  • Mixtapes: Save them, share them, download them. With a user account, you can save and organize as many mixtapes as you want. You can also download them (as low-res scratch tracks) and share them with others. It's sorta like we're giving you the keys to the Millennium Falcon if, you know, the Millenium Falcon used keys.

  • Everlasting download links. Your account will retain the download information so you can come back and find the song again, come hard drive failure or lost e-mail links.

  • User History and Saved User Preferences. We'll remember your contact information, your play history, purchase history, all of your mixtapes, and even your favorite flavor of ice cream. Basically, your account learns about you as you use it and continually optimizes things to meet your preferences. Cool, huh?

  • As a registered user, you'll be the first to know about new music, new artists, special offers, news, and parties. And who doesn't like a good party?

I'd love to pull full credits in my film for the artist, what should this look like?

That's pretty awesome of you. Here's what we would suggest as the basics:

  • Song Title

  • By Artist

  • Music courtesy of Marmoset in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

Artists

How can I become an artist with Marmoset?

Marmoset is a community of like minded artists who pay special mind to their craft. Together, we have a sound and a style that cannot be copied or replicated. The Pacific Northwest is our home and our hearts are the filter through which all things go. Whether it's recorded in a bathroom, basement or a professional recording studio, each song is an authentic representation of the spirit of the artist. If you think you understand our ethos and would make a worthy addition, you can drop us a line. Please let us know what inspires you. Tell us the things you care most deeply about in life. Share some of your music with us - something that best represents your original creations. If we find it to be a good fit, we'll be in touch.

What resolution should I submit my tracks in?

Please submit music in the highest resolution you have available. AIFFs and WAVs are great examples of high-res file types that are easy to work with.

How can I become a custom composer with Marmoset?

Generally speaking, we tend to discover and develop our own talent. But we’re always open to hearing from new people who understand and appreciate our unique sound and approach to things. If you’d like to say hello and share your work with us, please send us one comprehensive e-mail that includes the best examples of work you have produced, composed, performed, and mixed on your own. Ideally, these would all be videos. Also, tell us about your approach to scoring music to picture and why you are good at it. Tell us who you are as an artist, and why you feel like you’d fit in well with Marmoset. If we think you can hang, we’ll be in touch.

Customized Licenses

Sacrebleu! The Click Licenses don’t cover the scope of my project. Now what?

Not to worry, it’ll be ok. We can craft a license for any possible use and project imaginable. If you can dream it, we can make it happen. Share the specific project details with us and we’ll get the ball rolling on custom-crafting a license to meet your needs.

How long does my customized license last?

Because custom licenses are built just for you, you can opt for the perpetual lifespan if that is what your film calls for, or narrow it right down to, say, 6 months if that is the only coverage you need.

Music Supervision

What is Music Supervision?

Music Supervision is our super power. It’s our supernatural ability to find the perfect soundtrack for your story or project. We’ll search through our roster. We’ll search outside of our roster. We’ll scour the entire planet and we’ll leave no stone unturned. We’ll also turn searches and music clearances into an easy and enjoyable experience for you. You say jump, we’ll already be mid-air.

Do you offer music clearances for songs by artists not in your catalog?

Yes we do. We can track down and clear any song you want on the planet. In short time, this might also extend into the solar system.

Original Scores

Why would I go with an original score over an existing piece of music?

Original Scores are a more immersive collaboration between you and us. Think of it as a suit being custom tailored to fit your body perfectly. When you give us the opportunity to be inspired by the story you are telling, the music will hit the right notes at the right times and establish the perfect musical narrative for your film.

We have produced more tracks for TV, film, and advertising than there are umbrellas in Portland. We are flexible, ask the right questions, and help you tell your story in a meaningful way.

How does the process work?

Most of the time when our clients reach out to us with a new project, they get the ball rolling with a creative brief summarizing some high-level thoughts about the needs and details of their project. This often includes:

  • A synopsis of the emotions and moments that need to be accentuated.

  • References to films and songs that resonate with the project.

  • Background of the story or project.

  • Any available creative assets including scripts, boards, rough cuts, etc.

  • Details about the intended use, timeline, budget, etc.


We always have thoughts and questions to continue the dialog and creative exploration. Once we understand your objective and the needs of your project, we can develop a timeline and ready the horses.

We typically begin composing during post-production. Sometimes we compose based on broad-strokes direction from our client so an editor has the opportunity to respond to our music. Other times, we don’t start writing until after the picture is locked. In this case, our clients are editing to a pre-existing piece of music that half works, and we are entrusted to craft the perfect sound or song. Our work tends to happen more effortlessly when we have the picture locked, but we will always accommodate your specific workflow needs.

Creating an entirely new piece of music for my story would be perfect, but how will it affect my timeline?

We know production is very fast-paced, and we are committed to helping our clients stay one step ahead. Once we receive your brief, we usually need 3 - 5 business days to work our magic. We are accustomed to our clients’ need for agility and speed, so revisions to the music we create for you can be managed very quickly as well. The golden rule of timelines is: the more of a heads up you give us, the faster we can accommodate your needs.

How many revisions do I get?

In most cases, revisions are included in the overall fee. Generally, we are accustomed to doing up to 3 or 4 rounds of revisions. But at the end of the day, we are in it to win it, and we won’t settle for anything less than the perfect soundtrack.

Can you custom score a song that sounds like [this track] by [famous so-and-so] that I can't afford to budget into my project but really want?

The short answer is no. Musicians tend to get very very unhappy when they hear their work being ripped off. Who wouldn’t? We are proud of our ability to identify and explore the “vibe” or “sentiment” of a track, and to find ways to create an emotional experience that serves the project well. But, when we do this we do so in a way that is unique and is always 100% original. We believe in supporting all types of artists and embracing their uniqueness. As such, we cannot allow anything that is questionably close to a reference track.

Click Licensing

How do I ensure I am getting the right license coverage?

When considering which license is the best fit for your project, we recommend taking a step back and looking at the end user/client of your film and what they need in terms of license coverage. While you may be the one purchasing the license, you also need to ensure it will cover the person and/or organization that the film is for, and how they will use and distribute it. For instance, while you may not be receiving any compensation for the film itself, it could actually still require a Small Business Promotional License for the recipient. To help you find the best fit, continue reading below for a highlight of the Permitted and Non-Permitted uses of each standard license type, or check out our legal page.

What is an Independent Film License?
  • Permitted Content: You are an individual wishing to license one master recording and composition embodied thereon (“Musical Work”, as defined in the attached Standard Terms and Conditions) for the creation of an independent film, outside of a formal film studio system, either short or feature length.

  • Non-Permitted Content: The creation of any film being funded and/or released by a formal film studio

  • Number of Uses: Single (1) use

  • Distribution: Within film festivals and on the world wide web, not including premium streaming services

  • Lifespan: Perpetual

  • Cost: $199 USD

What happens if my film gets picked up for distribution?

A new license is required should your film be distributed or shown outside the confines of the license you purchased. The first step, of course, is congratulations! We know the time, energy and investment you’ve poured into this film to make it a reality, and we will always work with you and your distributor and expand the license whether large or small, to ensure it always stays true to your vision. Please contact us directly when this happens.

What is a Small Business License?
  • Permitted Content: You are an individual wishing to license one master recording and composition embodied thereon (“Musical Work”, as defined in the attached Standard Terms and Conditions) for the creation of a film or slideshow that highlights an organization as a whole. Content may include company highlights, event coverage, culture highlights, and employee insights - films that give an overall sense of the spirit of the organization.

  • Non-Permitted Content: Fundraising campaign or call to action, or any film that highlights a specific product or service of the organization.

  • Number of Uses: Single (1) use

  • Distribution: World wide web, not including premium streaming services

  • Lifespan: Perpetual

  • Cost: $199 - $999 USD, depending on company size

What is a Small Non-Profit License?
  • Permitted Content: You are an individual wishing to license one master recording and composition embodied thereon (“Musical Work”, as defined in the attached Standard Terms and Conditions) for the creation of a film or slideshow that highlights a registered non-profit organization as a whole. Content may include company highlights, event coverage, culture highlights, and employee insights - films that give an overall sense of the spirit of the organization. A company is considered a Non-Profit only if it is registered with the government as an eligible and official Non-Profit Organization. In the U.S.A., for example, a Non-Profit is designated by the IRS as a 501(c).

  • Non-Permitted Content: Fundraising campaign or call to action, or any film that highlights a specific product or service of the organization.

  • Number of Uses: Single (1) use

  • Distribution: World wide web, not including premium streaming services

  • Lifespan: Perpetual

  • Cost: $119 - $599 USD, depending on company size

What makes a company a Non-Profit?

A company is considered a Non-Profit only if it is registered with the government as an eligible and official Non-Profit Organization. In the U.S.A., for example, a Non-Profit is designated by the IRS as a 501(c).

What is a Wedding and Portrait License?
  • Permitted Content: You are an individual wishing to license one master recording and composition embodied thereon (“Musical Work”, as defined in the attached Standard Terms and Conditions) for the creation of a film or slideshow that covers the wedding day or similar event of a couple, for that couple. Despite its name, the wedding license can also apply to other events for your clients such as birth stories, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

  • Non-Permitted Content: This is not the right license for you if you are creating a film or slideshow to promote a business related to the event. For example, a promotional film for a photographer, event designer, a venue, the florist, or yourself. This is for your couples.

  • Number of Uses: Single (1) use

  • Distribution: Hardcopy and on the world wide web, not including premium streaming services

  • Lifespan: Perpetual

  • Cost: $99 USD

What is a Crowdfunding License?
  • Permitted Content: You are an individual wishing to license one master recording and composition embodied thereon (“Musical Work”, as defined in the attached Standard Terms and Conditions) for the creation of a film to seek financial backing on a crowdfunding platform (Kickstarter, IndieGoGo), for any content permissible by this licensing agreement and our Terms of Service. This license is tied to the crowd funding campaign only, and cannot be used once the campaign is over.

  • Non-Permitted Content: Using the film anywhere outside of the crowd funding website.

  • Number of Uses: Single (1) use

  • Distribution: World wide web, not including premium streaming services, on approved crowdfunding platforms only

  • Lifespan: For the length of the crowdfunding campaign

  • Cost: $199 - $599 USD, depending on crowdfunding goal

What is a Photo Slideshow License?
  • Permitted Content: You are an individual wishing to license one master recording and composition embodied thereon (“Musical Work”, as defined in the attached Standard Terms and Conditions) for the creation of a slideshow of still photography images. Slideshows may cover the life, experiences, and events of an individual, couple, or family (ie: weddings and similar events). The ideal/intended use of this license is for wedding or event photography slideshows of still images. Motion picture content of any kind is strictly prohibited for this license.

  • Non-Permitted Content: This is not the right license for you if you are including any video or film or motion picture. Motion picture of any kind is strictly prohibited. Additionally, content cannot be tied to any kind of business activity, including company or product highlights, cannot be posted on business websites, Vimeo or YouTube accounts owned by a business entity, and cannot be used if you are being paid in any way, making money, or anticipating growing any business from the slideshow. The ideal/intended use of this license is for wedding photography slideshows.

  • Number of Uses: Single (1) use

  • Distribution: Hardcopy (DVD, USB, etc.) and world wide web, not including premium streaming services.

  • Lifespan: Perpetual

  • Cost: $49 USD

What does each distribution format cover?
  • Hard Copy: The film can distributed via DVD, CD, or Portable Drive.

  • World Wide Web / Internet / Online: Feel free to post your film or slideshow on your website, blog, Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, etc. This does not include digital broadcast distribution.

  • Film Festival Screening: Your film can be viewed within a Film Festival environment. Distribution to any viewings outside of the Film Festival would require a custom license.

What if my video gets taken down by Vimeo or YouTube for copyright reasons?

Copyright Match is a new system that uses fingerprinting technology to detect copyrighted material within public videos uploaded to the website. This is possible through Audible Magic, a multimedia fingerprinting technology company. They have thousands of songs uploaded into their database, and if a song in a video matches a song in their database, it is flagged and that information is sent along to Vimeo.

Once flagged, Vimeo initiates an appeal process to ensure that the copyrighted music is legally licensed by the Vimeo user. Overall, the appeal process will look something like this:

  • Vimeo will ask you to prove that you have permission to use the song via their appeals process, which appears as an onsite message and an email.

  • You will then have the option to provide proof of licensing the music, delete the video if you don't have proof, or appeal for a Fair Use Claim if you think it meets the guidelines. You can find more information on the Fair Use Guidelines by going to Vimeo's help page.

  • The appeal will be reviewed within the next few days. During the review period, your video will be put back online. Assuming the appeal is granted, you'll be all set.

If your video ends up being flagged by Vimeo, the solution can be simple. Each time you purchase a license to a song out of the Marmoset catalog, you will receive a Unique Order ID Number. Save this number. If your video is flagged, be sure to enter the ID number during the appeals process. After that, you should be home free.

If you ever have any trouble with your order ID number, or any questions about the process, you can always get in touch with us at compass@marmosetmusic.com