Musicologist Services For Advertising

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure doesn’t begin to tell the story.

Creative and advertising agencies make musicologist analysis and clearance reports a part of the process, the last step before launching a campaign. As Bill Nye used to say, consider the following.

When you put music to picure or even behind an audio campaign you take all sorts of intellectual property risk. First there is the chance your music sounds like another work. In fact, it is bound to happen. It happens all the time. That doesn’t mean your infringing necessarily, but it is risk.

And in advertising in particular, often a piece of music is selected or created with another existing work in mind. Maybe it just reminds the music supervisor of a famous song, or the vibe of a famous song. Maybe the composer wrote the song with the intention of capturing a bit of an existing song’s vibe, groove, energy, or some element. That doesn’t mean you are infringing either. But it is risk.

And when the campaign airs, the more successful the campaign, the greater its reach, and that, while one of the goals, presents its own risk factors.

Whose risk? The agency obviously, but also the agency’s client.

So, creative and advertising agencies mitigate all of this by having a forensic musicologist analyze the music for originality and susceptibility to an accusation, not merely a warranted one but any accusation, of plagiarism and copying that might lead to a claim of infringement.