What legal status has Shakespeare Music?

Shakespeare Music is independent management entity - totally different legal world where all music is administrated directly. It is not a part nor of creative commons neither of standard  collective management. No one has a right to use repertoire of Shakespeare Music (download, sell, re-sell or it in any other way) without permission. This permission (in legal words licence) can be given in only one way: directly singing a contract with Shakespeare Music. If someone other you offers music which was officially bought from Shakespeare Music it is illegal. Shakespeare Music repertoire cannot be resold it is sold just directly. 

Can I use Shakespeare Music for free for non-commercial use?

No. Shakespeare Music is not a part or similar to creative commons. Using it for private/non-commercial purpose you have to buy it as well.



Why do I need to buy licence if I can download music on internet for free?

Music wouldn't exist without the work of songwriters, composers, performers and publishers. Every piece of music has its author and if you can listen to it – it means that music work was performed and recorded. And finally, it means that every music record has at least two rights holders: music author and music performer. Consequently, if someone uses music  - right holders must give permissions for it (licences) and when it is used for commercial purposes right holders want to be paid monies, so called royalties. 


Why there is not much choice from where businesses can buy licence?

Basically, businesses would not have resources to approach every rights holder and though, there are companies that are authorized to issue licenses on behalf of many rights holders (Like Shakespeare Music, PRS for Music, PPL, SACEM etc.).


Why should buy few licences for the same song?

All around the world there are many different companies that are authorized to issue licences and this puts businesses in complicated situation. Some of them issue copyright licenses (representing authors who created music), others issue neighbouring rights licenses/performing rights licences representing artists who recorded music and publishers who outright phonogram. When song is played for example in the premises it was created by someone and then performed by someone. Though every song automatically has two rights holders and is associated with two types of rights what leads to the need to acquire to types of licences. Sometimes in some countries, to make easier day for businesses we can find unified licensing system when businesses can acquire all licenses from one organization but this rare, and in most of cases to legally use music, businesses must approach at least two organizations: one issuing licences on behalf of music creators/authors and other representing performers/phonogram right holders or businesses can have one Shakespeare Music license with all right inclusive.


Will I act legally having bought two licences for commercial premises: one for copyright (authors) other for related (performers) rights?

Not necessarily, as there are many organizations that unify different right holders and it hardly could be enough to have one copyright license and one performing rights licence. Nowadays, when old-fashioned monopolist institute is leaving the stage many small groups of right holders assembly in independent organizations. They distribute their music in all possible ways and business risk playing radio, streaming some internet platform in the premises to play music of independent musicians that do not belong to those few be organizations where businesses have acquired licences. Consequently, business would infringe someone’s rights because not having contract with that small organization managing some particular’s rights holders music. The only one option to avoid illegal actions is to double check music repertoire represented by the company which sold the licence or to order services from the company that selects soundtracks covered by some particular licence, or to use services of an independent management entity like Shakespeare Music that provides music licence agreement and access to music repertoire.


If I have Spotify business account should I pay someone else and acquire some licences to play music in shop, restaurant?

Yes, Spotify gives access to soundtracks and does not issue legal permissions to use music for commercial purpose.
For example shop in London uses background music in commercial premises. Sometimes it is radio transmission, sometimes it plays CD’s sometimes shop has commercial Spotify account and transmits music into the premises playing it from Spotify. Usually, businesses think that if they pay Spotify their legally use music. But it is not. Spotify charges for possibility to access well organized music platform but it has nothing to do with the permission to use music for commercial purpose (in every location where business is run music use is defined as commercial):  least two licences must be acquired: copyright and performing. And after all, depending on which copyright and performing rights organizations were acquired businesses cannot be 100% sure that music is used legally. E.g. every artists and creator can upload their music on Spotify and many of them are independent rights holders who are not are affiliated with organizations where business bought licenses. In this case it would mean that some of the repertoire played in the premises was illegal as permission never was issued. According to the letter of law business is responsible for what is played in the premises and if some licences were missing – rights holder can sue for infringing his/her rights.


If I have bought music from Shakespeare Music can I use it without any limits?

No, you cannot. When you by music from Shakespeare Music you are granted a licence where is listed for what purpose, in what territory and what time period you can use it.


Can I use Shakespeare Music for broadcasting not paying to standard copyright management societies?

Yes you can. Shakespeare Music is legal alternative to collective administration system. Artists that gave an authorization for Shakespeare Music to administrate their works have opted them out from copyright/neighboring societies in the world. Therefore, having Shakespeare Music licence clients do not need to obtain any other licence. 


Can I use Shakespeare Music repertoire with repertoires represented by other organizations in the same commercial premises?

Yes, if you have decided so. When you need different music making your playlist in public place, choosing music for TV production, for movie or whatever other purpose you can get different licenses and though use music form different sources. 


How I can become a client and start to legally use Shakespeare Music?

It is simple and easy. You just need to contact us. We need to ask you some questions and to receive your answers as we deliver client oriented services and have no general schemes, proposals and cannot deliver upfront prices. Our proposal and prices are dependent on lots of factors. But we offer our clients top notch communication and even customized proposal would be made in the shortest possible term.


How I will end payments to collective management societies and sign up with Shakespeare Music?

It easy, as well. You would need to send an official letter to collective management society that you want to terminate the licence  you had. When they would ask why (they always ask),- you would explain that you have other legal source to licence for music. During that term (it takes sometimes up to few weeks to terminate the agreement) Shakespeare Music would prepare for your business customized proposal, licence, music playlists and other services delivery if ones are needed.


Why Shakespeare Music can issue music licences for a better prices then collective management organizations.

Licensing models applied by collective management organizations have territorial restrictions. E.g. shop in London pays licensing fees to two collective management organizations, which represent right holders via cooperation basis with organizations in other countries. Though monies must be transferred to other organizations all around the world where right holders are registered. Only then royalties can reach right holders and it takes time, employs many offices, which are not working free of charge.

Differently from collective management societies Shakespeare Music implements direct royalties collection and distribution model what leads to competitive licensing tariffs and fees. Modern management of music repertoire and sustainable business administration allows us to offer businesses cost-effective way to use music. Shakespeare Music represents all right holders directly signing representation contracts with rights holders from all around the world. This means that all monies collected from licences reaches directly right holders and it saves management costs. 


How I can prove to collective management societies inspectors that I use legal music when I have Shakespeare Music licence?

We will grant a licence and certificate in which will be proved your legal source of music. The certificate is legal document justifying your choice to use alternative music to that administrated by collective management societies.



Music Rights Holders

I am artist/composer/songwriter. How I can become a part of Shakespeare Music?

It is really easy. Contact us and send us link (mp3 samples) where we can listen you music. Our chief music designer will listen to them and if it is compatible with our music policy we will contact you making an offer to be a part of Shakespeare Music. If you like our offer we will sign the contract and add your music tracks to our music data base. When our clients will use your tracks it will be calculating regarding the price the client is paying. After all two times a year, according to the factual use of works, Shakespeare Music distributes collected monies for their rights holders. But you must to REMEMBER you cannot publish cover songs. No one of the participant of the song can belong to any of collective administration (BMI, SACEM, PRS for music etc.) societies. The work/performance must be original and be free of any affiliations to collective administration societies.

I am artist/composer/songwriter and my works are part of creative commons. Can I offer my works to Shakespeare Music?

Yes, you can. Just the thing is, if you let your works to someone else to use commercially without reward anybody can do it and probably they will not use it for payment if Shakespeare Music offers.

Let's talk


General & Business Enquires.



Right Holders Enquires


Vilnius Bureau 

Jogailos str. 11/2             

LT-01116, Vilnius             
​​​​​​​+370 688 03416


London Bureau

20-22 Wenlock Road, London N1 7GU


+44 (0) 74 1389 7479

Warsaw Bureau

Spektrum Tower Twarda 18, 00105 Warsaw, Poland



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