I wanted to write a little note about what happens when we remove a track, or several tracks, from our catalog of royalty-free music and why this is sometimes done.
We like to try to keep our catalog fresh and current. When we started Shockwave-Sound.com back in March of 2000, there were some stock music companies out there still selling music from the 1980’s. This really gave us an edge over them, because while they were selling music that sounded dated, we sold fresh, new, contemporary and up to date music
It is now 10 years on, and we are acutely aware of the dangers of going into the same trap as those guys with royalty free music from the 80’s. In another 10 years, we don’t want to be selling music that’s 20 years old. For this reason, we will always “prune” our catalog and we will occasionally remove tracks that are either getting old, and/or haven’t made any sales for a long time.
From time to time, the composer himself may choose to have his music removed from our site. Most of the music we have online is signed to us on a non-exclusive basis, which basically just means that the composer is “lending” us the tracks and we pay the composer a royalty for each time the track is sold through our site. This non-exclusive contract has a minimum term of one year, after which either party can decide to end the contract.
Although it’s pretty rare, it has happened that a composer decides to have his music withdrawn from our site and do something else with the music instead. For example, he may have received an offer to sell the tracks completely to a production company, or been offered a contract to release the music on a CD album through a music publishing company. If a composer asks to have his music removed from our site, we obviously comply with this, so long as the one-year minimum term has been fulfilled. For example, this week we removed all stock music tracks by David Leckenby on his request – which is what prompted me to write this article.
But what happens to the lifetime license if you’re already licensed a track from us, and that track has now been withdrawn from sale? Don’t worry: Your lifetime license is safe. As part of the written contract that we have with each of our composers/contributors it is specifically stated that all licenses that we sell through our site shall last in perpetuity, even after the relationship between the composer and our company has ended, and the track has been withdrawn from sale. So if you’ve licensed a track from us last year, and that track has now been removed from sale, the license you already purchased is still good, and it will be so, in perpetuity.