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I am working with a company to produce my audiobook and I want to add shot instrumental intro and outro background music like a lot of the audiobooks from big publishers have. The company said that ACX and Audible could give me trouble with copyright issues if I do this. Has anyone else done this or attempt to?
 

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short version
use a site like this where things are clearly spelled out and licences are properly covered.
https://www.mediamusicnow.co.uk/help-support/answers/what-can-your-music-be-used-for/audio-books.aspx
Also ask the company if they have recommendations for similar sites.

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The only question is: do you have the rights to use the piece of music you want to use (be it just a few notes, ambient or full music) by the corresponding entities (iirc there is producer and artist requirements in the us, meaning you need ascap and bmi licencing bodies involved).

safest way: have an artist produce it exclusively for you and make sure rights are covered in your contract as well as making it clear he / she has to produce something original. That btw could also be you just klinking on the piano.
Next you could use one of the audio sites IF their licencing agreement allow for use and sale in audio books.

Third I would google how audible and co detect fraud to avoid being punished accidentily. For text there it copyscape but I only know of internal checks f.e. on youtube to determine misuse of licences.

The problem is rarely the rights situation - it is complex but logical. The problem usually sits in front of the computer a) not understanding usage rights (which I find hillarious especially among creators), b) misconceptions like "I am allowed to use this because of bogus reason like fair use" and c) they believe because somebody said somewhere "i realese this as creative commons" it is save and last d) stubborness ("but I want it to sound similar to this, who will notices"). ;)

This is one of the better explanations what you are allowed to do:
https://www.premiumbeat.com/faq

There are many sites like these and you want to find one which has a licencing you understand and are assured of. I am not a lawyer, I just play around with usage rights: iirc correctly you cannot download audible books without the app. so in this sense this would be like netflix, which according to this overview is covered under 'web' and standard'.

Taking this site as an example, you can search for "P.R.O free" (a misnomer) and available with their subscription with this type of search:
https://www.premiumbeat.com/royalty-free-music?inLimitedSubscription=true&proFree=true&q=ambient

I think, reading all of their licencing, that in case of this site you would need a premium licence
https://www.premiumbeat.com/music-agreement
to be able to use it in your audiobooks which is of course far expensive.
I dislike these kind of sites because they basically are trying to hide things.

Looking a bit further, I found this site:
https://www.mediamusicnow.co.uk/help-support/answers/what-can-your-music-be-used-for/audio-books.aspx
"Our royalty free music and sound effects can be used in your audiobook productions.
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Our standard license covers our royalty free music and / or sound effects for up to 5,000 sold copies of your audiobook product. This number is for physical duplications and paid for downloads."

Much simpler. Straight forward. Pricing also looks good.
I belive these kind of sites should be rewarded for making your live simpler.

hth. ;)
 

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My audiobook Zombie Killa has a theme song, and Foley effects. But I did have permission for the theme song The guy who wrote the track is a character in the novel. And the sound effects are from distributable libraries. I think there is some metal band I used, too. Don't remember the details, now. It's not Brutal Truth, as the text states, but I'm friends with those guys, too.

Here's a good chunk of it: https://soundcloud.com/the-original-high-c/zombie-killa-part-1

Audio effects make it an entirely different sort of production than a straight read, and I really think it's worth exploring for the right project.
 

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As a personal opinion, I wish I could find a way to turn off the bloody music in tv programmes. The sound goes off at once if there is background music on a website. I don't listen to audio books but if I did, music would put me right off.
 
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