Are there any types of compositions Songtrust will not administer?

Songtrust can only administer works that have a musical element.

The blanket compulsory license administered by The MLC covers the reproduction and distribution of nondramatic musical works to the public within the United States (See generally, 17 U.S.C. §115; 17 U.S.C. §115 (d)(1)).  A nondramatic musical work is an original work of authorship consisting of music – the succession of pitches and rhythm – and any accompanying lyrics not created for use in a motion picture of dramatic work. (See USCO Circular 73A and 73B.) Since the Works comprise spoken word (e.g., comedy routines, speeches, talks), nature sounds (e.g., recordings of waves, rain, running rivers), and/or other works that do not fall within the definition of a nondramatic musical work (e.g., ambient sounds, sleep sounds) (collectively referred to herein as “nonmusical works”) the Works fall outside the scope of the blanket compulsory license.


Below is a list of works that Songtrust will NOT administer due to the fact that they do not qualify as musical works, according to Copyright law. 

  • Non-musical works/Sound Effects like Nature Sounds, Water Falls, Ocean Waves, Animal calls/sounds, Thunder/Lightning. White Noise, Car Horns, Traffic, Door Bells, Ringing noises etc.
  • Covers of any kind. Since Songtrust handles the underlying composition of a song (its musical content and lyrics), and covers are not considered original material, you cannot register them with us. 
  • Spoken Word compositions are accepted if there is an original musical composition backing created by you. We cannot accept spoken word compositions that are composed with just the spoken word speech.
  • Royalty Free Music: You cannot obtain royalty free music and submit for administration as original work nor can you compose original music for royalty free purposes and submit it for administration.
  • Binaural/Meditation Sounds: We will not accept any hypnosis therapy sessions, no self-help compositions, unless they fall under the accepted spoken word categories. No massage, tantric or relaxation works.
  • Public Domain works (i.e. unless it is a new and unique arrangement and disclosed during the signup process)