25 May, 2017

Do You Need to License Your Music?

Writing your own music will certainly make things a lot easier from a license point of view if you are thinking of recording and duplicating that music.  Many of my clients write and perform music more as a hobby project and not through a record company/publisher and if this is the case there is no legal reason to follow any licensing proceedure if you don't wish to, by simply adding a copyright line onto their CD/CD packaging this will act as a deterent to anyone thinking of using the content for their own purposes - something like:
© Band Name or Your Name 2015.

If you are thinking of selling a number of CDs it may be worth joining the MCPS.  If you are not going through a record company you may want protect the songs and register them for possible royalties, but it does depend a lot on your market sector as to whether this is necessary, the MCPS comes into play more if other people want to use your songs for their own duplication or download purposes or if it is likely that your song may be played on the radio or perhaps used as part of an on-line production, then this is a wise thing to do.  You would need to register each song with an ISRC code (an identity) which will be used for paying any royalties due on those songs.

Joining the PRS means that you are offered protection if anyone wants to actually perform your music/song either in a live performance, on-line or on radio/TV.

ARE YOU AN INDIVIDUAL WANTING TO MAKE UP A RUN OF AUDIO ONLY MUSIC CDS FOR SALE AT GIGS ETC., AND YOUR TRACKS INCLUDE COVERS?

Then please visit the section at the foot of this section on license types for music sold on media such as CDs and vinyl - The one you will need is called a 'Limited Manufacture Licence.'

THE BITS YOU NEED TO KNOW MADE EASY!

MUSIC LICENSING, THE PPL & PRS

If you are a song writer, composer, performer, publisher or record label, or if you broadcast music to the public using the radio, TV or internet, then it is likely that you will need a licence from one or both of these organisations:

For more information about

PRS for Music click here

For more information about

PPL visit ppluk.com

   

Difference between PRS for Music and PPL

 PRS for Music and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) are separate organisations who license different sets of rights in the use of music. You may need a licence from both organisations. 

About PPL AND ISRC CODES


PPL licenses the use of recorded music where played in public, broadcast on radio or TV, or used on the internet, on behalf of record companies and performers. 

 

I Make Music

as a Performer or Record Company

 
Why do I need a my PPL account?
What are the benefits of joining?
How can I earn more?
How do I request an ISRC?
When will I get paid?

PPL has an annual payment for UK income while payments for other rights are made throughout the year. Take a look at the payment dates for PPL members during this year.

Payment schedule

About PRS for Music


PRS for Music is a society of songwriters, composers and music publishers. They license the use of their members’ musical compositions and lyrics when they are played in public, broadcast on radio or TV, used on the internet or copied onto physical products such as CDs or DVDs.  The MCPS is the musical arm of the PRS and as duplicators we are bound by law to make sure our clients have a Limited Manufacture License if they wish to copy licensed music of songs written by authors who have signed up to the PRS.


LICENCE TYPES FOR RECORDED AUDIO ONLY MEDIA eg CDs or Vinyl

In short there are a number of licences available for music producers who wish to sell their music via CDs or Vinyl and all or some tracks include covers.  The main ones are:

1) AP1 or AP2 Licences

2) LM Licences

 

1)Audio-only product licences – two options

If you are a manufacturer or agent wanting to sell music e.g. a publisher, or distributer, then you will need an AP1 or AP2 Licence.

  AP1 AP2
Customer needs credit check and approval by PRS for Music board Yes No
Payment basis On net copies shipped per quarter On copies manufactured
Payment terms Following invoice Before manufacture
  Apply now  Apply now

Please note, application also subject to credit checks and bank reference

Formats covered by AP1 and AP2

  • CD
  • Vinyl
  • DVD Audio
  • SACD
  • Other audio formats agreed with MCPS

Licence scope

  • Manufacture audio-only products
  • Distribute audio-only products for retail sale

Rights – mechanical rights are separate from sound recording rights

The AP licences cover the payment of mechanical royalties only, which are paid to music publishers for the use of musical works. Sound recording rights must be licensed directly from record companies (where applicable).

Costs

8.5% of Published Dealer Price (PDP), or if unavailable, 6.5% of Retail Price (RP). This is then multiplied by the number of copies shipped. Customers who qualify for AP1 pay quarterly in arrears. Customers on AP2 pay before manufacture.

The charge is reduced proportionately if any of the music on the CD/LP is in the Public Domain or is non-MCPS repertoire.

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Please go to this link for more information on these licences:

http://www.prsformusic.com/users/recordedmedia/cdsandvinyl/Pages/AP1AP2.aspx

2) Limited Manufacture Licence (LM) 

TechnoVisual has to follow the guidelines of the MCPS if we are instructed to make copies of CDs and DVDs, which include music by another artist.  if you are an individual using music which has been written and/or performed by another artisit and if this artisit is a member of the MCPS and has a legal right to claim royalties from the use of his or her production, you will need to purchase a license if you wish to have your work copied, even if you are not intending to sell these copies.  Please take a look at the info below taken directly from the relevant page of the MCPS web site - you will need to go to this page link in purple below to purchase a license.  This can be done quickly and easily using a buy it now button, directly through the web site:

http://www.prsformusic.com/users/recordedmedia/dvdsanddigitalmedia/Pages/LimitedManufactureLicence%28LM%29.aspx

MCPS

 

The Limited Manufacture Licence is quick, affordable and grants you ‘blanket’ permission to legally use any music in your own CDs, DVDs or videos (and other formats) – that’s any music, from any genre, by any artist including the big names; from Elvis and The Beatles to Lily Allen and Duffy.

In one simple online transaction, you can purchase a one-off licence - from just £15 - or multiple licences dependent upon the number of products that you are making and distributing. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, intending to sell or give away your CDs or DVDs yourself, the MCPS guarantee to distribute the collected money among their songwriter and composer members.

 
The LM Licence covers...
 
  • The copyright in the Musical Work (MCPS)
  • The copyright in the Sound Recording (PPL)

The LM Licence is...

  • Perfect for wedding, christening, funeral and family holiday videos
  • Ideal for signed or unsigned band, choir and orchestra CDs
  • Suitable for DVDs of school plays, amateur dramatics, voluntary or non-registered charities and community projects.

It would even be the right choice for the work of amateur, non-professional and student filmmakers 

 

Inclusions - The following uses ARE covered by the Licence  
  Do you fit into one of the following categories? Will you be using the Product for one of the following uses?
1 Schools, colleges, universities, local education authorities, private tutors, students Recordings of student performances for sale or giving away to students, family, friends or to raise funds for the school.
Recordings solely used for the giving and receiving of tuition.
 Student films that are shown only as part of the students’ course work, educational assessment, student competitions and the students’ personal portfolio.
2 Churches and other religious establishments  Recordings of choirs or other services for sale or giving away to members of the congregation, family, friends or to raise funds for the church, or institutions of other religious denominations.
3 Private and domestic use
(Includes professional wedding videographers and funeral service above)
Recordings of private events such as: weddings, christenings, bar mitzvahs, family holidays and funerals, which are sold or given away to family and friends associated with that event.
Recordings made for playing at private events such as: weddings, christenings, bar mitzvahs, family holidays and funerals.
Copies of existing films or recordings transferred from video (e.g. VHS) or audio (e.g. CD) formats to other physical formats (e.g. DVD-Video) solely for private and domestic use by the owner of the original version, their friends or family.
4 Amateur societies Recordings made for playing and showing only as part of the practicing, participating and competing in recognised amateur society activities, including: musical gymnastics, horse dressage, synchronized swimming, amateur dramatics and amateur film making.
5 Charities Recordings of community projects music or otherwise, funded by non-business entities and supported entirely by voluntary contributions and voluntary workers, which are sold or given away to members of the community, friends and family.
6 Amateur Musicians Recordings made by non-record company affiliated musicians that are sold directly to audiences, family or friends, including amateur orchestras, singers and bands.
Exclusions - The following ARE NOT covered by the Licence
  Do you fit into one of the following categories? Will you be using the Product for one of the following uses?
1 Record Companies Any recordings produced by record companies using a third party distributor.
2 Feature films Any professionally made films, any film made with the aid of corporate sponsorship or any films exploited by means of a restricted or general release.
3 Premiums and corporate uses Any recordings or copies of recordings that are sponsored, paid for, or used as any form of incentive or advertisement to purchase or acquire products or services of any form that relate to any form of corporate company or entity.
Any corporate training videos or any other forms of recordings used in-house or in a business to business capacity by any form of corporate company or entity.
4 Cover mounts Any products accompanying any form of magazines or newspaper.
5 Charities Any charity that employs on a PAYE basis and is anything other than described in the inclusions above.
6 Karaoke Any karaoke products (including on-screen graphic rights) of any kind.
7 Games and toys Any games, toys or novelty products of any kind.
8 Grand rights/ dramatico works All uses of grand or Dramatico Musical Works other than as permitted under these terms.
9 General Any uses that are not specifically covered in the list of inclusions.


 

Those distributing their product via a third party need to apply here choosing AP1, AP2 or AP2a. Also charities with employees should licence via the Corporate Productions Framework.

How much does it cost?

 

   MCPS only rates

 MCPS - PPL  joint rates

Number of copies

<25mins music

>25mins music

<25mins music

>25mins music

 1 - 5

 £7.66

 £12.36

 £15.32

 £24.51

 6 - 20

 £20.42

 £32.68

 £40.85

 £65.36

21 - 50

£27.57

£42.89

£55.15

£85.79

51 - 100

£40.85

£65.36

£81.70

£130.72

101 - 250

£71.49

£102.13

£142.98

£204.26

251 - 500

£102.13

£163.40

N/A

N/A

501 - 1,000

£204.26

£326.81

N/A

N/A

These prices include VAT

The above prices in the table show the costs for up to 1000 copies of a CD or DVD. 

YELLOW COLUMNS (MCPS ONLY RATES) - Normally this would be the column you would look at if, for example, you are a band performing covers, i.e. you are singing material which has been written by someone else and copyrighted. 

PINK COLUMNS (MCPS - PPL  JOINT RATES) - Normally this would be the column you would look at if, for example,  you have put together a DVD perhaps for a wedding and you have actually included music written and performed by someone else in your production.  It does depend on how much of the song you have included, if it is only a couple of seconds then normally this will be exempt.

Please go to the MCPS website for further information and remember it is your responsibilty to make sure that you have purchased the correct license if you wish to use another artist's material in your production.

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YOUR MASTER DISC AND ISRC CODES

Quick Guide To Mastering A CD

Once you have your music mixed and ready to go, it is always worth asking the sound engineer to supply a mastered CD, a good recording studio will always offer this as part of their service, irrespective of the route you are going to take next to distribute your music or CD content.  A well mastered CD can then be used for your CD run and it is important at this stage that you encode your master CD with the correct information required if:

a) You wish to collect royalties - This is where the ISRC codes come into play and should be added correctly at this stage.  Certain CD mastering software eg. Toast and Sony Architect will provide the fields necessary to do so.  Just make sure you take care to write the info correctly.

b) You would like the correct information to appear on those CD players with compatiable hardware  showing the album name, artist and track listing as the CD plays.  This is called 'CD Text.'

Duplication companies will always ask for a good quality master disc, which they then use during the Duplication process to make exact copies using CD-rs.  For longer runs, Replication will be used instead, a different process involving making up a glass master, also referred to as a ‘stamper’ is used to punch all of the data pits into a CD or DVD..

The reason why it is called a glass master is because the information is copied onto a special chemical coating on a circular block of glass in very clean clinical conditions.

Quick Guide To ISRC Codes.

Below I've set out a brief guide which contains all the information you will need to know to start using ISRC (The International Standard Recording Code) with your recordings.

Q: Do I need to worry about using ISRC codes ?

A: If you release cd's on your own independant record label then :  YES YOU DO!

Q: How do ISRC codes work ?

A: An ISRC code is encoded into your track and identifies it as belonging to you, it makes the job of logging radio plays and royalty collection much easier for all concerned. You'll get your royalties quicker and you'll also be able to prove that you own the recording.

Q: How can I issue an ISRC code ?

A: It's much simpler than you might think, in the UK you simply have to request your ISRC Registrant Code from the PPL.
Here is the PPL Website. http://www.ppluk.com/

You might also like to become a member of the PPL as a record company.
Once a member of the PPL you can use software to supply all the information on your recordings and apply for an MCPS licence.

Q: How is an ISRC code constructed ?

A: it's basically 12 digits that are made up as follows:

ISRC Code Layout
Country
Code
Registrant
Code
Year Of Ref
(2 Digits)
Designation
Code
XX
XXX
XX
XXXXX


The Country Code:
In the UK the country code is GB,
The Registrant Code: This is the one given to you by the PPl, for this example we'll pretend that it was ABC.
The Year Of Reference: The year isnt the year of release (or of recording) but of *assignment*. Normally these will be the same but for historical recordings they won't be. As an example, The idea is that the year number indicates the number of an exercise book you might use to record all the ISRCs in. Then all the "12" codes are in the same book, you can put it away on New Year's Eve and start a new one. 2012 would therefore be 12.
The Designation Code: The final part would be the Designation Code, this is simply a five digit number that you designate to the track, this works with the year code and your designation code for each track should follow each other. So 00001 would be the first track 00002 would be the second as so on.

Here's a code you would issue for the first track you released in 2012.
When you start a new year say 2013 you simply start from 00001 again.

First track issued in 2012
Country
Code
Registrant
Code
Year Of Ref
(2 Digits)
Designation
Code
GB
ABC
12
00001

 

Q: How is an ISRC code encoded into a track ?

A: It's done at the time you burn your audio master, you will have to use a program to construct your master that is capable of writing ISRC codes, e.g. Toast, Sony Architect or some versions of Nero.
With most audio cd programs you simply drag your audio file into the open project and fill in the ISRC field for the track with your ISRC code. The disc must be burned in DAO (Disc At Once) mode.It is always a good idea to print two copies of the listing of the master, keep one for your records and send the other with the audio master for production.  If you need help with this, we offer this service at TechnoVisual.  The duplication towers we have at TechnoVisual will duplicate the codes onto every CD copy.

The IFPI .

IFPI is the ISO-appointed international registration authority for ISRC
The following information was taken from http://www.ifpi.org/
the international registration authority for ISRC:
For general ISRC information please visit
http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_resources/isrc.html

What is the ISRC?

The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music videorecordings.
Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording which can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint.
Encoded ISRC provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) recommends that all music producers use ISRC.

Benefits of using ISRC

The ISRC system is the key to royalty collection for recordings in the digital information age.

ISRC is a unique, reliable, international identification system.
ISRC provides a unique tool for the purpose of rights administration.
ISRC is a useful identification tool in the electronic distribution of music.
ISRC coding is compatible with standards developed in the field of consumer electronics and is readable by hardware already used in the recording industry.

ISRC is cost effective - it can be put into operation without requiring special investment in equipment or technologies.

IFPI Contact Info.

For further more detailed information about the ISRC system in the UK, please contact:
International ISRC Agency
IFPI Secretariat
10 Piccadilly
London
W1J 0DD
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7900
Fax: +44 (0)20 7878 7950
Email: info@ifpi.org

For countries other than the United Kingdom:
You can find a full list of contacts for other countries here.
National ISRC Agencies

CD TEXT

Quick Guide To CD-Text.

CD-Text is an extension of the Red Book specifications standard for audio CDs. It allows for storage of additional information (e.g. album name, song name, and artist name) on a standards-compliant audio CD. 

The CD-Text information is stored in the subchannels R to W on the disc. This information is usually stored in the subchannels in the lead-in area of the disc, where there is roughly five kilobytes of space available. It can also be stored on the main program area of the disc (where the audio tracks are), which can store about 31 megabytes. Since the R to W channels are not used in the Red Book specification of audio CDs, they are not read by all CD players, which prevents some devices from reading CD-Text information.

When you put a music CD in your car stereo you may notice the track names and/or the names of the performers on the LCD screen. That information is coming from the CD-Text on the CD.

YOUR COMPUTER DOES NOT READ CD TEXT. CD Text refers to the track names and other information encoded into the disc during mastering. Only CD Text-enabled disc players (in your car or home) read this info.  These devices are not connected to the internet so they do not have access to any on-line database.  Their text display (showing ‘CD-Text’) presents info that has been included when the physical disc was created, either as part of ‘pre-mastering’ or ‘mastering’.  Any duplication from a disc encoded with CD Text will transfer the track names only to another CD. HOWEVER, ripping an MP3 or playing your CD on most media players WILL NOT BY DEFAULT read the track name.

One word of warning about CD text. Because this information is encoded onto your master disc, if after the mastering stage you decide to change the name of any tracks, the master will need to be re-made with the new track names encoded.

CD-Text, should not to be confused with the song names showing up on iTunes or Windows Media Player.  When a music CD is inserted in a computer connected to the internet, the media player application goes through a convoluted system of taking the number of tracks on a CD, the running times of the tracks, and then comparing this information to a database of existing CDs online where it then retrieves the album, artist, track information, and even album cover from a central database. Different media players use different databases – Itunes uses Gracenote. Windows Media Player uses AllMusic... If you want track names show up on iTune and Windows Media Player then this info has to be submitted.

How do I submit my CD track information?

Believe it or not, the information in the database can come from anyone: the record label, the artist, or even a fan. Whoever uploads the info first. When someone puts the CD into their computer, if their media player doesn’t find it in the database, the program will ask the user to enter the album and track information and then uploads it to the online database for others to then download when they play their copy of the CD.

There are currently 3 different competing online databases. Gracenote, AMG, and FreeDB. You should at least submit to Gracenote and AMG, but while you’re at it, you might as well do the other. Every database has a different submission procedure.

1. Never submit info completely in capitals or completely lower case, if there is no special reason for that.
2. For bands that have a leading “the”, simply leave out the “the” (e.g. use “Rolling Stones” instead of “The Rolling Stones”)
3. Names of people should be written “first name last name” – NOT “last name, first name”. (John Doe)
4. Use the name of the artist repeated on the “title” field if there is no title (usually seen on an artist’s first major label release, such as with the B-52′s)
5. For a sampler or compilation, you should include the track-artist in the track-name, using the syntax “artist / track-title” and set the CD-artist to “Various”

How to add CD-Text to an audio CD compilation?

CD-Text is normally input during the mastering stage. Programs such as Toast, some versions of Nero or Sony Architect, allow the input of CD-Text when the CD is compiled and once CD-Text is enabled, you can type in the CD title and the name of the artist that apply to the CD as a whole and also type in the track name and track artist individually for each track.  If you need help with this, we offer this service at TechnoVisual.

SENDING CDS TO RADIO STATIONS

Radio stations rarely schedule shows with 'free play' slots, those excellent shows like the old 'John Peel Sessions' are few and far between, but they do still exist and it's still worth taking a punt and sending in your music CD on the off-chance that your song may be perfect for that particular show at that particular time. 

Most radio stations are over-worked and understaffed, programme teams will receive 100s of CDs daily, so when they do start sifting, anything that looks like it comes from a record company or promoter, tends to get priority over handwritten discs and homemade packaging because the music is more likely to be of a certain standard.

 

White Label CDs

Record companies and pluggers will always send a CD into a radio station in a White Label Form, often advance copies of new releasesa few weeks ahead of the official release date. These ‘white label’ discs are plain white or silver CD-Rs printed with with artist name, record title, catalogue number and often a logo.  The catalogue number is simply an identification number for a label or artist to keep track of each CD supplied and is worth adding to the package or disc printing if you are hoping to produce a series of CDs.  The packaging is often a simple plastic wallet with insert again showing the artisits name, record title, tracklisting and record label details.  Ask TechnoVisual for details and prices of white label CDs - the aim is to keep it simple and clear!

Digital Downloads and Vinyl

Digital Downloads

These days it is always a good idea to distribute your songs in a number of formats.  Downloads are always a good option both for selling your music or for promo.  YouTube is ideal as a vehicle for promoting your live or recorded music using video and there are many orther on-line companies which will sell songs for you, e.g. CD Baby, Band Camp and Spotify and ITunes.  It is worth adding meta data to downloads

Digital downloads are typically tagged with some or all of the following:

- artist name
- album title
- song titles
- year of release
- genre
- ISRC
- album front cover artwork (jpg, 1400x1400)
- copyright info
- label info

Vinyl

Still used avidly by some artisits, Vinyl masters require a Matrix Number, which is inscribed into the dead wax at the centre of the record lacquer, and identifies at as it makes its way through the manufacturing process. It depicts the label release code followed by the side designation (A, B, etc)

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SIMPLE GUIDE TO BAR CODES

Once you have your run of CDs and you wish to sell them, then it may be necessary to add a  bar code.  Shops and online sellers e.g. Amazon will require that a bar code is present (they require an EAN-13 barcode) somewhere on the packaging, it would normally be printed onto the outside of the CD pack  itself or onto a printed label, which can be stuck onto the pack or shrink wrapping.  You can resize the barcodeimage if you need to (but don’t reduce the width of the barcode to less than 30mm).

The number can be added as part of the CD Text, but I wouldn't advise this, it is overkill, no 'CD Seller' would go to the trouble of reading this and it would normally mean removing cello wraps or shrink wrap to get to the CD info - don't waste precious time on things which are really not necessary!! 

I would suggest 2 sites to have a look at which seem to give you the correct info about the bar code you will need for sale of your CD in shops or on-line on sites such as Amazon.  You need a European product bar code, which uses the EAN-13 number format or a UPC bar code which  uses a 12 digits and is used typically in the USA and Canada,  although both can be used for sale all over the world.

The first site I suggest you look at for more info, is one called GS1 UK and is written by the guys who set the global standards for the identification numbers and bar codes - it is mainly an information site, though I am pretty sure you can buy the actual codes from here as well:

The first site:
 http://www.gs1uk.org

The second site is much more to the point and gives you the basics.  It's main aim is to be helpful and to sell the codes you will need at a fair and sensible price.  The generated images do work!  There is a specific CD/DVD code page, though we can easily scale the graphic down to 80% for you if we need to.  I have checked and this site does seem to adhere to the GS1 UK standards:
 
The second site:
http://www.barcode1.co.uk
   

 

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TECHNOVISUAL CAN PURCHASE THE BAR CODE FOR YOU AT A SMALL COST OF £35.00 PLUS VAT. 

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE THE BAR CODE NUMBER AND YOU JUST NEED TO GENERATE THE ACTUAL IMAGE FOR YOUR CD PACKAGE - TECHNOVISUAL CAN ALSO HELP YOU WITH THIS FOR A ONE-OFF FEE OF £10.00 PLUS VAT, WE WILL THEN SEND YOU THE HIGH QUALITY PRINTABLE IMAGE, OR PRINT THE IMAGE FOR YOU ONTO YOUR PACKAGING OR A BAR CODE LABEL. 

FINALLY, WE CAN ALSO HELP WITH ADDING THE BAR CODE TO YOUR PACKAGE OR DISC, EITHER DIRECTLY OR  VIA BAR CODE LABELS TO STOCK ONTO THE PACKAGE OR SHRINK WRAP- JUST CALL US ON: 01280 815161

Printed Bar Codes on White Matt Paper Permanent Adhesive Labels

27 labels to an A4 sheet - 63.5mm x 38.1mm:  

 

  • Quantity 1 to 27  =  16p each plus vat
  • Quantity 27 to 54  =  14p each plus vat
  • Quantity 54 to 108 =  12p each plus vat
  • Quantity 108 to 270 = 10p each plus vat
  • Quantity 270 to 675 = 9p each plus vat
  • Quantity over 675 = 8p each plus vat

You will need a code for your physical CDs if you sell them through shops or anywhere which uses the bar code system and you will need a different code for your online release, you need to check this out with the place you are using to sell your music for you.

AMAZON BAR CODES

all you need to do is type the barcode number into the form when making a listing for your product on Amazon. Later, Amazon will assign their own identification number – an ASIN (an Amazon Standard Identification Number) – to your product.

NOTE: If you are storing and dispatching your products yourself, you will only need a 13 digit EAN-13 (or 12 digit UPC-A) barcode number, which you can purchase through TechnoVisual. However, if Amazon is storing and dispatching your products for you, then you will also need a barcode image to put onto your product packaging or label. A ‘barcode image’ is the actual barcode picture that gets decoded by scanning machines (ie. vertical black bars & spaces withthe barcode number underneath). Call TechnoVisual and we can sort all this out for you and send you printed bar code labels if required.

 

SOME MORE USEFUL INFO ABOUT BAR CODES

 

Is there a difference between EAN & UPC barcodes?

EAN-13 is the European standard, which is also used in Australia and has 13 numbers. The UPC barcode system is typically used in the USA and is 12 digits long but can be also be used internationally. (Including Europe & Australia) Scanners can typically read both EAN-13 and UPC codes.

Will my barcode work in a country other than the UK or USA?


Yes, they will work anywhere that either UPC or EAN barcodes are scanned - which is most of the modern world. This includes Australia, USA, Canada, the UK, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East.

Can your barcodes legally be used in the UK or USA?

Yes, barcodes were originally issued by UCC - the Uniform Code Council (now renamed GS1-US), they are legal for use in the UK, USA & Worldwide.

What size should my barcode be?

The nominal size of an UPC-12 image is 37.3mm wide x 25.9mm high. The minimum recommended size is 80% of the nominal size (i.e. 30mm wide). The maximum recommended size is 200% of the nominal size (i.e. 74.6mm wide). Width is more important than height, as the width influences the distance between the bars and how well the scanner can distinguish between them. We recommend test scanning any UPC image prototype produced by your manufacturing facility before going into mass production.

Barcode Dimensions

 If you are printing your barcodes onto your product packaging (or sticky labels ), please pay attention to the official barcode dimensions – the barcode standards are shown below.
NOTE – the height and width of the barcode can be varied independently e.g. you could have barcode dimensions of 120% width and 90% height if you wish.

Barcodes can be purchased  at TechnoVisual and  these are sent through with the barcode dimensions of the images as close to 100% magnification as possible.

 

EAN-13 Barcode Dimensions (at 100% magnification):

 

Barcode Magnification Specifications:

The specified magnification range for an EAN-13 Bar Code Symbol being scanned at retail POS 80% – 200% (X-dimension 0.26mm-0.66mm).

Magnification

X-dimension

Bar Width

Bar Height

Left Quiet Zone

Right Quiet Zone

80%

0.26

25.08

18.28

2.90

1.85

85%

0.28

26.65

19.42

3.09

1.96

90%

0.30

28.22

20.57

3.27

2.08

95%

0.31

29.78

21.71

3.45

2.19

100%

0.33

31.35

22.85

3.63

2.31

105%

0.35

32.92

23.99

3.81

2.43

110%

0.36

34.49

25.14

3.99

2.54

115%

0.38

36.05

26.28

4.17

2.66

120%

0.40

37.62

27.42

4.36

2.77

125%

0.41

39.19

28.56

4.54

2.89

130%

0.43

40.76

29.71

4.72

3.00

135%

0.45

42.32

30.85

4.90

3.12

140%

0.46

43.89

31.99

5.08

3.23

145%

0.48

45.46

33.13

5.26

3.35

150%

0.50

47.03

34.28

5.45

3.47

155%

0.51

48.59

35.42

5.63

3.58

160%

0.53

50.16

36.56

5.81

3.70

165%

0.54

51.73

37.70

5.99

3.81

170%

0.56

53.30

38.85

6.17

3.93

175%

0.58

54.86

39.99

6.35

4.04

180%

0.59

56.43

41.13

6.53

4.16

185%

0.61

58.00

42.27

6.72

4.27

190%

0.63

59.57

43.42

6.90

4.39

195%

0.64

61.13

44.56

7.08

4.50

200%

0.66

62.70

45.70

7.26

4.62

Width = the width of the bars only (does not include the blank margins on the left and right sides of the bars (the Quiet Zones)

Bar Height = the height of the bars only (does not include the barcode number that must be printed underneath)

Quiet Zone = the blank margins on the left and right sides of the barcode. Many barcode images have a > on the right hand side after the numbers – this is optional, but is used to give a visual indication of the right side quiet zone that is needed.

Note: If a product is being read by automated scanning processes (in a General Distribution situation), the barcode dimensions magnification range is 150% to 200%.

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GOOD LUCK!

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DVD and CD Duplication, Short-run Printing and Packaging, Technical Consultancy, Video Production and Photography
In Buckingham, Milton Keynes, Banbury, Aylesbury, Northampton, Oxford and surrounding areas.
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