Synchronization rights or sync license for short is a license granting permission to synchronize a song with moving images on a screen - generally in television, film, or advertisements. Sync licenses are required from both the recording owner and the composition owner when a song is used, and they are most often paid as a one-time up-front fee.
Copyright ownership are the rights to the composition of a "song", which is different from the studio sound recording and are most often administered by a publishing company that represents the songwriter. A sound recording has two separated copyrights: The sound recording itself called the "master" sound recording, which is most often owned or administered by the record label. The composition of the musical work, which consists of the underlying lyrics and a melody written by the songwriter is general owned by a music publisher or record company that represents the artist.
Sync negotiations and fees are negotiated when a music producer needs music for a film or commercial project. The music producer must must contact the owner of the recording and the composition to use the song, usually for a "one-time fee" which is often called the "sync fee”. Negotiating sync licensing fees typically address how the song is being used, the length of the segment of the song being used, the prominence of the cue, whether the song is used as background music, or is being used as the title track, or is it being used to scroll out the credits, and the overall popularity and importance of the song. Another point of negotiation is whether the sync license constitutes a "buyout" or whether or not the entity that will ultimately broadcast the production will be required to pay "backend" performance and royalty fees.