JOSH RABINOWITZ: The people, the creatives and the producers and sometimes the clients that are sitting in on these editing sessions, they fall in love with it because it’s something they’ve grown accustomed to listening to.
BOB GARFIELD: Which would be fine except, in all likelihood, the agency and its clients have no rights to use whatever music they were editing to. This leaves three options. One is to try to obtain the song from the original artists. This is always expensive and sometimes futile because artists don’t necessarily want to sell. The second is to compose or obtain wholly different music, but the pictures are already edited to the demo.
The third option is to go to a music production house and commission a piece which is similar enough to the original to satisfy demo love, but different enough that the lawsuits don’t start flying. In the euphemism of his trade, Rabinowitz calls these similarities “references” or “citations.”