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Licensing Requests

Submit a License Request:

If you would like to license any Smithsonian Folkways Recordings content (whether audio recordings, video, artwork, or liner notes) please download and fully complete the License Request Form (below) then scan/email to (attn: Will Griffin).

Licensing Request Form (PDF)
Licensing Request Form (DOC)

If you would like to license audio recordings please include each catalogue number corresponding to each recording requested (e.g. “SFW40100_101”). We recommend you copy and paste directly from our web shop. Missing or incomplete information may delay the licensing process.

Due to the large volume of license requests received and processed, please allow up to five business days for an initial response to your request. All requests are reviewed and processed in the order received.

Fees, Terms, and Conditions:

All proposed uses (whether commercial or noncommercial) of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings content require careful review and permission, and may require a formal license and fee.

Please consider that Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is a non-profit organization and depends on revenue earned from the sale and license of its content to support its artists and its educational mission.

All uses are subject to the terms and conditions of Smithsonian Folkway Recordings’ standard license agreement. We reserve all of our rights in and to our content and any correspondence between the parties related to your inquiry shall not constitute or imply a waiver of any such rights.

Third Party and Publishing Rights:

You are responsible for clearing any third party rights for use of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings content as necessary. In the case of an audio recording, the song may be a controlled composition and you must also acquire separate permission for use from the song’s publisher(s). So there’s no confusion, an audio recording is typically controlled by a record label (e.g. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) while a song’s composition and lyrics are typically controlled by a separate publisher.

Due to staff and resource limitations, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is unable to assist with the research of a song’s writer(s) or publisher(s). We may provide this information as a courtesy but cannot confirm or warrant the compositional/lyrical ownership or publisher of any songs. We suggest you begin your research at,, or The album liner notes, available for free download from our web shop, may also provide useful information.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the license of any Smithsonian Folkways Recordings content, please contact our Licensing Manager, Will Griffin:, 202-633-6457