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Thread: Music Copyright ... a guide for videographers

  1. #21

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    Next time you're looking at copyright laws, look up the term "personal use."

    If there ever were a law against personal use, that would be a law worth ignoring.

  2. #22

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    Maybe we all have different ideas of what personal use is, but I would certainly consider taking my CD of "Two Rolling Stoned" and dubbing it onto a tape of my own wedding as personal use (not to mention a fairly descriptive wedding video)! I find it very hard to believe you could be sued for doing that.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swoopie View Post
    ..That includes making copies of it for my own personal use..
    Which isn't at all what this thread is about Swoopie.

    This thread is aimed at Wedding (or any other kind for that matter) videographers who use copyrighted music in works they produce. Irrespective if profit is made or not.

    You can probably copy a CD, stick it on your wedding video, sit at home and watch it to death. But the moment you publish it for others to see online, on DVD or wherever.... then the law applies. Probably US law is marginally different to the UK's - but I'm damn sure it'll be so close you couldn't pass a cigarette paper between them.

    Like it or not - if someone has composed a tune, recorded it, published it and then some bright spark comes along and uses it on their mates wedding video - then royalties are due to that composer.

    Of course - 99.9999 percent of the time it'll be gotten away with - but - the consequences should a videographer be prosecuted for copyright theft can be dire. And sooner or later Sony or some other faceless corporation will make an example of someone.

  4. #24

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    But the moment you publish it for others to see online
    I wouldn't put it online. If I make a DVD for a wedding couple using the music from a CD that they own, I can't see how that's breaking any laws. If they put it online, they would be breaking the law perhaps, but I don't see how I would be.

    I use to run into a similar situation as an audio engineer at the Sheep Shack. Back when everything was first switching over to CD in the 80s, quite often someone would come in and ask me to dub an old record of theirs to CD. Usually it was some old out of print recording that wasn't available on CD, and the guy simply wanted to be able to listen to it on CD in his car or whatever. Or maybe he just didn't want to wear the record playing it anymore and no longer was recording cassettes either. I dubbed several old records of mine to CD too before I got rid of my records (hundreds of them) because I knew the jazz I listened to was the type of thing that would probably never be manufactured again on CD. It was just for my personal use. However, if a customer asks me to do the same for him, and he pays me a fee for doing it, it may be technically breaking the law for all I know. But he's still only doing it for personal use. I don't know about in the UK, but in America we have this thing called "the spirit of the law". Basically it means that the court looks on your intentions more than on the letter of the law. And I think that's wise. I wasn't made to serve the laws. The laws were made to serve me. Therefore, spirit is everything.

    Let me put it another way. If I'm driving down the road and some guy coming from the opposite direction has a heart attack, passes out at the wheel, and heads straight for me, and I have to floor it and swerve off the road to avoid being hit, I've technically broken at least two laws, one for speeding and one for crossing a solid white line. But no cop would give me a ticket for either, and if he did, any judge would throw it out because I haven't broken the spririt of the law.

    I really don't think anyone could get in trouble for using any music of any kind on a wedding video as long as it's just for the couple and their family/friends to see. If anyone was silly enough to haul you into court for that, I can't imagine a judge not throwing out. You can disagree with me on it, but that's how I feel, and I've never heard of it happening to anybody.
    Last edited by Swoopie; 02-08-2011 at 11:14 PM.

  5. #25

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    we can't choose to ignore some legislation because we don't like it?
    We don't ignore it because we don't like it. We ignore it if it's unreasonable, as in speeding to get out of the way of an accident. And it is quite defendable in America. Are you actually trying to tell me that in the UK you must allow a car to ram into you at 50 miles an hour, risking serious injury and death, rather than to simply speed to get out of the way? One more reason not to move to England.

    Would growing cannabis be ok if it was for a friend? Can you buy alcohol and give it to a 16 year old?
    Of course not. Those things would be illegal no matter who did them. But a person is by law allowed to copy their own CDs. At least they are in America as long as it's for their own use. What's the difference if a person copies their own CD or if you do it for them?

    If the wedding couple in your example decide to stick it onto youtube and your business name is there for all to see, how will anyone think anything other than "XYZ video use commercial recordings in their videos?"
    Like you say, maybe it's different in the UK, but here you are allowed to copy your own materials, and it would be unreasonable to prohibit someone from performing a service for you that you either cannot, or don't know how to, do yourself. Nobody in America would even debate it.

    I confess to not understanding you Brits. It's your country, but you seem to act as though the country owns you.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swoopie View Post
    ..But a person is by law allowed to copy their own CDs. At least they are in America as long as it's for their own use. What's the difference if a person copies their own CD or if you do it for them?.
    See the following -

    Is it illegal to copy a CD on to your iPod? | This is Money

    and final paragraph under "Other Countries" here:
    Ripping - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swoopie View Post
    ...but you seem to act as though the country owns you.
    We elected the people who passed those laws. As did you. That's what a democracy is. We elect, they pass laws, we agree to abid by them. And after a very quick Google it seems your country agrees with ours. See this link to the US Copyright Office. Quite clearly in the eyes of US law the same stuff applies.

    Please just accept you are wrong Swoopie. As much as we'd all love you to be right and use anyones music for any video we choose to publish, we cannot.

    In addition - you've kinda swerved this thread away from Robs intention of informing (quite correctly) videographers of the dangers and pitfalls of stealing music live or recorded and using without permission.

    I'm going to lock this thread at this point as it seems we are going around in never ending circles achieving little more than watering down Robs very useful and important post.
    Last edited by Andy Lockwood; 02-09-2011 at 01:04 PM.

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