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Thread: Legalities of recording an event with music

  1. Default Legalities of recording an event with music

    Hello

    I will be recording an event which may include mainstream pop music in the background.

    The video will be uploaded to YouTube and will not be sold.

    Do I have to pay royalties on this because it is an event which is being recorded rather than the music being a part of the video?

    Your help would be much appreciated.

    Matt

  2. Default

    Hi - sorry to bump - but does anyone have any idea on this?

    Thanks

  3. #3
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    There have been so many threads on this but the bottom line is...

    You cannot record music (and a lot of other things) without the copyright holders' permission. There are a number of exceptions but yours isn't one of them.

    However...

    If your music is genuinely "in the background" then you might get away with it. But you would still be breaking copyright.

    Think of it as driving at 37 in a 30 limit. You are breaking the law, you probably will get away with it but you might not.

  4. #4

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    Rob is quite right in what he says BUT If this is not a commercial project and it will be uploaded to YouTube, they have a licencing arrangement which means the worst that will happen is their software may detect the music and place an advert on your video.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rembrandt Rob View Post
    There have been so many threads on this but the bottom line is...

    You cannot record music (and a lot of other things) without the copyright holders' permission. There are a number of exceptions but yours isn't one of them.

    However...

    If your music is genuinely "in the background" then you might get away with it. But you would still be breaking copyright.

    Think of it as driving at 37 in a 30 limit. You are breaking the law, you probably will get away with it but you might not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Rob is quite right in what he says BUT If this is not a commercial project and it will be uploaded to YouTube, they have a licencing arrangement which means the worst that will happen is their software may detect the music and place an advert on your video.
    Thanks for your help guys.

    I've heard that there is a loophole in the sense that if the music lasts for less than ten seconds, it is exempt. Now - I am not sure if this is true. Is it?

    Thanks for your help!

  6. #6

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    I'm not a legal expert so I don't know all the in's & out's of this matter. There is something called "Fair use" in the USA and in the UK it's called "Fair dealing" the circumstances that copyright material can be used is not a fixed thing so it is open to interpretation. There is no law that I'm aware of that states using 10 seconds is ok.

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    This may help or confuse matters further. What's more I've no idea with what authority the UK Copyright Service speak.
    Just a couple of points. The recording of previously recorded music is not just one copyright issue - it is two: the copyright of the song itself and the copyright of the performance. The former originates with the writer(s) and may have transfered to the publishers of the song, the latter originates with whoever made the recording which may be the artist or may be the record company (mechanical rights). If you were using it as a background track or featured in your video you would also need "sync rights". It's a minefield. We are lucky in the UK that for very small runs (not covering internet broadcast) we can buy Limited Manufacture licences. Ideal for wedding videographers, event videographers (though recordings of amateur musicals require "grand rights"). As a member of the IAC, I pay peanuts for an annual licence which lets me use commercially available recording - though the use is very limited (basically free amateur festivals - YouTube is vaguely worded, no other on-line services). I'd certainly feel I was covered in your circumstances. (about 40 pa membership and another 7 for the licence - it's a bargain)
    Tim

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    I'm not a legal expert so I don't know all the in's & out's of this matter. There is something called "Fair use" in the USA and in the UK it's called "Fair dealing" the circumstances that copyright material can be used is not a fixed thing so it is open to interpretation. There is no law that I'm aware of that states using 10 seconds is ok.
    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    This may help or confuse matters further. What's more I've no idea with what authority the UK Copyright Service speak.
    Just a couple of points. The recording of previously recorded music is not just one copyright issue - it is two: the copyright of the song itself and the copyright of the performance. The former originates with the writer(s) and may have transfered to the publishers of the song, the latter originates with whoever made the recording which may be the artist or may be the record company (mechanical rights). If you were using it as a background track or featured in your video you would also need "sync rights". It's a minefield. We are lucky in the UK that for very small runs (not covering internet broadcast) we can buy Limited Manufacture licences. Ideal for wedding videographers, event videographers (though recordings of amateur musicals require "grand rights"). As a member of the IAC, I pay peanuts for an annual licence which lets me use commercially available recording - though the use is very limited (basically free amateur festivals - YouTube is vaguely worded, no other on-line services). I'd certainly feel I was covered in your circumstances. (about 40 pa membership and another 7 for the licence - it's a bargain)

    Thank you ever so much for your help.

    Let me explain what I am recording in a bit more detail.

    I am recording an awards show on behalf of a medium sized company. The event will be held at a venue with full PPL licences for music.

    There will be a burst of music as the guests go up on stage, possibly around 10 seconds. I will be recording them going up onto the stage with the music playing and uploading it to the company's YouTube account.

    Would this count as fair use as the venue is licenced to play music and I am recording the person rather than the music? The music just happens to be on.

    Thanks for your help.

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    Matt, I'm afraid you are not going to get a definitive "Yes, this is OK" here. I know that "yes" is what you want to hear, but none of us (at least none of us that are responsible) will tell you that. We will tell you that if you record music you need permission of the publishers of the song and of the recording and you will also need the permission from the same people if you publish it. There may be exceptions (such as the 10 second rule you've mentioned - which sounds to me more like urban myth or misinterpretation), but the only way you can know is to get advice from someone who is involve in copyright law. Even then I wouldn't mind betting there are grey areas where interpretations of the law have not been tested in court as it is normally not worth anyone's while: For example If Sony send a cease and desist notice to you are you really going to have the funds to challenge them in court or are you simply going to take down your YouTube vid?

    Incidentally I don't think the "incidental" clause applies in your case. If it is used as introductory music for the guests this is an integral part of what you're recording.
    Tim

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    The "ten second" bit is just a myth. Someone, somewhere has probably said that if a clip is short, say less than ten seconds, it is allowed, and this has become "fact" in the internet world of mis-information.

    The "fair use" bit is to cover the news team who have a car drive past with the radio blaring out, or the child's birthday video where the television is on in the background. It is to cover those very short incidents which you can't control. It doesn't cover a staged event.

    The PPL licence the organisers have covers their event. It almost certainly doesn't cover video recording unless they specifically arranged it.

    To use the analogy again.. You are asking if it's okay to do 37mph in a 30 limit with no speed cameras, no police around and at night. I know what I would do but... The official advice is "It's illegal".

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