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Thread: Music Copyright

  1. #1

    Default Music Copyright

    Hi,

    We intend to produce short sport DVD movies for customers [groups of about about 5 copies of 10 minutes long].

    There will be very little in the way of dialogue so we want to cover the sound with music of the clients choice. The client may, or may not already own the music. If they don't we'll buy the music from iTunes or CD.

    Chances are the music will be modern pop/rock/dance.

    Where do we stand with regards to copyright infringement?
    Are we fully asking for trouble, or can we get away under certain circumstances?

    Cheers,

  2. #2
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    As far as I know that would be a copyright infringement but assuming your client is not bothered then I shouldnt worry.

    When I started making films I wanted to use a Phillip Glass track for a film thaqt was to be screened at a local independant cinema. Took ages to track the copyright holder, they told me I could have a film festival liscence for 50 quid but also said most people didnt bother and they didnt mind.

  3. #3
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    Whoah! Careful there Mark!

    Legally the answer is "no". You can't use music unless you own the copyright or have permission from the copyright holder. Even situations such as making a back-up copy of a CD which you own aren't simple, the urban myth being that you can do it, the reality being that is is still an offence but the chances of you getting prosecuted are nil.
    If you use the music, even at the request of the client, YOU are the one who gets prosecuted, not the client. Since prosecutions are made by a private "company" paid for by the industry, you can bet that they would jump at the chance for such an easy prosecution.

    Cover your ass, get a letter from your client to list the music they want and written confirmation that they have cleared any copyright issues, otherwise be prepared to risk thousands of pounds (I'm not kidding, these guys don't muck about) in fines.

    Strangely enough I have had the same experience as Mark. If you ask, and it's a non-commercial venture, you usually get a "Well... on this occasion... Okay". If you just go ahead and get found out you risk losing all your equipment (the court can seize anything used in the illegal copying, which includes things like computers) and getting a hefty fine with mega court costs.

    Just a warning...

  4. #4

    Default

    Cheers guys,

    We intend to create the DVD's and sell them to the customers, so it will be a commercial venture.

    But it's very small scale really. Lets say we use 10 different songs per month, and make five copies of each.

    Is there anyway we can get an across-the-board lisence allowing us to use several tracks, either from one Record label, or the whole shebang?

    Or will I have to chase up the copyright for every flippin' song???

    Cheers

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    Hmm, yes guru, mine was a non profit thing hence the go ahead from the copyright holder.

    My guess is that getting permission for commercial use, deffo if the tunes are current, may be time consuming and expensive. And as guru says you would probably get away with it, but if you didnt..... ouch.

    Anyonr got any idea how long a clip can be and not cause concern? Isnt there some precedent in law that allows 'sampling' for creative purposes ?

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    I think you'll find that the best way is to join the IOV (Institute of Videographers) who apparently have a rather good set-up for clearing copyright.

    http://www.iov.co.uk/

    I'm not sure exactly what they charge but since these guys deal with this sort of thing all the time, I believe that they offer some sort of pay-per-dvd scheme.

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    Thanks, will check it out.

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    Also try The Association of Professional Videomakers on 01529 421717; The Institute of Amateur Cinematographers at www.theiac.org.uk; New Producers Alliance at www.newproducer.co.uk.

  9. #9
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    The actual law for the Digital Millenium Copyright Act states that you may have up to 29.99 seconds of a copyrighted act in a film and still be considered "legal"
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    Thanks for that info. ^^

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