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Old October 3rd, 2004, 09:14 PM   #1
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Demo reel music question

I've been watching other peoples demo reels on the web and see a lot of copyright music being used. Is this as big a faux pas as I assumed it was?
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Old October 4th, 2004, 03:16 AM   #2
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u can use licensed muic if u apply for a license... which really isnt al that expensive..
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Old October 4th, 2004, 11:17 AM   #3
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Re: Demo reel music question

<<<-- Originally posted by Dylan Couper : I've been watching other peoples demo reels on the web and see a lot of copyright music being used. Is this as big a faux pas as I assumed it was? -->>>

It certainly leaves you open to a lawsuit or two.
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Old October 4th, 2004, 08:27 PM   #4
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This isn't really what I'm asking. Let me rephrase the question...

If I got someone's demo reel on my desk, and it is cut to say... U2 or The Rolling Stones, I would be much more likely to throw it in the "pass" pile since they are clearly using "stolen" music.
Am I odd in descriminating this way? To me it seems pretty unprofessional to steal someone elses music for your demo reel, but I'm seeing it done more frequently recently. So, is it just me, or are people become blase about doing this?
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Old October 4th, 2004, 09:38 PM   #5
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I would never hire anyone with questionable ethics. If I hired them, what would they steal from me? Would they steal clients, equipment, supplies, from other employees? Why take the risk? I used to hire between 3 and 5 college grads every year. I would get usually between 300 and 500 applications for those few jobs. If I heard or saw material that was obviously copyrighted, the reel went right in the trash.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 05:27 PM   #6
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Oh for Pete's sake....

I have seen dozens of demo reels, and all of them use "unlicensed" music in them. Directors reels, DP reels, Editor reels, production house reels, Post house reels, Graphics reels. In the past this has not been an issue. It never was. The RIAA could care less. It was NEVER AN ISSUE.

Only recently with the advent of Napster and music swapping and music downloads has this cropped up as an issue...but only with a few people. I still think that that RIAA would care less. Unless the music is used in a trade show or other public viewing, I doubt the'd care.

And where does this "if they use 'stolen' music in their demos, what will they steal from me?" statement come from? People who use these music in their demos aren't theives. More often that not it is music from a CD they purchased that was already in their collection, or something they heard on the radio and went and bought (and probably still is today...except they downloaded it and PAID for it) that they thought would work well in their reel. Just because they use popular music in their reel, doesn't mean they feel that the stapler that the company provided is now theirs. Get real.

Before music became downloadable...reels contained popular music. Today it is just easier to acquire the music (and yes, "steal it"). Not to hire someone because of the licensing issue of the music in their reel is, in my opinion, petty and stupid. If the material is good, if it is what you are looking for, hire the person.

The RIAA and it's nitpickiness with music is spoiling your minds. Before music downloads were and issue, the use of this music in reels, WHICH IS WIDELY KNOWN, EVEN BY THE RIAA, was not, and IS NOT, something that they care about. It is still done today, and not one case has gone to court. The percentage of people using music for reels is miniscule.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 06:47 PM   #7
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I practiced ethics in my hiring decisions long before there was a Napster or downloading. It has got nothing to do with the RIAA. Its an old idea based on don't steal and don't use things that don't belong to you without asking. I've caught employees stealing from me. I caught them stealing cash, stealing hours, stealing from other employees, stealing clients and stealing equipment. It's no fun having to fire people and it's especially not fun firing thieves.

If you think ethics, past work performance etc. aren't relevant then your wrong. almost every major employer does background checks. Why? Because internal theft costs companies billions of dollars every year. As a smaller employer (20 employees when I sold my interest) background checks where prohibitively expensive. Instead I relied on personal interviews. But how could I possibly interview 500 applicants. Instead I looked for tell-tale hints in their reels and resumes. If there was a hint of questionable ethics, then I didn't waste my time.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 06:58 PM   #8
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I do believe that you should fire someone if they steal from you, or have bad performance. I don't have an issue with that.

I have an issue with you stating that if someone uses unlicensed music in their reel will steal from your company. That because they used that music that they are already thieves.

The practice of using said music in demo reels has only recently come under question as unethical. Previously this was done all the time and no one cared, not the artists, not the labels, not the RIAA. It was a non-issue.

Why is it suddenly an issue now? And why do you assume that because I us a U2 song in my reel without a license that I will stuff cash from the register into my pockets?
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Old October 5th, 2004, 07:22 PM   #9
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Shane, I think you have missed Jeff's point completely. The idea that a casual or lazy use of a technically illegal product might beget future indiscretions and for that, he is using a simple method to short list the candidates. A business technique. His position is his alone on the subject of media to the masses and the availability worldwide of such on the net.

Here in Canada, I pay a royalty for every piece of blank media that I buy. A by-product of the downloading generation and made possible by our government in an attempt to appease the creative community (musicians) by handing back a small skim from every sale of any recordable media format.

So to sum up, I actually see your point and Jeff's. I would love to see a reasonable licensing body that would allow a cost competetive method to sync. popular music works to limited production creative product. In my view, the creative community is hampered by this process rather than inspired.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 07:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Why is it suddenly an issue now?
I've practiced these hiring practices since the 1980's. As I stated, long before Napster or downloading was even thought of.

Quote:
I have an issue with you stating that if someone uses unlicensed music in their reel will steal from your company. That because they used that music that they are already thieves.
Don't put words in my mouth. I said I don't hire people who make bad ethical decisions. A person's past performance (unethically using unlicensed music) is an indication of future behavior. An indication of poor ethics and I just don't give you a chance to steal from me.

Quote:
The practice of using said music in demo reels has only recently come under question as unethical. Previously this was done all the time and no one cared, not the artists, not the labels, not the RIAA. It was a non-issue.
Perhaps it was not an issue in southern Ca or LA. But in the midwest, granted a more conservative region, unlicensed music use has been an issue for years. There wasn't until recently, any threat of enforcement or punishment. But use of unlicensed music has been considered unethical (wrong) for as long as I can remember.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 07:44 PM   #11
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Jeff, can I assume that you will toss anyone's reel into the trash if they use any music you've heard of before? How would you know that the music they use hasn't been licensed? Would they come with a disclaimer at the beginning of the tape saying: "by the way, this music has been licensed"?

By extension, do you want to know if all of the software that the creator used to make the reel was also licensed?

Do you want to know if the creator had specifically sought permission from their employer to show work they've done for that employer in their own private portfolio?

(By the way, I know people who have been in a hiring capacity (animation and games work) and they just turn off the sound because they want to concentrate on the visuals, not on the overall presentation.

Of course, this would be problematic if the artist was showing off how well their visuals worked with music as in a music video. )
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Old October 5th, 2004, 09:01 PM   #12
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Most of my introductory positions were for assistant editor, I was most interested in the editing skills displayed. Since we did a fair number of music videos, I payed close attention to the use of music and editing techniques. Reels usually don't contain a full length song, but generally clips of maybe 20 to 30 seconds. It is generally safe to assume that a college senior did not pay for the licensing rights of 8 to 10 popular songs.

During the '80's and '90's software piracy was not as big an issue as it is today. It was pretty tough to download a 100MB file on 28.8kbps modem. In regards to work shown from recognizable organizations, yes, I did ask if they were violating any DND agreements. Several of our key clients in Cincinnati were very large multinational companies and all my employees had to sign NDA's. So yes, corporate security was very important to us. We taped products month, even years before they were on the market. One slip could cost us a 7 figure client.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 10:53 PM   #13
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Jeff you need to chill out and smoke a fatty. You sound really uptight.

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Old October 5th, 2004, 11:39 PM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Corey MacGregor : Jeff you need to chill out and smoke a fatty. You sound really uptight.

Corey

-->>>

Is that your professional opinion, doctor?
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Old October 6th, 2004, 12:00 AM   #15
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"Is that your professional opinion, doctor?"


Yes it certainly is!

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