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Old September 12th, 2006, 12:16 AM   #16
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agree with benjamin hill

i have been using only popular music for my work as i have just been self educating and working for free. the distraction/smoothing that a van halen or red hot chili peppers song creates is something to consider.

a couple of my edits came out wonderfully and i regret that i used popular music on the last couple, only because now i am limited as to what i can do with them. one had potential commercial value but it would be too much work to go back and change it.

point: if you are going to go pro you will not be able to use it anyway. the first couple projects is no big deal and fun- but may as well get into the groove. and no doubt, there is endless great unsigned music out there available you. also get the artists giving you free exposure because they are going to show it around. bonus!!
aerosmith will not.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 04:26 AM   #17
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This copyright argument ultimately breaks down into two mutually exclusive camps: those who think it’s wrongful theft; and those who see the shades of gray. While, unfortunately, the first camp essentially wins because they have the law on their side, these big copyright owning companies should remember it’s the aspiring artists of today who will one day make them large sums of money, so maybe they should employ some common sense when sending out Cease and Desist orders and altogether suing people who are not trying to steal from them but just trying to use all the tools they would have at their disposal if they were professionally funded.

The truth is they don’t care about the little guy using their music. The only reason they sue is to make an example of someone once in awhile in attempt to control people through fear so it doesn’t get too out of hand. And while I wouldn’t want the whole world thinking they could use my owned music anyway they want, I would only really care if you were using it in some extreme way: porn, hate videos….

For god’s sake, wedding videos, demo reels, aspiring artist music videos, Indie films…get a grip, I can’t stand the everything is black and white law book which can’t possibly apply to every situation because the world is full of shades of gray.

So to all who choose to break the law because you have common sense and can see the light…if you get caught, I hope you don’t get sued. Cause you’ll lose.

Down with the little guy! Jail Martha Stewart! Live long Haliburton!! (insert trumpets) All Hail to the god of money!! Let it trump all common sense from here on out!!!

BTW, as a side note, I made an Indie short film that uses copyrighted music, so I faxed the BIG company who owns the copyright, and after four increasingly aggressive faxes over two months they finally sent me an email requesting info so they could draw up a contract. It’s now been another three months since I last heard from them and don’t get the impression I ever will. I’m done with the project and will now send it out WITH the copyrighted music. There will be producers and agents and managers who think I’m a law breaking scoundrel who should be sent directly to Hell. But I don’t care. I tried to do the right thing. And even that is just Sync rights for festivals. What are the rights to use it as a demo? I don’t need Master Use rights. I need No-Money-To-Be-Exchanged-Never-To-Be-Seen-By-Anyone-Except-Those-In-The-Business-Who-Can-Hire-Me rights. Oh, and I also need Give-The-Project-To-A-Few-Friends-And-Family-And-Maybe-Even-Present-It-In-My-Own-Residence rights. How much you want for that? The music fits perfectly and I’m going to put my best foot forward. How dare someone call me a thief. Give me a legal reasonable alternative and I’ll do it. Before i-tunes came out I was a scum sucking dirty rotten thief whore who would steal music online. The moment a viable legal alternative came out, I jumped onboard. Thief this.

Maybe in a couple months I'll update my post from jail. Cause, clearly, that's where I belong. I'm a horrible, horrible human full of treachery and debacle. I need chains and a straight jacket and a dark musty room to ruminate on my indiscretions. Actually, if I consider my situation, I'm not far from that now. Tempt not a desperate man. Help me help ME. (hell of a mood I'm in)

Last edited by Jeff Cottrone; September 12th, 2006 at 11:04 AM.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 04:33 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Kelly Harmsworth
This kind of trashyness doesn't surprise me coming out of the recording industry these days. I have little respect for an industry that sues it's fans.
Look at it from the other shoe however. You have invested thousands of dollars in equipment and many, many hours learning to use it properly. You have discovered you have a special talent for some creative skilss and have spent hundreds or thousands more hours honing your raw talent into a set of skills that allows you to produce work that someone else will actually pay to enjoy. You spent even more money and hundreds more hours creating a project that turned out pretty damn good. Do you think it should be open season for anyone to use as they see fit, without returning anything to you in compensation for the time and money you put into creating it? I seriously doubt it. So what is it about a popular song on a CD that you can buy in a record store that makes it fair game? Is it just that the record company's and popular artists pockets are deeper than our's that makes using their property acceptable when using our property would not be? I'm reminded of Will Lomax who, when asked why he robbed banks, replies "Because that's where the money is." I'd like to think there was a higher standard of ethics in play than simply anything that you can get away with is okay.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 04:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gregory S. Ouellette
i have been using only popular music for my work as i have just been self educating and working for free. the distraction/smoothing that a van halen or red hot chili peppers song creates is something to consider.

a couple of my edits came out wonderfully and i regret that i used popular music on the last couple, only because now i am limited as to what i can do with them. one had potential commercial value but it would be too much work to go back and change it.

point: if you are going to go pro you will not be able to use it anyway. the first couple projects is no big deal and fun- but may as well get into the groove. and no doubt, there is endless great unsigned music out there available you. also get the artists giving you free exposure because they are going to show it around. bonus!!
aerosmith will not.
Excellent points - and there is some very high quality music available from sources such as Magnatunes.com that is far from the cheesy, overused stuff people generally think of library music as being that can be licensed and used legally for just a few dollars. I think Magnatunes even allows for free licensing for some uses as long as you fill in the paperwork and give them credit.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 04:49 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jeff Cottrone
...

BTW, as a side note, I made an Indie short film that uses copyrighted music, so I faxed the BIG company who owns the copyright, and after four increasingly aggressive faxes over two months they finally sent me an email requesting info so they could draw up a contract. It’s now been another three months since I last heard from them and don’t get the impression I ever will. I’m done with the project and will now send it out WITH the copyrighted music. There will be producers and agents and managers who think I’m a law breaking scoundrel who should be sent directly to Hell. But I don’t care. I tried to do the right thing. And even that is just Sync rights for festivals. What are the rights to use it as a demo? I don’t need Master Use rights. I need No-Money-To-Be-Exchanged-Never-To-Be-Seen-By-Anyone-Except-Those-In-The-Business-Who-Can-Hire-Me rights. Oh, and I also need Give-The-Project-To-A-Few-Friends-And-Family-And-Maybe-Even-Present-It-In-My-Own-Residence rights. How much you want for that? The music fits perfectly and I’m going to put my best foot forward. How dare someone call me a thief. Give me a legal reasonable alternative and I’ll do it. Before i-tunes came out I was a scum sucking dirty rotten thief whore who would steal music online. The moment a viable legal alternative came out, I jumped onboard. Thief this.

Maybe in a couple months I'll update my post from jail. Cause, clearly, that's where I belong. I'm a horrible, horrible human full of treachery and debacle. I need chains and a straight jacket and a dark musty room to ruminate on my indiscretions. Actually, if I consider my situation, I'm not far from that now. Tempt not a desperate man. Help me help ME. (hell of a mood I'm in)
If your film is intended for festival release, with unlicensed copyright music in its soundtrack no audience will ever see it because no legitimate festival will ever accept it. And how would you feel if someone stripped off the soundtrack, recut the picture, added their own soundtrack, entered the result in Sundance and won top honors, all without consulting you, crediting you, or paying you a penny? That's exactly what you're doing when you use poplular music without license. What makes it okay for you to do it with a record company and/or some big name talent's property but not okay for someone to do it with yours? Is it that they're bigger than you that makes them fair game? They're a corporation and you're not? Nobody really needs to be that rich but you need all of your money to live on? What's the deciding factor that makes it okay?
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Old September 12th, 2006, 10:55 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
If your film is intended for festival release, with unlicensed copyright music in its soundtrack no audience will ever see it because no legitimate festival will ever accept it. And how would you feel if someone stripped off the soundtrack, recut the picture, added their own soundtrack, entered the result in Sundance and won top honors, all without consulting you, crediting you, or paying you a penny? That's exactly what you're doing when you use poplular music without license. What makes it okay for you to do it with a record company and/or some big name talent's property but not okay for someone to do it with yours? Is it that they're bigger than you that makes them fair game? They're a corporation and you're not? Nobody really needs to be that rich but you need all of your money to live on? What's the deciding factor that makes it okay?

I don't think your analogy is a good one. I'm not changing their music. And I made many efforts to contact them for the Sync rights. I realize I won't get in festivals with their music, which is why I'm upset. It's a perfect fit. Anything locally made will not fit as well, but that's what I have to do. My point was I'm going to send it to managers, agents, producers...as is with the copyright music b/c it is a clearer representation of what I could do for them when we can get music clearances. But there isn't any legal contract in place that I'm aware of for demo purposes only where no money is exchanged and no public will see it. Until that happens, I'll be using the demo as is and replacing copyrighted music for festivals.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jeff Cottrone
It's a perfect fit. Anything locally made will not fit as well, but that's what I have to do.
I feel your pain about popular music. I have my ideas when I'm bummin around listening to music I own and like, not when I'm sitting at the computer listening to Stock Company XYZ, Feelgood Hits CD #9.

More difficult still is getting rights from defunct bands/lables. Some stuff I like I can't even buy CD's of anymore. OTOH I'm paranoid to use the stuff, since sure enough the moment I cut a DVD for my friends some suit would swing down and sue a music fan.

Which kind of proves how much the music industry DOES NOT want you to listen to music. CD cases stickered shut, stuff you can't make a mix cd out of, DRM, copyright measures that erringly crash computers, etc. They can't try much harder. If they don't want people to listen to music then they shouldn't publish it. This is where all the cool little label-less buskers come in that play just to be heard. Most real artists don't make a living at art. They do it because they want to make art.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Jeff Cottrone
I...

My point was I'm going to send it to managers, agents, producers...as is with the copyright music b/c it is a clearer representation of what I could do for them when we can get music clearances. But there isn't any legal contract in place that I'm aware of for demo purposes only where no money is exchanged and no public will see it. Until that happens, I'll be using the demo as is and replacing copyrighted music for festivals.
But managers, agents, and producers are the very people who are MOST likely to be very, very protective of intellectual property rights. Yes, not all of them are, but the vast majority certainly. When you want them to hire you, that's exactly who you do not want to give the impression that you just don't care about the very thing that their businesses and livelyhoods depend on.

And the fact remains, there is nothing in the law that grants any exemption to the copyright and licensing requirements for copies that are going to be distributed without monetary gain or exchange. What the copyright owner or licensing clearinghouse will require to grant you a license may very well be dependent on your potential economic benefit from its use but the fact remains, if you make a copy for any purpose other than the few exceptions spelled out in law, you gotta have the license.

As an aside, it's interesting to read all the credits at the end of a theatrical film paying particular attention to the music credits. OFten there's a ton of selections that appear nowhere in the foreground sound in the movie. But when you think back, the piece being referred to was on the radio in the background, or playing on a bar jukebox while dialog and action was going on in foreground, etc, etc - sometimes it's just a few bars or a phrase or two. But every single speck of them is licensed and credited.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #24
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You're 100% right, Steve. In the court of law I lose this battle (although, I'd hope the judge or jury would consider both my intention and the lack of any practical consquences for the copyright owner).

In the court of opinion, I may piss off the very people I'm trying to impress. It's a risk I'm willing to take. I can only hope they too see my intention.

And while I respect the need for laws, the bigger part of me knows that laws can not cover all situations, there's always shades of gray. Sometimes a fair course of action may require breaking the current law. That's how laws evolve.

Essentially, this is an individual decision based on many factors pertinent only to this particular situation, including my belief that both the BIG COMPANY and the ARTIST will not lose any money, nor be upset by the content of my film.

Should there be a helicopter circling over my house?
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Old September 12th, 2006, 11:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Jeff Cottrone
You're 100% right, Steve. In the court of law I lose this battle (although, I'd hope the judge or jury would consider both my intention and the lack of any practical consquences for the copyright owner).

Essentially, this is an individual decision based on many factors pertinent only to this particular situation, including my belief that both the BIG COMPANY and the ARTIST will not lose any money, nor be upset by the content of my film.

Should there be a helicopter circling over my house?
As I see it, it's not even about money- it's about artistic integrity. Why should anyone NEED to have a certain piece of music for their thing to work? If a film or video work can't stand up on its own and has to "borrow" the power of someone else's music to be watchable, what does that say about the skills of the maker?

It's not just about breaking the law; it's about taking the art of filmmaking seriously and having respect for the craft. That's way more important than the fear of getting sued, in my book.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 12:37 AM   #26
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As I see it, it's not even about money- it's about artistic integrity. Why should anyone NEED to have a certain piece of music for their thing to work? If a film or video work can't stand up on its own and has to "borrow" the power of someone else's music to be watchable, what does that say about the skills of the maker?

It's not just about breaking the law; it's about taking the art of filmmaking seriously and having respect for the craft. That's way more important than the fear of getting sued, in my book.

I don't feel the need to defend myself. I know my heart and my skills. Good luck with your ventures.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 02:42 AM   #27
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I don't feel the need to defend myself. I know my heart and my skills. Good luck with your ventures.
I'm happy that you have to this point Jeff. Unless I missed it, no-one has replied to your point that you were ignored when trying to do the right thing. I feel your frustration - I recently tried to gain access to a train station for a brief shoot. I was happy to comply with their guidelines (being supervised, non-peak hours) but they would never return my calls. So I'll go guerilla.

When it comes to copyright, lets not forget that while its (original) intention is to protect artists, its practical use regularly involves generating profit for profits sake. An ill in this world that all pervades almost all aspects of our existence. It too frequently makes a mockery of good values and intentions.

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Old September 13th, 2006, 04:58 AM   #28
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...
When it comes to copyright, lets not forget that while its (original) intention is to protect artists, its practical use regularly involves generating profit for profits sake. An ill in this world that all pervades almost all aspects of our existence. It too frequently makes a mockery of good values and intentions.

...
Almost - but I think you've misunderstood it purpose. Protecting the artist's ability to profit for the sake of profit is EXACTLY why it exists, protecting one's ability to profit from the fruits of one's labours. Artists must eat and pay the rent just like everyone else. The property rights granted by copyright enables artists to practice their art by insuring that they are able continue to profit from their work even after it leaves their immediate control by publishing to the public - that no one else can divert away from the creator the revenue gained by any use of the work. Now you might object "But Sony Studios isn't an artist." True, but the original creative artists sold the rights to their work to Sony and made their profit thereby. Sony would not have bought those rights if they had not anticipated their own ability to make a profit from them. So indirectly, protecting Sony's right to make a profit is also protecting the original creative artist's right to earn an income from his art because Sony would not employ him if it couldn't profit from his work in the same manner as the oiriginal creator might.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 08:24 AM   #29
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Why should anyone NEED to have a certain piece of music for their thing to work? If a film or video work can't stand up on its own and has to "borrow" the power of someone else's music to be watchable, what does that say about the skills of the maker?
So... if Bam Margera wasn't a blood releative to CKY, and had to cut Landspeed with stock rock, and if it sucked, then Bam would've gone down in the books as someone with no skills?

Sure, great video should be able to work with anything, but I like the legal damnations better, lofty and unapproachable as they are. Just because someone likes music doesn't mean they are talentless. How many stock cd's will I have to buy to find a song with the same pacing, vocals and optomistic panderings of Mudhoney's "Good enough"? If I can coax Mudhoney into letting me use the song, do things the way I envisioned, then suddenly I have talent? Still sounds like money stuff to me, unless being a producer who can hook up with anyone implies artisitic qualities.

Edit:
"The Venture Brothers" guys spent a fortune licensing the music used in the intro of the season two premiere. Maybe it would've worked with stock music, but as it was I think it was three minutes of some of the coolest TV I've seen this year. I'm really glad Doc Hammer and co were able to purchase the skills that let them create what they did (especially since they wrote the song).
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Last edited by Jeff Miller; September 13th, 2006 at 08:59 AM.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 09:08 AM   #30
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If I can afford to license that song and cut my video then suddenly I have talent? hmm.
Of course not; if you can afford to license that song it means you have $. My point is that creativity CAN'T be bought or borrowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Miller
...How many stock cd's will I have to buy to find a song with the same pacing, message and optomistic panderings of Mudhoney's "Good enough"?
I'm gonna guess...20 or 30, that's a good band right there. If you respect the band and the song that much, don't let anything stop you from getting their permission to use it. Getting their blessing would make it even more meaningful.

But if the protections weren't in place, any old filmmaker, talented and well-meaning or not, could use Mudhoney's music, as much as they want, and dilute the music with their own "art"!
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