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Old December 11th, 2007, 06:36 PM   #1
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Using popular music for self promotion?

Maybe it was discussed before, couldn't find it, just wanted to know, is it OK to use the music from CDs that I purchased for promo purposes like demo reel, personal videos, etc.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #2
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No, it's not OK. Using other people's music without permission is illegal in most jurisdictions and unethical if legal.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 08:52 PM   #3
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And worse than that, you are showing viewers of your promo/demo that:

a) You could do the same for them with their favorite song
b) You don't know/care about doing things legally

...and both are wrong. If you are just starting out, hook up with a local musician to compose something for you or buy some royalty free tracks. Either route will cost you MUCH less than the lawsuit!
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Old December 12th, 2007, 05:41 AM   #4
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Posters do it quite often on this site, but some with a difference of putting a name of the artist next to their video, a link to artists site, Amazon shopping cart, etc. Is it a cross promotion for the poster and artists financial gain.
Possibly these posters have a personal agreement with the artist?

Is it OK then?
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Old December 12th, 2007, 07:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg Kalyan View Post
Posters do it quite often on this site, but some with a difference of putting a name of the artist next to their video, a link to artists site, Amazon shopping cart, etc. Is it a cross promotion for the poster and artists financial gain.
Possibly these posters have a personal agreement with the artist?

Is it OK then?
It's okay to use someone else's protected expression only if you have permission. Absent permission it's infringement and you're potentially liable for damages unless it comes within the First Amendment doctrine (in the U.S.) of Fair Use. I can't give legal advice to anyone here with respect to specific situations, but I can't think of any commercial promo in which unauthorized use of protected expression would fall within Fair Use.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg Kalyan View Post
Posters do it quite often on this site, but some with a difference of putting a name of the artist next to their video, a link to artists site, Amazon shopping cart, etc. Is it a cross promotion for the poster and artists financial gain.
Possibly these posters have a personal agreement with the artist?

Is it OK then?
Seriously, I'm baffled by people thinking this makes it ok. You do not have permission, you can not legally use it. People do it, but me and a lot of people I know see it as unprofessional when we hear music they obviously don't have rights to and would pretty much write you off as ignorant at best, and unethical at worst.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 08:25 PM   #7
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I'm awaiting permission to use a song for a film I'm working on. The film won't be sold for various reasons, but will be given away free to the people who were involved in it (plus a few others who want a copy of the DVD).
The copyright holder is EMI, who have provisionally stated that they will arrange the necessary permission for a fee of 100 if the DVD is limited to 100 copies.
I could have just used the song anyway, and I admit I was tempted, but I'm very law abiding and like to sleep at night with a clear conscience.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 02:50 AM   #8
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Not long ago I shot a fashion piece at a Fair in central Mexico. Early evening, warm, humid, and everything was in full swing, literally. Hawkers promoting their wares staccato fashion, huge speakers blaring at every attraction, fireworks, bells, whistles, children yelling, running everywhere, people on perilous spinning rides screaming with fear and delight; a cacophony of sounds, and the perfect soundtrack for my video piece destined to be shown at the opening of a fashion show a week or two later. Wonderful.

And then, while shooting up on the Ferris wheel, quite scary I might add, through all this madness wafted the soft, plaintive voice of Julieta Venegas singing ‘Lento’ from her CD ‘Si’. If you have been anywhere in Mexico in the last couple of years chances are you have heard this piece a million times…and probably still enjoy. At the time most anywhere one went Julieta was singing away, and if not her it was not uncommon to hear teenage Mexican girls softly singing this song as they walked along the street going somewhere unimportantly, never in a hurry; never.

Well, what’s my point. As it turned out I used another shoot for the fashion show opening and the fairground piece remains in my archives. I suppose if I wanted to publish that shoot I should get permission from Julieta, pay her a bob or two, and that would be that. But I’m not sure. It was background music over which I had no control, and it was frequently drowned out by the ambient fairground racket. I asked a Mexican friend what he thought. He did not say anything, he just looked at me as if I was out of my tiny mind.

I came across a website NIEHS, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services, and here I found the tune, with lyrics, of ‘Three Blind Mice’. Probably the first piece of music I learned to sing. I note that the NIEHS judge this song to be ‘copyright unknown’ but that seemingly did not stop them from using it. I just know they didn’t pay anyone for this. Lovely, I shall use this tune in some future production perhaps.

I confess once upon a time I did venture momentarily down the copyright infringement road, early in my video career. I was enamoured of a young Mexican woman of extreme beauty. She told me her Mother would never hear of it. But she might if I appealed to her religious leanings and her love of classical song, I was informed. With passion in my heart and a huge desire driving me I videoed all the crosses I could find in this small central Mexico town, and there were hundreds. I then place a copy of the late Luciano Pavarotti singing Ave Maria on the timeline and rendered off a copy. I played it for the dear woman and quickly tears rolled down her cheeks. Perfect, I thought, the deal is done. No such luck, thanks be to God; when the Mother found out it was the daughter I was after she threw me out of the house screaming ‘scoundrel’. I destroyed the CD with my bare hands, threw my computer in the garbage, attacked my video camera with an axe, and that was the end of my feeble copyright infringement days; a lucky escape from almost certain hell for the rest of my dear days.

Oleg, I note that you live in Moscow. I presume that’s Moscow, Russia. It is my understanding that the laws in Russia regarding copyright are not necessarily the same as in many ‘western’ nations, although if Russia wants in to the WTO community then that will need to change. Regarding the morality side of things…that is, potentially, a can of worms. Our western morality, while supremely superior to the rest of the world is not necessarily judged that way everywhere on the planet, it seems. Funny that, we always thought we were THE moral high ground, and then suddenly we find ourselves built on slightly shifting sand. We are told to draw a line in the sand, but if you must then do it way down on the beach at low tide, please. So, when it comes to morality your guess is as good as mine. Ask around, and for the most part, ignore the answers.

Your question ‘is it OK’? Answer: ‘it all depends’.

Ask your legal adviser in Russia regarding the legal realities on the ground there, and regarding the morality side of things check with your local…I have no idea!

And to be somewhat pragmatically American, if my American friends will permit me for a moment, yet again, I suppose it somewhat depends on whom you are trying to impress. If it’s the people who participate at DVINFO then I suggest using copyrighted music from a current CD without permission would be counter-productive at least and possibly even downright suicidal no matter that you live on the other side of the planet! Some people here do feel very strongly about this, including no doubt the boss himself! My understanding is that it is no more difficult to get someone bumped off in Russia than in the USA. Be careful.

If it’s some young woman’s Mother you are trying to impress; then just don’t do it, never ever ever. Don’t even give it another thought.

Happy New Year

Last edited by John McCully; January 1st, 2008 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Typo - non-Freudian
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 08:18 PM   #9
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Heh. Wow, what can one say to this? :)
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