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Old September 21st, 2008, 12:48 AM   #1
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Using music in a video blog.

I'd like to do a video blog about shows that are coming to the area and would like to showcase both local and national artists. I'd like to play samples of the artists music and maybe a clip from a music video. National artists are what I'm really curious about as I'm sure 3 out of 4 times I'm going to get the OK from local artists to play their music to anyone as that would help them. Eventually I'd like to be able to make a little money off of this from sponsors so that's where things get a little complicated I'm sure.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 07:21 AM   #2
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Is there a question in there? I assume you're wondering if it's legal to use the clips of the artist's performances. There are a couple of separate copyrights to be concerned with - the copyright on the music itself (notes and lyrics) and the copyright on a recording of the a sepcifc performance of the music. You need permission from the copyright owner of the music to use the song itself and also permission from the owner of the copyright on the specific recording (usually the record label releasing it) if you're going to use an existing recording rather recording a fresh performance yourself. A local band or a nationally known artist that has cleared rights to record a cover does not have the ability to give you permission to use it in your video piece - the mandatory rights allowing them to record the cover are not transferable to a thrird party and do not include synchronization rights (which are what you need). Artists that are signed with a record label may also be contractually bound to conditions that would prevent them from giving you permission to use even music that they have written without going through the label. Unless the music was written by the band with retaining the copyright and you're making a fresh recording of their performance, they won't be able to grant you the necessary permissions and you're going to have to go on an adventure in the copyright clearance jungle.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 03:41 PM   #3
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Yes that is what I'm wondering, sorry for the poor composition of my message. Basically what I'd like to do is talk about shows coming up at local venues and whilst talking about them play some samples of their music or if they have video roll that. I'd like to showcase local acts and national acts in the rock/metal genre. I'd be expanding to other genres as well when I'm able to get help from some others.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 06:34 PM   #4
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Using a copyrighted piece for comment or critique is at the very core of the fair use doctrine. I believe what you're doing falls well within that definition.

However, the copyright owner may not agree with that assessment. Most likely, someone disagreeing with your use of their work will simply send you a request to remove it. It's only if you refuse that they'll sic the lawyers on you.
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Old September 27th, 2008, 03:36 PM   #5
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Travis, if it isn't your music and you don't have permission to use it then that is copyright infringement. Chris' advice could get you into a lot of trouble because your use of the music especially for profit does not constitute fair use by any stretch. You must have written permission from the bands/composers and you should definitely visit a lawyer if you plan to proceed.
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Old September 27th, 2008, 07:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
Travis, if it isn't your music and you don't have permission to use it then that is copyright infringement. Chris' advice could get you into a lot of trouble because your use of the music especially for profit does not constitute fair use by any stretch. You must have written permission from the bands/composers and you should definitely visit a lawyer if you plan to proceed.
"For Profit" does not disqualify fair use.

So is it your position that the US Code, in particular, the section that states "...for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright" means absolutely nothing?
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Old September 27th, 2008, 10:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
"For Profit" does not disqualify fair use.
So is it your position that the US Code, in particular, the section that states ... means absolutely nothing?
I think Chris the problem is the distinction between entertainment and hard news (i.e. the local TV station reporting a riot occurring at the venue while the band's music can be heard in the background would be news use). From a practical perspective, it would probably be a bad idea for a label to sue a site that is promoting a band. But the bottom line is that this would clearly be copyright violation. Travis should contact the band's management to get permission in advance.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 07:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
"For Profit" does not disqualify fair use.

So is it your position that the US Code, in particular, the section that states "...for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright" means absolutely nothing?
I think the point is that "criticism, comment, news reporting" would probably not extend to using the music in what is essentially an advertising piece for upcoming shows. If you are doing a regular program of music reviews and commentary, or are reporting on and critiquing current shows that would be another matter. A classic demonstration of the sort of program usage that "criticism, comment, .." would cover would be the syndicated movie review show "At the Movies."

A video blog would be sort of like a fanzine I'd expect - would that be considered "criticism and commentary" - probably take a court hearing to determine - not a pleasant prospect.
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Last edited by Steve House; September 28th, 2008 at 08:29 AM.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Greg Quinn View Post
.... Travis should contact the band's management to get permission in advance.

One of the points I think it's important to note is that the band or their management may not have the legal authority to grant permission in the first place. They are only able to grant permission if they are the original creators/publishers of the music and their contracts with their labels have not transfered their rights to the label. If they have recorded a cover where the copyright to the original music is owned by someone else, then he has to contact the original copyright owner for the necessary permissions to use the cover performance.

Publisher A publishes the words and music
Artist A records hit single
Band B releases cover version
You want to use Band B's recording, you need permission from Publisher A to use the music and Band B's label to use the specific recording. The band itself doesn't have a vote.
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Last edited by Steve House; September 28th, 2008 at 08:42 AM.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 12:12 PM   #10
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I think Chris the problem is the distinction between entertainment and hard news
Apparently a Federal Judge and New York State Court Judge would not agree with you. Earlier this week they ruled that the Ben Stein movie "Expelled" could use the song "Imagine" by John Lenon for criticism and critique under the Fair Use Doctrine. That movie is certainly not "hard news".
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