How many licenses do I need? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 18th, 2008, 12:08 PM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
How many licenses do I need?

Hmmm I thought I understood this but thought I'd ask to make sure. For a non-profit school to record a live performance of a non-public domain piece of music to DVD, do they need a synchronization license in addition to performance and mechanical? DVD's will be sold as a fundraiser for fine arts department operations.
TIA
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2008, 02:07 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest House View Post
Hmmm I thought I understood this but thought I'd ask to make sure. For a non-profit school to record a live performance of a non-public domain piece of music to DVD, do they need a synchronization license in addition to performance and mechanical? DVD's will be sold as a fundraiser for fine arts department operations.
TIA
I am not a lawyer but as I understand it they need performance licenses for the public performance and sync licenses to put the recording of their performance on the DVD and reproduce it. I thought they'd also need the mechanical licensing but on reflection I'm not sure - mechanical licenses are for "phonorecordings" but does a video DVD of a musical performance count as a phonorecording? I don't know. The only references I can find searching the Harry Fox licensing site are about mechanical licensing explicitly for audio-only DVDs, not video DVDs.

I think you ought to talk to a lawyer on this one.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2008, 08:34 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
And there's the problem, technology has rapidly overtaken traditional licensing/legal clearance schemes...

"phono" recording??? Anyone even USE the term "phonograph" recently??

Everything is 1's and 0's anymore, and multiuse/multi media potential is pretty much a given. No wonder there's such great confusion in this area!
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2008, 03:56 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
And there's the problem, technology has rapidly overtaken traditional licensing/legal clearance schemes...

"phono" recording??? Anyone even USE the term "phonograph" recently??

Everything is 1's and 0's anymore, and multiuse/multi media potential is pretty much a given. No wonder there's such great confusion in this area!
The Harry Fox site is an interesting read - they discuss extensively the licensing for vinyl, CDs, audio only DVDs, digital downloads, etc. and they have very detailed information about new media and the web.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
My research at HJF and elsewhere is indicating Performance and Synchronization licenses are what's needed to cover my particular situation. The Synch includes the duplication on DVD as well as the license to record it with visuals. It makes sense. HJF does mechanical but not Sync. So if I were to record audio only, mechanical is what I'd need in addition to performance. HJF has a nice online way to get them. Getting Synch is more work as it involves finding and contacting each publisher to find out who administers it etc...just takes longer...I feel it's worth it and glad it's available online and without legal fees....YMMV
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2008, 05:39 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest House View Post
My research at HJF and elsewhere is indicating Performance and Synchronization licenses are what's needed to cover my particular situation. The Synch includes the duplication on DVD as well as the license to record it with visuals. It makes sense. HJF does mechanical but not Sync. So if I were to record audio only, mechanical is what I'd need in addition to performance. HJF has a nice online way to get them. Getting Synch is more work as it involves finding and contacting each publisher to find out who administers it etc...just takes longer...I feel it's worth it and glad it's available online and without legal fees....YMMV
It struck me ... Should one consider a video of a concert performance to be primarily a music recording with accompanying visual material or a video production with accompanying music? The mind boggles ....
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
I think the legals look at it as an audio recording that you've added visuals to thus requiring a synch license. Period.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2008, 09:48 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest House View Post
I think the legals look at it as an audio recording that you've added visuals to thus requiring a synch license. Period.
I agree a sync license is required but that is the situation when adding music to pictures such as when adding the soundtrack score to a film or video which are primarily visual, not musical, works - the music is chosen and added synchronized to the pictures, accompanying them. I was just speculating wondering if anyone had ever argued that a video of a performance such as the one you're making is primarily a music recording that merely happens to have some images accompanying it, much like the photographs appearing on a CD label or insert booklet, and the rules of music recordings per se rather than the rules of music for film productions should apply.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
This is the inherent problematic nature of "multimedia" - are you watching the movie, or listening to the soundtrack? Are you listening to a musical performance or "watching" it, or BOTH? Are you videoing dancing and the music is "incidental"... etc, etc...

I like to add to the mix what is the intended purpose of the end media/"recording"? How many will be produced and what is the market? These sorts of questions become critical when you're trying to determine the true "value" of any licensing IMO... and licensing will ultimately need to become flexible and adapt to the "new digital world". The use of the term PHONOGRAPHIC recordings obviously points up a lag of more than a quarter century in the legal structure vs. the current state of media! I guarantee any "records" (vinyl) I have are well over 25 years old... at least thats when I last bought any! CD's, those I'd still buy, but now, why not download and burn my own or transfer it to the iriver/MP3 player?

What if I want to make a little video of my kids dancing to some music they like and I add the tune as a clean audio track to it, to clean it up a bit? OK, then what if I put it on UToob and send to close friends/family to enjoy? OK, what if because my kids are super cute it becomes a huge hit with a bazillion views... we're talking a LOOOOONG way from a plastic grooved disc...

With modern digital media, you've got a mish-mash of potential "recordings" which may be visual, audio, and include who knows what sort of "incidental" images/trademarks/copyrighted visual material/copyrighted audio material...

As video becomes more "commoditized" and obviously a more "democratic" medium of expression (meaning any bonehead can afford a camera nowdays and produce "content"), there's a TON of issues that are traditionally the territory of a TEAM of people at a production studio...

And of course the licensing issues become problematic - one of the news stories today on MSN home page was John McCain and Jackson Browne in a suit over the use of "Running on Empty" by the McCain campaign... the arguments being floated in that case would be comical, but they are serious... yeesh.

I'm sure this poses more questions than answers, but SOMEONE has to ask, right?
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2008, 06:59 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Burbank CA
Posts: 466
One question:
You stated that the school pays the license fee to use the music and should pay the sync license as well if everyone knows going in that a DVD will be produced for sale. So it seems that all this is the responsibility of the school. Do we as videographers and sellers of our services ( as well as selling the final DVD for OUR profit) need to apply for any such licenses or is it solely the responsibility of the school?
David Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2008, 09:59 PM   #11
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
Posts: 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morgan View Post
One question:
You stated that the school pays the license fee to use the music and should pay the sync license as well if everyone knows going in that a DVD will be produced for sale. So it seems that all this is the responsibility of the school. Do we as videographers and sellers of our services ( as well as selling the final DVD for OUR profit) need to apply for any such licenses or is it solely the responsibility of the school?
Responsibility for obtaining licenses is determined by contract -- you can do it either way. However, responsibility for copyright infringement liability if the licenses are not obtained lies with whomever violated the reserved rights of the copyright owner, i.e. the videographer AND the school AND anyone else who participated as a contributory infringer.

CYA -- if the school says that it has the licenses, ask to seem them AND make sure they are adequate to cover your production.
Paul Tauger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2008, 12:53 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morgan View Post
One question:
You stated that the school pays the license fee to use the music and should pay the sync license as well if everyone knows going in that a DVD will be produced for sale. So it seems that all this is the responsibility of the school. Do we as videographers and sellers of our services ( as well as selling the final DVD for OUR profit) need to apply for any such licenses or is it solely the responsibility of the school?
The raises the question of whether you are just hired help operating a piece of equipment for your client or are the actual creative professional who is ultimately responsible for the content of the final product. In Hollywood terms, are you above the line or below the line? Sometimes it seems like some event videographers want it both ways - the artistic credit and recognition of their work as that of a independent creative professional yet the legal responsibilities for the finished program content of a mere camera operator. IMHO, if all you're doing is running a camera, shooting what you're told to shoot and only responsible for the camera's proper technical operation, handing over the footage at the end of the day, then it would be the school'a worry about the licensing. But if you decide the camera POV, select the shot angles and framing, edit the footage, selecting the shots to use and assembling the footage into a cohesive story, laying in the soundtrack, etc, etc, in short, producing the completed video program on the behalf of your client - then you're above the line, it is your program, your ideas, your expression, and as producer everything about it is ultimately your responsibiliy. The fact you did it to satisfy the client's objectives rather than as a purely personal project doesn't change that.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2008, 09:56 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Burbank CA
Posts: 466
I like ur POV Steve :-)
David Morgan is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:47 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network