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Old September 18th, 2003, 09:36 AM   #1
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Synchronization Rights-who'se responsible?

If an entertainer wants an audio-visual showcase and performs cover tunes exclusively, is it his or the production company's obligation to obtain synchronization rights for the songs that make it to the edit? Is it possible to be indemnified by the entertainer against legal action arising from copyright issues or must the producer actively ensure that rights are obtained?

David Hurdon
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Old September 18th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #2
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I cannot give you legal advice except to tell you that if you are asking the question, you probably know the producer is vulnerable.

Ask yourself if a copyright owner came after you and the entertainer, if you think the entertainer can protect you? The answer is probably not.

When in doubt, do it yourself.
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Old September 19th, 2003, 11:34 AM   #3
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Paul Tauger has posted on similar issues before. I don't want to put words in Paul's mouth, but my understanding is that you would still be liable, maybe even more so. Making the client sign a release of liability would indicate that you probably knew it was copyrighted (why else get them to signa release?) and intentionally copied it any way. You may want to search some of Paul's posts. I'm sure he will post on this soon, but he's moving and also involved in a trial at the same time.

I don't envy Paul at all, I hate moving.
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Old September 19th, 2003, 01:01 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : Making the client sign a release of liability would indicate that you probably knew it was copyrighted (why else get them to signa release?) -->>>

Every CD duplicator I've gone to for quotes wants an identical release signed, Jeff. Do they all probably "know" their customers are intent on violating copyright? The reason is simple. It's one less job to do. If the musician is selling CDs he or she has sought mechanical rights for the songs involved. If they want to perform them on video, for whatever reason, why would they not be the one to get the synchronization rights?


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Old September 19th, 2003, 01:57 PM   #5
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Hi David,

As I said, those were my impressions and interpretations of prior posts by Paul Tauger, DV Info member and intellectual property attorney. I can't provide any other further insight than to suggest you search some of the many responses and posts Paul has made on the subject of copyrights and subsequent liability. This applies to US laws and Canadian laws may differ in this aspect also. I may be interpreting Paul's post incorrectly.

My suggestions would be for you to contact an intellectual property attorney and get his opinion.
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