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Old December 7th, 2003, 10:14 AM   #1
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Location: NY, NY
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simple release to use friend's music

Is there a simple release that would allow me to use a friend's music in my movie w/o him relinquishing other rights?

Elmer Lang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 8th, 2003, 03:34 AM   #2
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Location: Aus
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well, why dont you just ask him to use hos music with a free credit and use of his business logo at the end (or at the begining) of the presentation?

of course, depending on how you use the music, if it fiundamnetal to the produciton, then her deserves a cut, if its jsut use a fill music, well, jsut tell himits only used for fills and wont be a feature element of ur production...

its really tricky,
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Old December 8th, 2003, 11:07 AM   #3
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Simple is a relative term. What you're looking for is a limited license. The problem is this: like any contract, it won't matter at all as long as everything goes smoothly and everyone stays friends. It becomes an issue only when one or the other party is unhappy, e.g. you submit your project to a film festival, it gets picked up for distribution and you make $10 million dollars overnight (it happens!). Then, all of a sudden, your friend who was perfectly happy to help you by giving you a free license to his music decides that he deserves a piece of the pie. At the point, the language in the license becomes critical.

At a minimum, to CYA, the license should be:

1. Perpetual (it lasts forever)
2. Non-terminating (it can be ended unilaterally)
3. Specific, as to which project the music will be used.
4. Covering release in any media, currently known or unknown (So that when your project is released on holographic memory cubes, broadcast on WiFi HDTV subscription services, or whatever, the license will still apply)
5. FOR CONSIDERATION. This is critical. Consideration is the quid pro quo for a contract, i.e. what you've given, in exchange for what you've received. Without consideration, a contract is unenforceable (there are exceptions, but they're too complicated to go into here). A simple recital of consideration will suffice: "For good and valuable consideration, the sufficiency of which is acknowledged by the parties . . ."

If this project is important to you, I'd suggest either getting someone to draft it for you or, as an alternative, going to your local law school library and looking for an entertainment law form book (the librarian will help you). The form books have "boiler plate" agreements -- you can probably find a good license form there, though it would still be a good idea to have a laywer vet whatever you wind up using.
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