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Taking Care of Business
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Old September 14th, 2004, 01:27 PM   #16
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The thing that helps me understand the reason that using music with our videos without permission is that by syncing the music with the images and video sound, we are in essence, changing the artists music.

We all know that music will have an effect on viewers perception of the image. Imagine a little girl sniffing a flower to light and airy violin music - then the same image set to the suspensful music of "Jaws".

It shouldn't be too much of a stretch to then admit that the image we work so hard to produce also affects the viewers perception of the music. I know every time I hear certain songs that I have used in a video, my mind recalls the images of the video - not necessarily what the composer might have had in mind. If everytime I hear (song name of choice) I think of that miserable SOB that married my daughter, neice etc. Your linking that song to that wedding video changed my enjoyment of the song.

This topic continues with enough $.02's to refinance the national debt...
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Old September 15th, 2004, 08:43 AM   #17
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"to understand and accept the reality of copyright law indicates a character flaw. Much of copyright law is unintuitive."

No, the character flaw is making stuff up and then telling it to other people. I'm not saying Steve did this, but someone made something up and then told Steve it was the law. Theories are fine, and if you have a novel theory and want to ask "is this legal?" that's fine too, but don't you dare come up with a theory and then tell others that it is, in fact, legal to do what you're saying when you're not a lawyer and probably haven't even read the statute. In fact that's a crime in many states, it's called practicing law without a license. Anyone see Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

So the next time someone gives you b.s. legal advice about copyrights, saying "oh you can do x.y.z. if you don't sell it, etc." maybe you should tell him that he's opening himself up for criminal prosecution.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 01:50 PM   #18
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The thing is about using (stealing) someone else's music . . . it's SO EASY.
All you do is drop the CD in the slot and drag it into a program.
You can't be really called a thief, after all I paid $19.95 for the CD right?

Almost immediately, even a weak and worthless video has life
and value when synced to great music.
A boring wedding is brought to life with soaring string sections
and lush horns thundering emotion. As the groom slips the ring on his
bride's finger the brilliant solo violin brings tears to the eyes with it's siren song.
(Boy, what I great job *I* did making that wedding into something special!)

But let's take a quick look at what it took to make that music without
which that wedding was one out of thousands that happen every weekend
that no one really cares about.

First, hire a composer. Not just some loser just out of school, but
a real composer who has true talent. They don't come cheap.
Many have spent years starving while they honed their craft
and worked their way and name up the ladder until they became
recognized and worthy.
(S)He might spend a week(s) coming up with something you'll accept.
I wonder what John Williams charged for the Olympic theme
or Danny Elfman for his Batman score? You'll need to work out
with him whether this is a work for hire or some other arrangement.

Then, you need to hire a symphony orchestra. Again the best is not
cheap and even the lesser Symphonies cost a bundle.
There's the regular union recording fees for 60-100 musicians plus
because it is for broadcast there will be additional fees, some negotiated
by music attorneys with the union business manager(s).
Oh right, you have to pay for lots more lawyers' time to make sure
all the paperwork is correct and get everyone to sign off.

Oh, you probably need some rehearsal time too. More money to
rent a hall and pay for all the musician and their team of crew members
who are also union members. The good news is rehearsal time is less
expensive than recording time. The bad news it's not much cheaper.

What? You need a Maestro too? Well, it might sound better.
Oh, the concert master? Yes, you'll need him to play that solo
and bring along his $250,000 Amati that sounds so sweet and
ride herd over the rest of those wacky string players.
Who's going to arrange the music. Not all composers are arrangers
so there may be more money needed for that.

What? The sound stage doesn't come free? You have to book that too.
Oh, you need mics, cables, stands and all kinds of equipment including mixer(s)
recorders,outboard processing and engineers and their assistants?
MORE THOUSANDS.
You also need to provide catering and pay for additional fees and stage hands
to cover the orchestra's needs such as getting them there and
taking them back home.

Well, you got the music "in the can" and now you'll need to mix, edit
and master the good sections into a finished piece. Another few thousand
ought to handle that.

By now you might have a clue as to the value of what is actually
being stolen when you use someone else's music. Much more value
than if you robbed a bank had you had to pay for it yourself.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 08:39 PM   #19
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Thanks Jacques! A good alternate perspective to the issue.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 10:10 PM   #20
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"The thing is about using (stealing) someone else's music . . . it's SO EASY."

True, but here are some other illegal things that are extremely easy:

- Speeding
- Passing bad checks
- Breaking contracts
- Cheating on your taxes
- Drinking and driving

It's not about the ease. It's about the culture of people who just don't know what IP really is. But IP is one of our most valuable national commodities now, and it's time that people became educated in it just like they are about other property rights.
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 01:45 PM   #21
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This might help

Hi. I'm new to the forums but have been lurking for a while. I'm a total newbie to videography but have been in the radio/dj/studio owner industry for 28 years. I own and operate a recording studio and disc jockey company in Seattle Washington. As far as licensing for public performance/sale/reproduction etc. goes for copyrighted music goes here is a link that might be of help. Being a studio owner/producer I've been a member of ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for quite a while. They, along with the Harry Fox Agency, offer quite a few different licensing agreements and ways to legally use copyrighted music in your line of work. Wether it be for djing at private/public events (unless the venue is already covered and puts you as a tag on their agreement) or videos or even muzak I highly reccomend you get licensing agreements. It isn't hard and with the advent of the internet you can do almost everything online. (I can remember the days when I had to keep track of everything I played at events by hand and report them at the end of each quarter.) Now licensing agreements and contracts can be found online. Here is the link that might help.

http://www.songfile.com/

It has links for Harry Fox (which operates songfile.com for smaller distribution sales), and the other three agencies mentioned above. Hope that helps.

Ken
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 03:00 PM   #22
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Re: This might help

<<<-- Originally posted by Ken Koproco : Hi. I'm new to the forums but have been lurking for a while. I'm a total newbie to videography but have been in the radio/dj/studio owner industry for 28 years. [snip] I highly reccomend you get licensing agreements. It isn't hard and with the advent of the internet you can do almost everything online. [snip]
Ken -->>>
Hey, thats cool. Let us know how you make out with synchronization licenses, whcih are not covered by BMI & ASCAP, and are a whole horse of a different color.
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 04:50 PM   #23
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<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Moore : "The thing is about using (stealing) someone else's music . . . it's SO EASY."

True, but here are some other illegal things that are extremely easy:

- Speeding
- Passing bad checks
- Breaking contracts
- Cheating on your taxes
- Drinking and driving
-->>>


You think it's easy? Try doing all five at once! It took me months of practice to get it down.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 08:41 AM   #24
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Re: Re: This might help

<<<-- Originally posted by John Galt : <<<-- Originally posted by Ken Koproco : Hi. I'm new to the forums but have been lurking for a while. I'm a total newbie to videography but have been in the radio/dj/studio owner industry for 28 years. [snip] I highly reccomend you get licensing agreements. It isn't hard and with the advent of the internet you can do almost everything online. [snip]
Ken -->>>
Hey, thats cool. Let us know how you make out with synchronization licenses, whcih are not covered by BMI & ASCAP, and are a whole horse of a different color. -->>>

Hi John,

Yes, BMI, ASCAP do not issue those type of licenses directly and HF ceased issuing Synch Licenses a few years ago and so now you go directly through the publishing house to get those. Here is a quote from BMI.

"Synchronization licenses are another potential source of income for songwriters and publishers. The "synch license," as it is sometimes called, pays copyright owners when their music is used in combination with visual images such as music in films, TV, videos, computer programs, etc. BMI does not offer synchronization licenses. The producer of the audiovisual production usually requests a synchronization license from the song publisher. These rights are administered and licensed by the publisher who accounts directly to the writer."

and here is from HF...

"The Harry Fox Agency, Inc discontinued synchronization licensing services in June 2002. However, you may secure synchronization rights by contacting the publisher directly. You can search for publisher information using databases made available through the following third-party websites:

http://www.ascap.com

http://www.bmi.com

http://www.sesac.com

http://www.loc.gov/copyright"


Hope that helps.

Ken
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Old February 4th, 2005, 10:26 AM   #25
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Ken, this is all a rehash of information that gets posted here at least monthly. The reality is that as a smalltime producer it is not EASY to get a sync licnce, and in fact will cost a few thousand dollars just to cover their attorney fees.

"Let us know how you make out" means not doing Internet research, but actually licensing something for use. For a movie or commercial it is probably cost effective, but for weddings and other "Personal Productions" (the point of this thread) it is not practical or reasonable to even try. I (and everyone else here) would love for you to prove me wrong with an actual example. Good Luck.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #26
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Hi John,

I was just providing the original poster with informaion he may or may not have had. In talking with the 15 or 20 publishers that I work with on a weekly basis in the recording industry here in Seattle almost all of them say that is A. isn't expensive and B. is quite easy if you are assertive enough to inquire to get a limited run synch license through them. Now obviousely this isn't LA or NYC and most of the music publishing companies here in town are indies or small labels (most not all) so yes, it may be MUCH more difficult and or expensive to get synch licenses through larger publishing companies. I do not have any experience in the videography industry and am just getting into it. The only experience I have is 28 years in the recording/broadcasting industry. I know, apples and oranges. I'll refrain from giving out any other advice since it appears that it doesn't apply to the video industry.

Ken
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Old February 4th, 2005, 06:12 PM   #27
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If your publisher friends truly want to solicit selling sync licenses to small scale producers, there is a market opportunity. Music would obviously need to be usable, but the small-producer video business is in its infancy IMHO.

There are several companies in the sync-license business already. There is still room for a lot more variety and competition, until it becomes an industry-standard. I don't know of any traditional publishers doing this though, it is mostly library and needle-drop companies. Licenses are available from the big guys, but the cost of getting them is substantial relative to the cost structure of small video projects. I think there is always room for new artists at affordable prices.

For a small project, I would think a cost of $3 - $5 a copy per song is the right place to be. That is lots higher than the profit on a traditionally published song. That way,a typical wedding highlight of maybe 30 minutes has 8-10 songs, and music costs of $30-$50 each copy. Assuming 3 copies for the bride & groom, total music costs would be around $100-$150. (Any higher and I doubt you would get any compliance at all). Of course, high cost of copies would encourage illegal copying by consumers, so a one time license of $10-$15 per song (up to 20 copies?) would solve that and work out the same for publisher. Most publishers couldn't pay for the license paperwork at an average sale of $100. Your friends probably wouldn't either. And that assumes that the videographer wants to do an entire video with music from one company. An ASCAP-type arrangement would be ideal, but does not exist.

And this is why we can't get sync licnses at affordable rates. Maybe your friends want to start ASLAP (American Sync License Authorized Publishers)?
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