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Old September 9th, 2002, 11:06 PM   #1
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How to obtain rights to music??

Can someone explain to me how I go about getting the rights to use music in my videos? What should I know before I try and getting the rights to music? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Alex
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Old September 10th, 2002, 01:09 AM   #2
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Well, who wrote it, who has the performance rights for that recording and who is the publisher for the music. Then contact the publisher first to hear about the cost of using the music. If it is a non-commercial project you can also approach the original artist to obtain his/her permission to use it without paying the fee's. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they dont.

Good luck,
HuBBa
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Old September 11th, 2002, 08:04 AM   #3
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I think the question was more along the lines of how do I know
whom to contact. I don't have the original performers phone
number so to speak. That is at least what comes to my mind.
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Old September 11th, 2002, 09:13 AM   #4
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Ah well first step is obviously to find out the artist and the recording. Then you can find out (through CDDB for example or your local record store) who owns the rights to it (the copyright label). and if you have physical access to the CD then it is always printed on the back of the cd and sometimes inside the leaflet.

/Henrik
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Old September 11th, 2002, 10:22 AM   #5
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Try looking at :

www.mpa.org/copyright/searchenter.html

it might help.


Ross
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Old September 12th, 2002, 08:55 AM   #6
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And how to find the phonenumber then to the persons you must
call to get the rights?
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Old September 12th, 2002, 09:18 AM   #7
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Following the MPA link above, it's pretty easy to find the phone number. Problem is, no web site addresses and no e-mail addresses.

I'd much rather send e-mail. I can't imagine a publisher rep being happy to receive a call from a wannabe indie filmmaker who wants the right to put one of their client's songs in a non-commercial short film that may or may not be good enough to enter in film festivals, and to use it, of course, for free. I can hear the echo of the phone hanging up even now.
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Old September 12th, 2002, 07:17 PM   #8
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It's really hard. The answer is: lower your sights.
The "agencies" that hold the copyrights and performance rights and mechanical rights and all the other stupid rights won't even return your e-mails, or phone calls or respond even when you properly fill out their nonsensical forms if you're just a "guy that needs some music". (Do you sense some hostility here?)
If you want some classical music, it's conceivable that you could get away with taking some of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, for example. It has been played many thousands of times and recorded scores of times, and who could identify what orchestra you took it from. Tchaikovsky is dead over 75 years. He's public domain and he doesn't care. It is illegal, however, because the performances, identifyable or not, are copyright. I personally have never had the nerve to do this on a piece intended for public performance or sale.
For about $50.00 you can get a CD of music from the Music Bakery (can I name names?) or any number of other producers that you can use for anything to your heart's content. It's not the best music, but it is real instruments, and as a background for a video can be quite nice. You can pick out what you need on these companies' web sites.
There are other sites on the web that have free downloadable music that you can use. It's of lesser quality, but if you need a banjo and a fiddle, it's great.
Any performance over 75 years old is in the public domain. Do you have a gramophone? Also try the Library of Congress website. They have stuff as well.

Hope this is of some help.

OPORORNIS@YAHOO.COM
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Old September 12th, 2002, 07:24 PM   #9
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It can depend on the type of work your doing. When I do charitable work or reduce my fees for a good cause (non-profits, award ceromonies for students, teachers etc.) I usually go directly to the artist. I bypass ASCAP and BMI and the rest. If I have reduced my fees, the artist will generally reduce or eliminate his. If on the other hand, I'm charging for the production (or hope to make money with it) it's only fair that the artist should get paid as well.

Jeff
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