Question #3 from Some Basic Copyright Caveats by Douglas Spotted Eagle - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Taking Care of Business
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Old March 4th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #16
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It's the marriage of the family's photos to the song, not just the song, that is the issue here. Sure the song makes the photo montage "better", but the photo's also make the song "better", and in that process the artist has been elevated in the eyes of everyone who attended the public event.

I have never downloaded a song in my life. I would never think I have the right to without paying for it. I would only purchase the CD from a store, and that is where the record companies should figure out a small premium as permission for using it for special one time only events that aren't for resale, barter or broadcast. (of course the copy would remain, but then how many more times will it actually be viewed?)

As for the editor "profiting", the editor needs equipment to edit, and most editors don't get rich, they make just enough to keep on keeping on, and their purchasing of expensive equipment over the last 20 years has helped fuel technology which has brought the prices down for a new generation of artists.

It's a circle that some are not willing to acknowledge.

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Old March 4th, 2005, 03:25 PM   #17
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alessandro Machi : It's the marriage of the family's photos to the song, not just the song, that is the issue here. Sure the song makes the photo montage "better", but the photo's also make the song "better", and in that process the artist has been elevated in the eyes of everyone who attended the public event. -->>>

Better to whom? The artist, the client, the editor? I've seen some pretty stinky wedding videos.

<<<-- As for the editor "profiting", the editor needs equipment to edit, and most editors don't get rich, they make just enough to keep on keeping on, and their purchasing of expensive equipment over the last 20 years has helped fuel technology which has brought the prices down for a new generation of artists. -->>>

Just like a musician has to buy equipment, and in many cases, starve for years on end not making ANY money! I've got friends who are musicians, you know how much they make playing a local gig? Usually it's not even enough to cover their expenses to get to the gig let alone make a living or buy more equipment (heck, sometimes it doesn't even cover the beer tab). Then you have the recording studios or producers (even the small one's). They have literally MILLIONS of dollars invested in equipment and years sometimes even decades of experience behind them. What makes them any less viable than somebody with a $3K camera and a $500 computer? Let's say you have a few hundred thousand dollars invested in equipment, how does that change anything? It really doesn't. The customer needs to pay EVERYBODY involved. Not just the editor, or everyone but the secretary, EVERYBODY involved in producing the project should be compensated or at least have an opportunity to decide. True there are times that it sucks but it's only fair.

I did a video in Colorado Springs. Not a big budget but it wasn't terrible. I didn't have a sound person on set and would have really liked to have one if for no other reason than to hold the boom. I ended up PAYING my stepfather (no experience) to come down from Denver and do it for me. Total cost for 2 short shooting days, $300 (although he would have done it for free). I also needed music, I knew what style I wanted and how it should be timed. I ended up asking a friend (also in the video business) if he could help out. I gave him a cut of the edit and he bought some royalty free music online and did a little rearranging for me. It took him maybe an hour and cost under $50 for the music. He didn't even want any money for it because he said he would just keep it for his own use (and he's the best of people), I still gave him $200, why, because everybody deserves to get paid if the money's there. (and to be honest, the deadline was so tight that he really saved my butt! I just wish my Illustrator friend wasn't such a flake.)

<<<-- It's a circle that some are not willing to acknowledge. -->>>

This may be true. What does it take to make people acknowledge it though? If "you" aren't willing to add the music they want (wedding or family event videos) "they" will just go to someone else who will do it. Does that make it any more legal? No. It's a tough call. I realistically can't see paying for rights for music in a wedding video. Not because it isn't the right or deserved thing to do, but because, like you said, it's quite difficult or almost cost prohibitive or just something the clients aren't educated to having to do. I've never thought to check how much it would cost to obtain permission to use something like "Remember When", by Alan Jackson in a wedding video. (I just got that song from one of the posts in the wedding forum) It would be a neat experiment to try to contact Arista Records in Nashville and ask.

However it would be really cool to be able to go somewhere like iTunes and have a separate button for acquiring permissions and a scale of different uses to pay for it accordingly. How cool would that be?! Listen to a sample and buy the rights in one stop shopping.

As a side note, I wanted to use a song for a promotional video once and never heard from the record company or the band after trying to get in touch with them for 6 months! It IS a PITA more often than not.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 05:49 PM   #18
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See: http://creativecommons.org/

There you will find links to music sources you can use because their creators have given permission for use.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 05:38 AM   #19
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Thanks for the link.

Perhaps some number crunching is needed here.

When an artist licenses their music for a car commercial, they may get paid $ 500,000 or more. But lets factor in how many times the commercial will play, and lets also factor in that each time the commercial plays several million people will see it.

It's not far fetched to estimate that by the time the car commercial has completed it's broadcast run, a hundred million eyes have seen the commercial, and therefore heard the music.

Lets divide $500,000 into the 100 million people who viewed the commerical over it's run. The cost per person, to use the music for that particular car commercial was 1/2 cent per person!

Of course I would pay 1/2 cent per person for those who view a video that I edited and used copyrighted music for the montage! I'd even pay 1 cent per person!

So 200 people see the video x 1 cent per song x 5 songs = $10.00.

It still begins to add up, but why should a lowly editor doing non-broadcast editing have to pay double what the professionals pay? Perhaps they pay equal or less....ergo, between $2.50 to $5.00 would cover the cost per event.

Believe me, it would add up big time if the music industry were collecting from every such event held everyday across the country. I'm simply suggesting that any talk of hundreds of dollars for permission to use one song for our small events are out of line when compared to what the professionals pay.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 07:47 AM   #20
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One has to consider that the reason a rights-holder can get $500,000 or more for the use of a piece of original music is largely because others can't use the music for less. Why would anyone pay $500,000 for use when others would be able to get it for a mere $10.00?

This may seem irrational to some, but hey, it's the entertainement industry were're talking about.

Exclusive or limited use adds to and is part of the value of the use rights and that's the way producers think about it.

It's as much a cultural as legal issue.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 10:07 AM   #21
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Good points.

But if a song is being used over and over across the country in very small venues, and the music was actually generating a buck here and a buck there, it would actually start to add up to huge amounts of money.

In other words, for a song to be "overused" for anniversary videos and the like, the song would have to generate similar amounts of money to what it would get from that one big licensing deal every several years.

So other questions to ask are does the artist or record label "care" which way the money is generated, and at what point does a song lose favor for a big licensing deal because of "overplay" at small time events?

Keep in mind it's not necessarily how often a song is used that is signficant, it's how many times a particular person hears the same song that is significant, and then, is that necessarily a bad thing?

I don't know for sure that any one interpretation is superior to any other. It's quite possible that record labels could create a special CD section with an additional charge attached to the CD in exchange for use in local, one time only anniversary events.

The total amount of these special permission CD's that are purchased could then be "tracked" by bean counters and used as sort of a billboard top 100 by licensing agents.

Somebody would figure out a way to market this new bookkeeping data and it would actually help the artists who's music is loved by their fans who want it used in family photo montages.
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