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Taking Care of Business
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Old August 27th, 2005, 02:35 PM   #16
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Aside from the legal aspects, consider the moral one. As you point out, use of their favorite songs makes the video more memorable to your client. If you were to give them a silent video, or one with "not very good" music, then your services would be worth considerably less. Therefore, by using an artist's copyrighted material you're increasing the value of your own product.

Sometimes it also helps to turn these things around. How would you feel if I lifted a copy of one of your video track, added my own music to it, and then sold it to someone else - for "personal use"?
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Old August 27th, 2005, 03:51 PM   #17
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Sometimes it also helps to turn these things around. How would you feel if I lifted a copy of one of your video track, added my own music to it, and then sold it to someone else - for "personal use"?

good point.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #18
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Well I really don't want to violate someone's copyright. on the other hand my services are not priced very high and I would likely be unable to afford to pay rights - it would probably be too expensive to build into the price.

maybe I'll have to find another area of the business although this is what I was planning to do, at least for the meantime. I thought it was legal if you paid for it on itunes, or if the customer provided the music, as long as they weren't reselling it or using it for commercial purposes.

I'll still try to find out who to contact for various songs and see what they would charge. If it's not very much maybe it could be built into the price. But I'm just someone trying cover basic expenses and don't have the means to pay a lot, unless it can be built into the price.

It's going to be a nightmare tryingto track down who to reach regarding each individual song.

Edit --
I've just made a decision. I could probably have done it for a time at least or snaked a way around it legally, but I don't want to violate the copyright of any artists from this point forward. I didn't realize i was doing that.

But now what? Unless various artists or companies are willing to let me use their songs for free or low cost, that leaves me without a business. Since i"m just starting I guess I can make a shift more easily than if it was established. But what now?
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Old August 27th, 2005, 05:21 PM   #19
 
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Like I said, explain to the people that you can and will make them an excellent video. However, you will not be able to use copyrighted music, because that is breaking the law, and you know they wouldn't want you to break the law.

"Royalty-free" music is the answer. You can buy it already composed, or compose your own with something like ACID Pro.

Jay
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Old August 27th, 2005, 05:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
Like I said, explain to the people that you can and will make them an excellent video. However, you will not be able to use copyrighted music, because that is breaking the law, and you know they wouldn't want you to break the law.

"Royalty-free" music is the answer. You can buy it already composed, or compose your own with something like ACID Pro.

Jay
Thanks Jay
Yes but there's not really much good royalty free music out there, is there? I don't want it to sound like an infomercial.
Also i don't have any budget at all right now, to buy anything.
I could compose music, not really a problem if I had the right program but again I don't have the budget to buy a new program right now.
Soundtrack really isn't set up for that because you can't call your chord changes as far as I am aware. maybe Garage Band would work. I don't know either of them at all. But the music is everything. If it's second-rate then your video is second-rate. I probably won't bother unless I can use real music.

I'm going to do some research and contact some companies and see what their terms are.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 06:06 PM   #21
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Worth giving GarageBand a try.... it's free with every Mac, or very inexpensive if you don't already have it. I got my daughter a small M-audio MIDI keyboard for around $60. Pretty powerful combination...
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Old August 27th, 2005, 06:17 PM   #22
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I"m kind of hoping that some companies will charge a fee that might be reasonable to build into the price. Somehow it's just not the same.
And while it might be fun to compose it might also be time spent that's either not charged for, or would come to the same price as paying for the rights.
But the projects i do are very reasonable. I couldn't add, say $100.00 or something to the price because people would not pay that.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 06:31 PM   #23
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I think the situation is a lot like not wanting to pay income tax.... a low paying job would be more attractive without that also ;-)
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Old August 27th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #24
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Kell,

You might have to rethink your business model. Every asset you put into a video, costs you something. Tape, the camera, the audio gear, your editing system, the lights, expendables, and yes THE MUSIC.

It sounds like you have a pre-concieved notion of what royalty free music or needle drop music sounds like. Give it a listen. Plenty of high end production houses use the same music you can buy. In fact, I see it behind national spots all the time.

yeah, there's cheezy stuff out there, and its free. There's also some good stuff, but you have to look for it.

I just finised a documentary, and needed two pieces of music. Went looking on productiontrax.com and found EXACTLY what I needed. Cost me 160 dollars for the commercial license. Not exactly breaking the bank, and I'm able to put the doc in distribution for that. IF it gets picked up for broadcast, then the stations pay for it. Not exactly breaking my wallet.

Take the time, lend and ear, shop around. The music is out there...
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Old August 28th, 2005, 04:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kell Smith
Thanks Jay
Yes but there's not really much good royalty free music out there, is there? I don't want it to sound like an infomercial.
...
I'm going to do some research and contact some companies and see what their terms are.
There are some excellent buy-out and needle-drop libraries around and the music you use doesn't have to sound like a 2am infomercial. And check out a product called "SonicFire Pro" from Smartsound - it's a software program and a library of buy-out music collections on CD or downloadable by the tune that's kind of hard to describe. The music sounds good and the software makes it "re-composable" to coin a phrase so you can combine elements from different tunes and rearrange phrases within a tune to make it fit a specific length or mood..
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Old August 29th, 2005, 02:54 AM   #26
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Kell
You might want to check in with our Wedding/Event video forum and ask the guys there about alternative legal music. They might have even more ideas for you, or specific websites, just in case some of them aren't reading the Business section.
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 02:06 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Kell Smith
It's going to be a nightmare tryingto track down who to reach regarding each individual song.
Maybe not as difficult as you think. The Library of Congress administers copyrights in the US. (If you are not in the US, my apologies, as this does not apply to you). They have a database of all copyrights that have been filed with them:
http://www.copyright.gov/. You can find who owns the copyright to any piece of music. Note, it may be several people and corporations.
Quote:
Edit --
I've just made a decision. I could probably have done it for a time at least or snaked a way around it legally, but I don't want to violate the copyright of any artists from this point forward. I didn't realize i was doing that.

But now what? Unless various artists or companies are willing to let me use their songs for free or low cost, that leaves me without a business. Since i"m just starting I guess I can make a shift more easily than if it was established. But what now?
It leaves you without a business unless you use music you can secure the rights to. Unfortunately there is no right to run a particular business in this country (US) so there's no use worrying about it. Just take solace in the fact that you are not alone. Lots of us would love to use copyrighted music in our videos but we can't. So we find other music to use and get on with it.

Good luck.

Dennis
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