How much to charge for this, and what about tax? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 8th, 2012, 07:20 PM   #16
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Willmar, MN
Posts: 1,400
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
Steve, I don't know what the situation is in Canada, but it's not like that here. Getting the permit to use one song is in the thousands of dollars
I don't want to put words in Steve's mouth, but I think Steve's point was not that it's cheap, but that you set your rates and if people think it's too expensive they just don't use your services. Likewise, the music publishers set their rates and if you think they're too expensive, then don't use them.

Quote:
Plus the institute already pays ASCAP for the music, what difference does it make if they get a video from the performance that uses that music? It's not music piracy if the institute pays their fee and then the parents get a video from that day with their kids dancing.
Actually, the license the institute agrees to specifically prohibits video. So it is piracy.

Quote:
show me a testimony from a videographer that got sued for music that he captured through the mikes as part of the wedding
Somebody has to be first. Are you volunteering? ;)

It is for these exact reasons that I determined that professional wedding video cannot be done legally in the USA and I quit doing it. Now I focus solely on corporate events and production. As an added benefit, the hours are better and the money is better!
Chris Davis is offline  
Old April 8th, 2012, 07:39 PM   #17
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
I don't want to put words in Steve's mouth, but I think Steve's point was not that it's cheap, but that you set your rates and if people think it's too expensive they just don't use your services. Likewise, the music publishers set their rates and if you think they're too expensive, then don't use them.
Steve said: "They are charging a reasonable fee. You get to put what you consider to be a reasonable value on your own creative work when you set your rates."

Well, everything I've read from colleagues says that to get a permit to use even one song you have to pay thousands and wait months for approval. So what's reasonable about that? So it's not a matter of, like you say, "you set your rates and if people think it's too expensive they just don't use your services." because no school or dance institute is going to pay somebody $100,000 to do a video of their recital, and in the remote case that it was the most expensive school in the world, no videographer would go through having to request rights to use 40 songs and then wait months for approval. It's absolute nonsense. It's not as simple as you say, because it's just not possible.

And you might think that doing wedding videos legally is impossible in the US, and I thought so for a while as well and I was about to quit, until I talked to this guy, who put me at ease because he talked to a few lawyers. So while I didn't talk to a lawyer directly myself, at least someone I know did, and asked the same questions I would have. It's never a good idea to take for granted what people say on forums, much more when it comes to legal advice, because you get lots of guesses and uninformed opinions rather than the real thing. If doing wedding videos in the US would be illegal, we wouldn't be hearing about a lawsuit against a guy who used a Coldplay song in his highlights video, we would be hearing about dozens and then hundreds of wedding videographers being sued and losing their business.
Sebastian Alvarez is offline  
Old April 8th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #18
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Estes Park, CO USA
Posts: 426
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Sebastian, take some time to read through this TCOB forum here on DVi and you'll see hundreds of posts regarding sync rights, wedding videos, dance recitals, etc. I can assure you that what you're proposing is a copyright violation here in the United States. Whether or not you'll "get caught" is yet another story. "You pays your $ and you takes your chances," as they say.

I'd pay for a consult with an actual IP attorney and get their advice. I'd imagine it could be had for less than $100, and might be the best c-note you ever spent.
Brian Brown is offline  
Old April 8th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
Actually, the license the institute agrees to specifically prohibits video. So it is piracy.
Why, have you seen the license? If not, how can you know what it prohibits?

Regardless of that, I doubt any judge would consider that piracy. Piracy is downloading music illegally, or even copying a CD from a friend. If a parent buys a DVD of their child dancing to an Adele song, and they see their child in great picture quality but the sound is rather mediocre because it's just captured through the microphones, with all the echoes from an auditorium, will that prevent them from buying Adele's CD? Not a chance. Even better, seeing their child dancing to that song will most likely send them to a website to order that CD. So where's the piracy? Piracy means that the artist loses money because a person steals, as in downloads from a pirate server or otherwise copies a song or album. Recording video of an event with kids dancing to music that their parents will see later is not piracy. Nobody is stealing anything. I'm just providing a service of video capturing and editing to the institute and the parents, as a result of which there will be several sales of CDs or digital files for the artists whose songs are used in the recital.
Sebastian Alvarez is offline  
Old April 8th, 2012, 09:59 PM   #20
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 4,093
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Within some of the many threads about this subject, it has also been noted that what you see in the news about legal action regarding piracy is only the tip of the iceberg. Respondents facing probable financial annihilation will usually settle prior to trial and those agreements will invariably require non-disclosure. Just because there aren't continuous news articles, doesn't mean it isn't happening. How much it happens to wedding / event videographers...who knows?
__________________
Pete Bauer
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. Albert Einstein
Trying to solve a DV mystery? You may find the answer behind the SEARCH function ... or be able to join a discussion already in progress!
Pete Bauer is offline  
Old April 8th, 2012, 10:56 PM   #21
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,782
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

While I'm not a lawyer, do think of the potential differences between a wedding and a dance recital. Shooting the wedding may be a written contract between you and the couple to document an event which certainly includes music but your primary purpose is to document the event for their private viewing. It may be illegal but one might wonder the extent of the damages if that's all that happened (you did not post to the internet).

The dance recital, it seems you are being hired by a party (the school or an individual representing such) and then selling to the public attending (and possibly others) and that you are being hired specifically to record dancing to music.

Again I'm not a lawyer but it would seem much harder to justify legally that you're being hired by one entity, not for private screening and you are then selling to the public which did not contract you for private screening. This may be different then if an individual parent hired you to record their daughter/son for their own private viewing which may still not be legal but the scope would seem different.
Craig Seeman is offline  
Old April 9th, 2012, 04:56 AM   #22
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
Steve said: "They are charging a reasonable fee. You get to put what you consider to be a reasonable value on your own creative work when you set your rates."

Well, everything I've read from colleagues says that to get a permit to use even one song you have to pay thousands and wait months for approval. So what's reasonable about that? So it's not a matter of, like you say, "you set your rates and if people think it's too expensive they just don't use your services." because no school or dance institute is going to pay somebody $100,000 to do a video of their recital, and in the remote case that it was the most expensive school in the world, no videographer would go through having to request rights to use 40 songs and then wait months for approval. It's absolute nonsense. It's not as simple as you say, because it's just not possible.
....
There's nothing engraved in granite that says a dance school MUST offer the public DVDs of their students performing. Their business is teaching dance, not selling videos. OTOH, your business IS selling videos and that's why licensing needs to be important to you. As far as what's "reasonable," it is the owner of the product or service that gets to define reasonable in a capitalistic society - you get to define what is a reasonable fee in order for someone to use your services, Sony Music gets to define what is a reasonable fee for someone (ie, you) to use their music. They don't get to vote on your fees and you don't get to vote on theirs, other than by not using their music if you feel its too expensive. If you feel they charge to much and that means you can't make and sell your videos and pay their fees in the process, so be it.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline  
Old April 9th, 2012, 07:59 AM   #23
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lakeland Florida
Posts: 619
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Some jobs aren't worth the trouble. Three years ago, when I was starting up my business, it appeared that music recitals, specifically, Senior Voice and Senior Instrumental recitals for the music department of a local university, were going to be a good market for my company. They have scores, if not hundreds, every year.

But that didn't mean that I'd identified a viable market for my services. Now I know better. Ditto for dance recitals. Maybe once in a while to make a keepsake for a friend, but not for business. In my opinion, now that I've been in business for a while, the risks outweigh the returns. Recitals are not part of my business. Likewise concerts and dance recitals. Even churches have been sued over music. No kidding!!!

We are in a very challenging business. Making the right decisions can be very difficult. Before asking what to charge, make sure the job is one that should be taken on. All the Intellectual Property issues are complex. I've discussed these issues with several lawyers, both my own, and some other attorneys. Tread carefully.
__________________
Roger
trueviewfilms.com
Roger Van Duyn is offline  
Old April 9th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #24
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
While I'm not a lawyer, do think of the potential differences between a wedding and a dance recital. Shooting the wedding may be a written contract between you and the couple to document an event which certainly includes music but your primary purpose is to document the event for their private viewing.
And how is a dance recital any different? You are documenting their kids dancing, not the music. The music doesn't make any difference to you in what you're selling, just as the music in a wedding doesn't make any difference to you. You don't have a choice on what music is being played, and you're not making a profit on the music, but on the children's performances.

Now, if you record a band's performance at a recital and then try to sell it, I would definitely say that's piracy. Your main purpose was to record the band and profit from it, without giving anything back to the band. But that's not the case here. However, if the music labels had a reasonable system in place where for example a videographer would have to pay a small percentage of the total charge in order to use those songs, like in England they pay 15 pounds per event, I'd be happy to do so.

Besides, google Dance recital video production. There are tons of companies all over the country doing that. Are all these people really stupid and risking to lose it all? What about the even bigger number of wedding videographers? Same thing.
Sebastian Alvarez is offline  
Old April 9th, 2012, 08:23 AM   #25
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
There's nothing engraved in granite that says a dance school MUST offer the public DVDs of their students performing. Their business is teaching dance, not selling videos.
So what you're saying is that you want to deprive parents of having a visual memory of their kids dancing. Do you have, or plan to have kids some day? You might see that differently if you do.
Sebastian Alvarez is offline  
Old April 9th, 2012, 09:25 AM   #26
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,782
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Sebastian, you are not being hired by a parent to document a child's performance. You are being hired by the school (or someone claiming to represent their interests) and selling the recording. This is not a recording for private viewing. This is a recording being sold to the public. The parents aren't hiring you for a personal recording. The school is hiring you to record something that they don't have the license for (sync license).
Craig Seeman is offline  
Old April 9th, 2012, 09:40 AM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Sebastian, you are not being hired by a parent to document a child's performance. You are being hired by the school (or someone claiming to represent their interests) and selling the recording. This is not a recording for private viewing. This is a recording being sold to the public. The parents aren't hiring you for a personal recording. The school is hiring you to record something that they don't have the license for (sync license).
Well, what if the school hired me and paid me directly to provide that service, instead of the parents paying me directly? But regardless, it is a recording for private viewing. It would be a public recording if I put it up for sale on a website or through some other means, and sold it to people who don't even have children there.

If it would be the way you say, a wedding can also be considered public viewing if the couple invites a few friends over and shows them the video. That's not public viewing, that's private viewing. Now, if they take the video and show it at a bar to total strangers, that would be public viewing.
Sebastian Alvarez is offline  
Old April 9th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #28
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,782
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

If the school hired you to document the event and you handed them the master it might be possible that your position in this would be different.

I suspect as long as you do the selling and are selling to people who did not contract you, it may be public. Public isn't defined by "internet" sales. They are attendees at an event and you'd be selling to them.

Keep in mind your arguments have nothing to do with us. The question is would a court system absolve you of legal responsibility if you were sued. Just because you think your right doesn't mean you are in the eye of the legal system.

In a wedding the couple, the participant, is paying for and receiving a document of the event. You are not distributing the document. You are not selling to document to other people. Your main "risk" is that you are providing a commercial service by syncing without the license to do so.

In the recital you are selling an unlicensed synced recording to people who did not hire you to make a personal recording so the penalties might be more severe.
Craig Seeman is offline  
Old April 9th, 2012, 11:30 AM   #29
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
...If it would be the way you say, a wedding can also be considered public viewing if the couple invites a few friends over and shows them the video. That's not public viewing, that's private viewing. Now, if they take the video and show it at a bar to total strangers, that would be public viewing.
Public viewing of the video is not the issue other than public viewing such as posting on YouTube increases your chances of getting caught. Public SALE of the video is problem. And you're engaging in public sales of the music when you offer it to the audience for purchase. The "copy" might not be as good a quality as a direct digital copy of the original CD but you're selling copies of the music all the same. You are using someone else's creative work in order to create your own production. There's a big difference between the ASCAP license for a public performance and the sync license necessary to include that same music in the soundtrack of a copyrightable film or video.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline  
Old April 9th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #30
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Willmar, MN
Posts: 1,400
Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
Why, have you seen the license? If not, how can you know what it prohibits?
That's standard boilerplate in all public performance contracts.

Sebastian, you seem to be working very hard to convince us using nothing more than your opinion and very little actual information. I think you're actually trying to convince yourself.
Chris Davis is offline  
Closed Thread

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:38 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network