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Old April 11th, 2012, 01:05 AM   #46
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Oddly, I got something from WEVA in my inbox today, announcing a new music licensing program in conjunction with APM Music - looked promising... if you can't find it Googling, I'll post a link tomorrow.

As for "it would happen fast"... not when you're dealing with artists and attorneys, with a room ful of MBA's tossed in for good measure...
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Old April 11th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #47
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

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Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
Well, if they don't see the benefit to their industry, they are either stupid or they don't even dedicate a minute to think about it, because the benefits are obvious.

The point is, we're getting screwed, the musicians are getting screwed, only because of a few suits with backwards mentality. We have to do something about it.
Sebastian,

You are preaching to the choir on that one. No one here would be unhappy with a workable arrangement when it comes to music licensing.

Also understand we aren't against you in any of this. Several people with good knowledge and experience are pointing out that you will be assuming some risk by taking on that project. Exactly how much is hard to quantify.

In the end you have to decide if you are willing to take the risk. I estimate that many of us (myself for sure) would choose to not take the project based on the amount of perceived risk in relation to the potential income.

If I were to take such a job I would shoot it, edit it, and turn over a master copy to the school for them to distribute as they saw fit. I would not put my name on it anywhere. I would treat it as any other private corporate job and price it accordingly. That means for me to get paid for the services I rendered and not based on the final product sales.

I expect if you were to submit a quote for your services and propose to get paid a reasonable rate for those services you will not be shooting that job. The reason is in addition to the risk above they want you to take all the risk for making or loosing money. Are you willing to take on that risk as well?

Take the emotion out of it and make a good business decision.

I commend you for your passion. Use it to make great looking projects. Don't use it to make business decisions.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 06:55 AM   #48
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

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In the end you have to decide if you are willing to take the risk. I estimate that many of us (myself for sure) would choose to not take the project based on the amount of perceived risk in relation to the potential income.

If I were to take such a job I would shoot it, edit it, and turn over a master copy to the school for them to distribute as they saw fit. I would not put my name on it anywhere. I would treat it as any other private corporate job and price it accordingly. That means for me to get paid for the services I rendered and not based on the final product sales.
Chris, actually if you see one of my previous posts I already said I wouldn't do it, because the risks are far greater than the reward. Obviously it pisses me off to no end to have to say goodbye to a few thousands of dollars, when I'd be doing nothing morally wrong in producing that video. If the industry had an easy and reasonable way for me to pay for the use of that music, I'd be happy to pay, but they don't.

The first lawyer I spoke to was an IP lawyer but more specialized in patents, which is why I wanted to check further. The second lawyer gave me a free consultation mostly because he had a long boring drive ahead of him and we spoke about the recitals and weddings. If strictly following the law, weddings would also be infringement when capturing the music played by the DJ, but that's more debatable in court because the music is not the main focus of the wedding, the couple is. The wedding could still happen without any music, although it would be ridiculous to mute the bridal march, the first dance and the party music, but if you were to mute it, there would still be a video. And you can also argue in court that the industry doesn't provide wedding videographers with a reasonable fee to license the use of all that music captured with the cameras.

However, he mentioned that in the case of a recital, it's much more clear that the music is a big part of the event since it serves a much bigger purpose, and it's instrumental to the reason for the event, so it would be much harder to fight in court.

Obviously now the music industry is losing money because of their policies, and they will continue to do so until they change it.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 06:56 AM   #49
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Oddly, I got something from WEVA in my inbox today, announcing a new music licensing program in conjunction with APM Music - looked promising... if you can't find it Googling, I'll post a link tomorrow.
As that may be, APM is just another company that offers royalty free music for production. It doesn't do anything on the subject of copyrighted music captured through the microphone at a wedding or other event.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 08:28 AM   #50
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

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Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
Well, if they don't see the benefit to their industry, they are either stupid or they don't even dedicate a minute to think about it, because the benefits are obvious. If the music industry in the UK saw the potential and is getting 15 pounds per videographer per wedding and more in some cases just for the music they capture through the microphones, then how is that not possible here? They could charge even more, like 2% of whatever the videographer charge for the video. So $20 for a $1000 video, $40 for a $2000 and so on. And then they could charge $10 to allow the use of each copyrighted song in post production, which now they don't get any money from only because they don't allow it. People would pay to use probably 5 songs per wedding. Musicians could be getting a lot more money in royalties if the music industry would get rid of all the people with backwards mentality and bring new ones that see the market potential for a licensing system for videographers, whether it's weddings, dance recitals or school events.

And where's the WEVA in all this? Shouldn't they be fighting for this with the music labels? The labels would laugh at a letter from a wedding videographer, but sure as hell would pay more attention to a letter from an association that represents weddings and events videographers. I would gladly pay a membership with them if I knew they were fighting for this, but all I read is that some people mentioned it to them and they didn't care. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The point is, we're getting screwed, the musicians are getting screwed, only because of a few suits with backwards mentality. We have to do something about it.
Just guessing, but the administrative costs to the music publishers and record labels associated with large numbers of such small fees would likely far exceed the revenue they generate. It would make no sense to spend $100 in salaries and overheads to issue a license that only generated $10 of revenue. And then there is the whole other issue of loss of control over the product itself and the dilution of a song's market value through over-exposure.

I agree with you about WEVA (though I'm not a member and have no desire to shoot weddings). They seem singularly silent on the issue of licensing whether it's from the perspective of acting as an advocate for liberalized licensing schemes or by acting as a standards-setting body establishing canons of ethical business practices amongst their members and enforcing sanctions against members who violate them, including a member's use use of unlicensed materials in their productions. A common argument heard is "I have to use popular music or I'll lose business to my competitors." If a trade association such as WEVA built a cachet with consumers, sort of a "Better Business Bureau" for videographers if you will, the ability to advertise membership would be a business generator and conversely, the threat of sanctions, such as refusal to allow the use of the WEVA name and logo in advertising, or even outright cancellation of membership, if found to be engaging in copyright infringement, would provide a great incentive for a videographer to stay legal.

Remember though, that changes in the copyright laws would be a sword capable of cutting both ways. Videographers are also creators of copyrighted works. Liberalizing laws allowing you to more easily use copyright music in your productions would also mean YOUR ability to control and profit from your own work is possibly going to be similarly diminished. Do you want people who somehow have access to your footage to have the ability to use it without clearing with you where it's going to be used or without paying you what you feel is the fair market value for your work? Let's say you post a sample of some scenic shots around your city on YouTube or Vimeo ... would you want someone to download it and use the footage in a "Beautiful North Carolina" DVD they're putting together without paying you for it or even getting your permission? How about if they're a wedding shooter and just drop it into a video they're doing for a client, perhaps using it for a scenic intro to a shot of the wedding couple pulling up in front of a quaint country cottage where they're having their ceremony? Now you spent $$ on the gear to make that shot, and more $$ on the gas to get to the location, and hours of your time waiting until the light was just right and that's worth $$ too ... I think you'd deserve to paid for the use when someone want to use the resulting clip in their own production, don't you? After all, you're not a videographer in order to give away your talent, are you? And while it may only be 15 seconds of video that they use, it cost YOU $500 out-of-pocket to create that 15 seconds once everything is factored in ... I think you ought to get some of that back if someone wants to take advantage of the great work you did (and the wedding couple thinks that opening shot just makes the whole video, sets the perfect mood for their love story!)
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Old April 11th, 2012, 09:05 AM   #51
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Just guessing, but the administrative costs to the music publishers and record labels associated with large numbers of such small fees would likely far exceed the revenue they generate. It would make no sense to spend $100 in salaries and overheads to issue a license that only generated $10 of revenue. And then there is the whole other issue of loss of control over the product itself and the dilution of a song's market value through over-exposure.
I don't see that. There are thousands of events videographers in the country, weddings and otherwise. The music industry doesn't need a lot of people for that, they just need a small office and to hire a good programmer to setup the payment system online, and then keep a few people to administer the licenses, most of which they already have for the licenses they sell to broadcast and radio. At most they would need to hire a few more people, but it would be more than paid for with all the new revenue from hundreds or thousands of new sources that now they just don't have, because videographers don't pay a dime to the music labels. They use the music or not, but the label and the artist don't see a dime of that, and it's their own fault for not setting up the system to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Remember though, that changes in the copyright laws would be a sword capable of cutting both ways. Videographers are also creators of copyrighted works. Liberalizing laws allowing you to more easily use copyright music in your productions would also mean YOUR ability to control and profit from your own work is possibly going to be similarly diminished. Do you want people who somehow have access to your footage to have the ability to use it without clearing with you where it's going to be used or without paying you what you feel is the fair market value for your work? Let's say you post a sample of some scenic shots around your city on YouTube or Vimeo ... would you want someone to download it and use the footage in a "Beautiful North Carolina" DVD they're putting together without paying you for it or even getting your permission? How about if they're a wedding shooter and just drop it into a video they're doing for a client, perhaps using it for a scenic intro to a shot of the wedding couple pulling up in front of a quaint country cottage where they're having their ceremony? Now you spent $$ on the gear to make that shot, and more $$ on the gas to get to the location, and hours of your time waiting until the light was just right and that's worth $$ too ... I think you'd deserve to paid for the use when someone want to use the resulting clip in their own production, don't you? After all, you're not a videographer in order to give away your talent, are you? And while it may only be 15 seconds of video that they use, it cost YOU $500 out-of-pocket to create that 15 seconds once everything is factored in ... I think you ought to get some of that back if someone wants to take advantage of the great work you did (and the wedding couple thinks that opening shot just makes the whole video, sets the perfect mood for their love story!)
It's not the same thing. I don't see who would want my footage for anything, but if they do, I'd be happy to charge a small fee for it, after all, that footage was already paid for by the client who hired me for it. And if just go around shooting video of landscapes and somebody wants to include it in a commercial video for sale to the public, I would have to know the specifics to know how much to charge them, but I would make sure it's not an astronomical and ridiculous sum of money they can't afford.

The way it is now, the musician doesn't see a dime, and videographers can't do their work properly because of these stupid laws that don't benefit anyone. It's like buying a car with the condition that you can only turn left, if you want to turn right you have to pay $5000 each time, even if you only make $2000 a month.

Last edited by Sebastian Alvarez; April 11th, 2012 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Removed politically charged ad hominen attack
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Old April 11th, 2012, 10:11 AM   #52
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Sebastian -- we're all on your side. Honestly.

However, there certain contemporary personalities in other
popular media (radio talk show hosts) whose names I don't
want to show up on this site in Google search returns. I'm
asking you to please respect my wishes to keep that sort
of thing off of DVi. You don't have to dive into the muck to
make your point. Thanks in advance,
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Old April 11th, 2012, 10:18 AM   #53
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Chris,

the whole Peter Gabriel thing was to make the point that in a perfect world musicians would have control of their music, but the way the system is setup now, it allows their music to be used in despicable ways such as the one I mentioned, while at the same time it doesn't allow it to be used in ways that the musicians most likely would approve of, such as a wedding video which celebrates the union of two people. I deleted the rest of the Peter Gabriel paragraph because it makes no sense without the first part.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 10:35 AM   #54
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Yes, welcome to the realities of the music industry's fixation on corporate-sponsored big business.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #55
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Sebastian, FYI in this copyright scene the musicans themselves are generally just hired help. The copyright owners are the composers and lyricists who actually write the sheet music and the publishers who publish it. It's relatively rarely that that is also the musicians who actually perform it. Most of the people that own the copyright to the music you might want to use are names you've never heard of. Similarly, the copyright on a given recording of a piece of music is owned by the label, not the performer. The performer is just a contractor hired by the label to create a "work for hire" for them. The actual musicians often have little or nothing to do with copyrights at all.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 11:51 AM   #56
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Yeah, actually I meant to say the music artists in general. Some write and perform their own music (Foo Fighters for example), some are hired to perform like you say, but it's obvious that none of them are receiving a dime for the use of their music in weddings and other events videos, when they should, but their administrators don't allow for that with their ridiculous system.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 01:21 PM   #57
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

You've hit upon a good point in "intellectual property", that is usually overlooked at "first glance" (the one that says there should be a simple way to obtain licensing at a reasonable rate). While certainly licensing for innocuous an "innocent" purposes would be desirable... what happens when that use, be it of music or video or a printed work, results in some sort of "negative" connotation??

Lets say a porn producer wanted to use 30 seconds of some of one of your wedding videos because of a resemblance of your couple to his actors, and he just needed some "setting shots"... if he could just license if cheaply without your approval, can you see the potential backlash? That's the "Devils Advocate" talking, but you can't ignore the rights of an artist to NOT be associated with another work or artist... or anything else...

While I missed your posting, I'll presume that the common situation recently where music is being used in a campaign or whatever, without artist permission, resulting in a cease and desist letter or a lawsuit, illustrates the problem, as does the one I mentioned about the composer of the piece in the anti-piracy campaign. The artist has to have some rights of refusal... there are some "uses" for which NO amount of money would be "fair compensation".
FWIW, I've seen artists so convinced of the "value" of their work that effectively they made that work WORTHLESS, but of course there are artists who can command outrageous sums for the use of their work, IF they approve of it at all.


Really what you're looking at is a two stage system - first one has to seek "permission" (rather than "forgiveness" <wink>), then a system which establishes a reasonable "scale" for approved uses. At the moment, NEITHER stage is geared to the "small" production/producer. I suppose that a simple clause added to iTunes or Amazon purchases that allowed for "limited personal" use in video (lousy phrasing, but you get the idea) would solve the problem pretty quickly... THEY would see the $$$$ and MIGHT be interested in "solving" the problem, and already have the resources and distribution in place?

As "small time" videographers, we naturally see the small market, the limited distribution, and the relatively low budget production that would normally never result in anyone being offended... but there's an "evil twin" out there, and it mucks things up significantly... and the long standing licensing schemes are all geared to THAT side of the "market".
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Old April 11th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #58
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

That's as easy as putting restrictions on the licenses and how can they be used. No porn, no political gatherings, and whatever other clear problem areas you might think of, unless the artist gives permission. The worst that can happen in a wedding video is that maybe the camera work or the editing is not that great, but I doubt any wedding video, especially since it's for personal use, would include a song in a way that is highly objectionable by the composer. Still, regardless of that, DJs play whatever they want, and the videographer is there to document the event, so why wouldn't he or she be able to include the music in the video as it was recorded at the event?
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Old April 12th, 2012, 04:29 AM   #59
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Because the creator of the music is entitled to compensation for each and every time his property is used. One "listening" is worth X dollars (the royalty the DJ or venue or a broadcaster pays to ASCAP for each time the piece is played)/ Incorporating the piece permanently into the body another person's copyrightable work, regardless of how it gets there, is an additional use over and above the playing at the venue that increases the value of that new work over what it otherwise would have and merits X+++ dollars (the cost of the sync license). Your wedding or recital video would be a flop if you didn't have the music audible and so the creator of the music has contributed to the success of your video - in return he deserves a piece of the action. You might say that he's charging too much compared to what you can bill your client but he could just as easily say he is charging a fair price for his contribution to the final production and it's YOU who are charging too little for yours.

By the way, are you aware that when you incorporate music into the soundtrack of a show for broadcast, say a TV sit-com, the producer has to pay the sync and master use license to put the music there in the first place and then the broadcaster pays any royalties due via their ASCAP license on that same music each time the show is aired? Coordinating airplay with the ASCAP royalties is the reason producers normally have to submit a cue sheet listing all the music cuts, no matter how brief, that are audible during the show as part of the program's deliverables. It's just the same as you having to pay for the sync license on top of the DJ or dance school paying his ASCAP license, it's just that the sequence is reversed.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #60
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Re: How much to charge for this, and what about tax?

Key difference being BROADCAST...

Thus incidental or "documentary" capture of a one time event for later private use and viewing falls into an entirely different scenario, and that's what the W/E videographer struggles with. As we've discussed, there is NO legal liability incurred if a private party uses their own video camera (be it a cell phone, camera, handycam, or whatever). It makes little sense that having a "pro" document the exact same event makes it "criminal".


These aren't "big time" wide interest video productions we're talking here, with the rare exception of a video that gets posted and "goes viral" because of some unique aspect to the "content".

Short of a video "going viral" (by nature of being BROADCAST on UToob or similar), the "audience" here is in the single or likely at most double digits, and only on rare occaisions will it reach the low triple digits (the dance video in question was slightly over 100 units... most of which will get watched a couple times, then go sit on the shelf until the media degrades...).

I know that the "dream" is that somehow every production will be of such widespread interest and stunning content value that millions will "tune in", but in all practicality, that's the infinitesimal percentage, probably best expressed with quite a few 0's to the right of the decimal point...


SO, while we all agree that "broadcast" via the web, even if it doesn't "go viral" creates the potential of widespread distribution, and with it the legal exposure, I still argue for the "exception" when the final video is for the private use of a very small audience, interested in the DOCUMENTARY aspects of an event only meaningful to THEM. The "incidental" aspect of the likely less than pristine audio capture (due to ambient sound and acoustics) hardly constitutes "copying" - it is no more than the incidental capture of "what happened". I'll exclude those videos which are little more than glorified "music videos", as they ARE using the choice of music for effect... but as far as "live capture"... this IS NOT the same as carefully picked and chosen "soundtrack" content, which is usually carefully produced and edited to maintain sound quality and add to the visual impact!


One of the frustrating things about "copyright" enforcement is that in it's most agressive form, the argument goes that EVERY play of a song or whatever MUST be paid for and accounted for individually, or a violation has occurred... this completely IGNORES that a consumer typically thinks (with somewhat good reason) that when they BUY something, they have the right to do with it what they want, as long as they don't turn around and "mass produce" copies for a profit. I argue the fall of the music "business" came when they started to roll out "the enforcers" to sue granny because some music files were on a computer she barely knows how to use and the grandkids who didn't know better "broke the rules". What consumer wants to deal with THAT sort of "product" or "business"??

The consumer thinks "hey, I really dig this tune by this new artist, I should send my buddy a copy of it, cause he will dig it too, and probably want to go buy their album/CD or check out their show", he doesn't think "hey, I think I'll rip off this artist that I like by sending a copy to all my friends so they can listen for FREE" (OK, maybe some people actually DO think this way...). The "threat" to the artist doesn't come from the average end listener or fan (who, by nature of creating popularity for the artist causes the artist's work to have "value"), but from the mass producers of bogus/counterfeit/copied "product", or the "open" file share/broadcast type sites - of course prosecuting granny makes a "statement" (arguably one that leaves a bad taste in the consumers mind!).


I'll again note that "media shifting" HAS been upheld - the consumer has the right to transfer the 1's and 0's between various media for playback for their PERSONAL use. Again, a clear "exception" protecting the rights of the "small" against the claims of the "big", should the question arise.

The consumer wants to "purchase" the 1's and 0's and be able to listen to them any way they want, including putting them on a video for their own personal enjoyment, not sit there worrying about the nuances of archaic licensing schemes and whether somehow playing back those 1's and 0's constitute "criminal conduct" when in one form instead of another... by "enforcing" agressively against the "consumer", the IP holders do more harm than good, IMO, and ultimately that is the core spirit of the argument each time this question comes up...

There is the letter of the law, which arguably is pretty easy to violate, making EVERYONE a "criminal" and there is the spirit of the law, which ultimately is supposed to allow for reasonable "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", not to mention the profitable exercise of commerce for "producers" of things of value.
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