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Old February 4th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #1
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Getting Permission

Does anyone have any experience or advice on getting permission to use a "pop" song in your video? Should I write the band or the label... should I just do it myself or have a lawyer help me?
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Old February 4th, 2006, 12:34 AM   #2
 
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Neither the band nor the label can help you. You need licensing from the publisher.
Read the article found on the "Articles" page here called Copyright Caveats, and you'll see much of what you need to do.
Be prepared for:
1. Long waits for responses, if any.
2. Very expensive licensing fees.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #3
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Ok, I'll check it out
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Old February 4th, 2006, 08:24 AM   #4
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DSE's article is a must read. After that, go to ASCAP.COM and look up ASCAP Clearance Express... called "ACE".

http://www.ascap.com/ace/

Search for the song you are looking for. If you don't find the publisher there, look under the National Music Publishers Asociation "Songfile" www.nmpa.org. You will be provided with a publishers business affairs or licensing department.

Specifically, you are looking for TWO licenses. The Synchronization License and a Master Use License. The master use license is the right you clear with the record label who owns the specific recording you would like to use. The record label probably has this company name on it.

IF you intend to use the songs on a soundtrack ALBUM (to be published seperately from the film) you will need to negotiate additional soundtrack rights with the publisher and record label. I doubt you are going to do this however.

Good luck
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Old February 27th, 2006, 12:41 AM   #5
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Tony,
Were you able to get the rights to the Pop song you were wanting to use in your video?
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Old February 27th, 2006, 12:46 AM   #6
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Actually, I just bought a couple of books that I'm going to read before attempting anything:

Getting Permission (yes, there's actually a book with the same title as my question!)

The Public Domain

I guess I'll be able to answer a question or two after getting through these books.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 02:03 AM   #7
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I thought I'd check as this is what I do everyday. I just found this forum and have been learning how it's all setup. We are looking to get a new camera and editing suite in the next few months. I'll be asking a lot of questions between now and then. When I see posts about music licensing I feel compelled to give a reply.

Good luck with the books.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 01:57 PM   #8
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Getting permission...

Along the same lines, Does anyone know if it makes a difference whether you use the whole song or just 10 seconds of it? Or if you are making a video clip in which your actor is moving the dial in a radio and you can listen very short but still recognizable popular songs?
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Old February 27th, 2006, 02:25 PM   #9
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If the song is recognizable, you will have to clear the rights to the song(s). There are some out there that thing there is a minimum amount of song usage that allows for free use. The rule of thumb is there are no gray areas. You either have permission to use someone else's music or you don't.

As a music supervisor, I've been through this with the major publisher and record labels. The director thinks he can use :15 seconds of a popular songs with out clearing the song and paying the fees and the publishers says you must pay a synch fee and the record label says the same for the master.

The other thing to consider is the owner may not want you to use their music in your film at all. Even if you offer them a million dollars. This is why you must clear the song first (get permission). Then if they like the idea of their song in your film, you can negotiate the fees.

You have to consider the future of your film. If you plan to get distribution, your distributor is going to want your complete "music rights package". This is there guarantee that they are not going to be confronted with huge licensing fees down the road or any legal issues.

Hope this helps!
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Old February 27th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #10
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Dominique,
Welcome to the forum! Always good to have more knowledgeable 'insiders' on the boards.

Douglas Spotted Eagle is a musician/filmmaker with a lot of experience in lisencing and doing deals.

Paul Tauger is an IP Attorney/filmmaker who also 'haunts' the board with valuable insight.

I hope you are able to 'get' as much as you 'give' here. We are a fun community.

Richard
(My wife is an IP lawyer, so I learn a lot by 'osmosis'... whether I like it or not!)
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Old February 27th, 2006, 03:27 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominique H. Preyer
If the song is recognizable, you will have to clear the rights to the song(s). There are some out there that thing there is a minimum amount of song usage that allows for free use. The rule of thumb is there are no gray areas. You either have permission to use someone else's music or you don't.
To clarify; It doesn't matter if the song is recognizable or not. If you use anything that you didn't hire or create yourself, you're open for lawsuit.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 04:44 PM   #12
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Richard,
Thanks for the welcome. I'm certain that I will learn a lot from the folks here. I'm going to enjoy feedback on my questions about my quest to get a new camera and editing suite. Right now I'm reading a lot of posts trying to get familiar with things and narrowing my options down. I'll be asking my questions very soon. I've already learned that Final Cut Express HD is out there for about $299. I thought I would have to shell out $1,299 on Final Cut Pro 5 to start off with. Not sure of the advantages or disadvantages of FCE vs. FCP. In the meantime I'll keep my eyes out for music licensing issues and offer my help.

Thanks Douglas for adding the "unrecognizable" point. I totally agree.

Thanks to all.
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Old July 7th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #13
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What forms do you all use?

I have a band who is willing to give me use of their unpublished material in my short. They have given me verbal permission and email wise permission, but I assume I need more. I have talent release forms for actors and such, but have never done anything like this.

Is there a standard form people use?

Thanks,

David
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Old July 7th, 2006, 01:03 PM   #14
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What about getting permission use a cover of a song in a video? Is the process different? Specifically, we want to pay a local band to cover the Ramones' "The KKK Took My Baby Away."
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Old July 7th, 2006, 01:23 PM   #15
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