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Old March 8th, 2006, 02:25 PM   #31
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I think it comes down to how closely you want to follow the law. If you want to do it legally, then you're stuck with not making a profit or with providing a product no one will want. Unfortunately, I don't see any other way around it.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 06:25 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel
I think it comes down to how closely you want to follow the law. If you want to do it legally, then you're stuck with not making a profit or with providing a product no one will want. Unfortunately, I don't see any other way around it.
Actually I view following the letter of the legalities issue as less important than is the fair treatment of fellow professionals and basic "Golden Rule" thinking. Do nothing with the product of someone else's talent and effort that you wouldn't be entirely comfortable for someone to do with yours. Honestly now, if you spent a lot of time and money to secure some some rare and fabulous footage, something that you feel really showcases your talent, would you be comfortable with someone using a copy of that footage for their own purposes without permission or compensating you for it - especially if they're using it to make money as a wedding videographer does with the music he uses? (I know, you're not selling the music, you're selling the video services - but the music you use contributes to the value of those services. You get more business if you incorporate music into the video than you would if you didn't.) I think you said you also shoot local sports - how about someone uses some of your footage in a DVD they sell in the local sporting goods stores "Best Moments of Boise Junior Football 2005?" If you can honestly say that would sit perfectly well with you then fine. But if it would upset you to be on the receiving end, then it creates the obligation not be one of those on the offending side, even when doing the right thing works to your disadvantage. You mentioned that people who have no qualms about using unlicensed music have an unfair advantage over those who refuse to do so. True enough, but operative word there is "unfair" and expediency can't justify one joining their camp.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 10:02 AM   #33
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I would not be happy to find that someone was using my content without compensating and/or crediting me for it. However, I would make the effort to make it as easy as possible to contact me so that I could be compensated, which is more than can be said for these artists or labels. I don't feel sorry for them one bit. They need to get their act together if they want to get paid.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 10:45 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by James Emory
I would not be happy to find that someone was using my content without compensating and/or crediting me for it. However, I would make the effort to make it as easy as possible to contact me so that I could be compensated, which is more than can be said for these artists or labels. I don't feel sorry for them one bit. They need to get their act together if they want to get paid.
Suppose by being difficult to contact they're saying it's not an issue of being paid or not, they simply don't want you to use their music at all? Don't they have that right? And aren't you obligated to acceed to their wishes? After all, it is their property to do with as they see fit.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #35
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What I'm saying is that if I get hauled into a court room, I don't think it's going to hurt me a bit by showing that I made an effort to pay for the use of the content and there was no obvious method to do it. Anyway, if an artist or label was to persue a case where someone used their content without paying for whatever reason, what are they going to get from the average local production company? Not much if anything, so you're more like to get a nice warning before they waste their time and money trying to get something from nothing. I think they are more concerned about not getting paid more than how it will be used.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Kevin Stipp
I am new to this forum, but am dealing with the same event: Pageants. I had been working with a small videography company as an independant contractor during the summers shooting and live-switching pageants in the summers. Last year I was approached by one of the pageant directors and encouraged to take over for the previous video guy who was moving on to other things. The arrangement is that the pageant state director declares that no camcorders are allowed in the pageant venue by spectators, and in exchange for that I would give him a 15% commission "donation" of my total video sales.

No problem, except that the pageant performance is cluttered with girls performing to popular songs through vocal, piano, or dance. Now I realize that a sync license wouldn't apply to what I am doing, since I am not creatively interweaving the song with my video. However, from reading this thread it sounds like if I want to do the thing legally, I will still need some form of license for each song on the final video. There could be as many as 25-30 performances on each DVD, and probably 6 different age groups. Does anyone have any idea how much it would cost me? I would have to charge like $1000 per video to make it worthwhile. Right? Believe me, the previous guy didn't look into this, or if he did, just ignored it. What should I do? I want to do the right thing, but the suggestion I've read is to not include the actual music that the girl is performing to. That seems like it would be very tacky to have a girl singing, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" but instead of hearing her, you hear a royalty free instrumental.
Why not just call up ASCAP and ask what their position is?
http://www.ascap.com/index.html
Couldn't find a clear answer on their site, but maybe there's an inexpensive license fee that would make it all good. :)

BTW: My wife and I regularly handle photography and video services for martial arts events where we pay a commission on sales to the event and make our profit on sales rather than upfront fees.
The key to making these profitable for us has been:
1) Website based ordering (taking credit card payments through paypal) available within a day of the event.
2) Lots of announcements and other promo info at the event so attendees know the photos & videos are being shot and are for sale
3) Crosslink on the event's website to our online store

Most of these events even permit the audience to use their own cameras, but we get choice angles (unobstructed view, standing on the edges of the fighting ring or private balcony) and of course shoot with better gear and more experience than just about every parent holding a camcorder in the air.

It's critical for us to have the ordering page available immediately after the event.
People get home, go to the event's website and follow the link to us, often the very next day. The crosslink means they don't have to remember our site, since they probably were just at the event site the day before to double check driving directions :p

We get almost all of our orders within the first 3-5 days of the event.
After that, people aren't really thinking about it anymore and/or simply decide they can live without spending the money on the pro DVDs or photos. The nice thing about having photo ordering online is the customers get previews (800x600) of the photos, so there's no surprises for them, and we've never had a return.

Since we know these events and pretty much shoot with a formula based on what will be produced or sells the best, editing time is very quick, and we also have our own scripts to quickly convert and upload the photos for the website. The web store isn't even all that great or glossy, but we usually breakeven within the first 5 orders, including materials, travel and time (including post).
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Old March 9th, 2006, 11:22 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Nick Jushchyshyn
Why not just call up ASCAP and ask what their position is?
http://www.ascap.com/index.html
Couldn't find a clear answer on their site...............
Hahaha! LMAO!! Do I need to say anything else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myself
I was told that if you pay an organization like BMI or ASCAP their flat rate annual fee, which is only a couple hundred dollars or so, that you are covered for all that they represent.
I actually called ASCAP a couple of years ago and the above is what they said. At least it shows that you made an effort.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #38
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[QUOTE=I think you said you also shoot local sports - how about someone uses some of your footage in a DVD they sell in the local sporting goods stores "Best Moments of Boise Junior Football 2005?"[/QUOTE]

Well, I don't shoot local sports, but that's okay. There is a fundamental difference between your example and wedding videography.

If someone uses my footage that I've shot without any compensation to me, then yes, that would bother me. However, in wedding videography I am BUYING the music that I use, so the artist is compensated.

Also, wedding videos are sold for personal use. We're talking 3 copies on average. Selling something to the general public is completely different.

I would NEVER accept a "burned" copy of a song for use in a wedding video and I would NEVER use an artist's music (even if I bought it) in a product that was going to sell to the general public.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel
Well, I don't shoot local sports, but that's okay. There is a fundamental difference between your example and wedding videography.

If someone uses my footage that I've shot without any compensation to me, then yes, that would bother me. However, in wedding videography I am BUYING the music that I use, so the artist is compensated.

Also, wedding videos are sold for personal use. We're talking 3 copies on average. Selling something to the general public is completely different.

I would NEVER accept a "burned" copy of a song for use in a wedding video and I would NEVER use an artist's music (even if I bought it) in a product that was going to sell to the general public.
Sorry, got you mixed up with another poster in the thread.

Interesting you would not accept a burned copy of a CD to use as your source material. After all, it too was copied off of a purchased original so by your logic the artist, etc, has been paid and the burned disk is just a convenient way of transporting it to you. There's really no difference in someone burning a copy of a purchased CD to give to your client and you burning a copy of the song over to a DVD for them as part of the video soundtrack. Either way it is an unlicensed copy of the original song.

Actually when you go to a record store and buy music, you're not buying the music to use - you're buying a license to listen to the music. You've bought the disc it comes on but you have not bought the music itself. VERY big difference! Yes, the artist is paid their royalty but there's a big difference between paying them something like maybe $1 in royalty on the retail sales of a single CD and paying them the substantial larger fee they would be entitled to in exchange for a license to incorporate their music into your production.

When you offer video services to the public as a business, are hired to make a video of a wedding or other event and then sell the resulting product to the person who hired you, you ARE selling to the general public, albeit each edition of your product goes to a very small segment of the general public. It's sort of like the old joke about the fellow approaching a woman in a bar and asking her if she would sleep with him for a million dollars. After thinking a minute she says "Sure." Then he says "How about $5 instead?" "What kind of girl do you think I am?" "We've already established that, now we're just haggling over price." It is the nature of the transaction, not the scale, that counts. If you are in business selling video services to the general public, you're selling your product to the general public even if each version of that product is customized and only goes to one customer. Whether you just sell one copy of Joe & Mary's Love Story to Joe & Mary or sell a thousand copies in a video store, you're still selling it in the public arena.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 02:59 PM   #40
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Again, the difference between your example and mine . . . In your example, my footage was used without ANY compensation. In my example, I am compensating the artist by purchasing the music (or my client is).

I totally understand that the law is against me on this. I totally understand that the fact that nearly every other videographer is doing this doesn't make it right. I totally understand that the lack of support from the music community is not a perfect excuse.

My point is that people can't compare apples to oranges. If I go to a file-sharing site and "steal" the music and use it in the wedding video, I think that's different than me going to iTunes and buying the music and using it. Both may be illegal, but there IS a difference.

I also think there is a difference between using music in a product that anyone can purchase in a store and using music in a product that is limited to a single client for personal use. The difference lies in the amount of potential profit and the distribution as well.

Also, what I meant by using a burned copy is that I won't use music that hasn't been paid for by either the client or myself. In other words, I won't go to a DJ and ask for a burned copy, or go to a file-sharing site or my friend down the street.

As for how I would feel as a music artist, I honestly wouldn't mind one bit. If a couple is getting married, and they own my CD's because they love my music, and they want their highlight video set to a song of mine, then I say go for it. They are already paying me for my music, and using my song might allow some family member to 'discover' my music and become a fan as well. Also, knowing that there is no reasonably usable system for them to use the music legally through, I would definitely not have a problem with it.

I realize that is my own opinion, and not the law, but that is where my argument comes from on this matter.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 03:27 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel
Again, the difference between your example and mine . . . In your example, my footage was used without ANY compensation. In my example, I am compensating the artist by purchasing the music (or my client is).

I totally understand that the law is against me on this. I totally understand that the fact that nearly every other videographer is doing this doesn't make it right. I totally understand that the lack of support from the music community is not a perfect excuse.

My point is that people can't compare apples to oranges. If I go to a file-sharing site and "steal" the music and use it in the wedding video, I think that's different than me going to iTunes and buying the music and using it. Both may be illegal, but there IS a difference.

I also think there is a difference between using music in a product that anyone can purchase in a store and using music in a product that is limited to a single client for personal use. The difference lies in the amount of potential profit and the distribution as well.

Also, what I meant by using a burned copy is that I won't use music that hasn't been paid for by either the client or myself. In other words, I won't go to a DJ and ask for a burned copy, or go to a file-sharing site or my friend down the street.

As for how I would feel as a music artist, I honestly wouldn't mind one bit. If a couple is getting married, and they own my CD's because they love my music, and they want their highlight video set to a song of mine, then I say go for it. They are already paying me for my music, and using my song might allow some family member to 'discover' my music and become a fan as well. Also, knowing that there is no reasonably usable system for them to use the music legally through, I would definitely not have a problem with it.

I realize that is my own opinion, and not the law, but that is where my argument comes from on this matter.
But it's really no different from purchasing a CD, making a copy for your own use and then reselling the original on eBay. Would you consider that acceptable?

You mentioned that the wedding DVD is for your client's personal use. Fair enough, but that's not the same thing as YOUR personal use. I think there's a qualitative difference if you're Uncle Travis who shoots video as a hobby and is making a video of Niece Mary's wedding as a gift to the happy couple versus someone who is in the business of making and selling custom wedding videos for clients drawn from the general public. The first case is pretty much the same thing as playing music CDs for the family during any family gathering or buying a CD and giving it as a gift. The second is more akin to the computer retailer who offers to install an unlicensed copy of MS Office on a potential customer's computer in order to close the sale. Yes, someone paid for the original copy but the copyright owners have the right to expect to be paid a royalty for EVERY copy that's struck outside the narrow definition of "fair use" copies, not just the one master copy. So contrary to what you've claimed, they haven't been (fully) paid for their music. It's kind of like saying it's okay for a business to knowingly shortchange their customers as long as they don't try to keep ALL of the change.

Your next to last paragraph describes an attitude you feel music artists should have. Some of them do, and they make their music available for easy and economical licensing through avenues like magatunes. But others such as Madonna and Celine Dion, from what I've heard, are vehemently opposed to such usage of their product and have agressively pursued infringers. Are you saying you have the right to impose your views of the way you think they ought to feel on them by using their material whether they like it or not? Isn't that a choice they have to right to make for thmselves without you overruling it.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 07:45 PM   #42
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But it's really no different from purchasing a CD, making a copy for your own use and then reselling the original on eBay. Would you consider that acceptable?
Actually, it's quite different. If a client comes to me with a CD that they own, or if I have to buy a song for them, I don't retain the music. What you're talking about is buying a song for my own personal use, and THEN selling copies of it for others' personal use. If a client gives me a CD, and I set video I shot to a song on the CD, and then give the client the music video and their music CD back, I think that's a pretty different scenario.


Quote:
I think there's a qualitative difference if you're Uncle Travis who shoots video as a hobby and is making a video of Niece Mary's wedding as a gift to the happy couple versus someone who is in the business of making and selling custom wedding videos for clients drawn from the general public.
Now YOU are making exceptions to the law. According to the law, NOBODY, not even Uncle Joe, can LEGALLY synchronize video to copyrighted music. By saying it's okay for Unlce Joe to do it, but it's not okay for a couple to pay me to do it, you're being hypocritical.


Quote:
The second is more akin to the computer retailer who offers to install an unlicensed copy of MS Office on a potential customer's computer in order to close the sale.
Again, bad example I think. It's practically impossible to figure out where to go to get the proper rights AND not pay a fortune for music. With software, the industry has made it simple. Just go buy another copy of the software. If such a system were in place for videographers, we would use it without hesitation.


Quote:
Your next to last paragraph describes an attitude you feel music artists should have.
It's not. You specifically asked me how I would feel about the situation if I were a musician. I was not speaking for how anyone SHOULD feel. I was just saying that if I were a musician, that's how I would feel.


I also believe that if the music industry really felt threatened by the practice of videographers using copyrighted music in wedding videos, then they would do something about it. Napster-the-file-sharing-monster was nipped in the bud pretty quickly, yet wedding videography has been around many, many times longer. The laws are there, no doubt, but it's like the law that says you cannot drive barefooted. It's just ridiculous and no one wants to enforce it.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 11:26 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel
Actually, it's quite different. If a client comes to me with a CD that they own, or if I have to buy a song for them, I don't retain the music. What you're talking about is buying a song for my own personal use, and THEN selling copies of it for others' personal use. If a client gives me a CD, and I set video I shot to a song on the CD, and then give the client the music video and their music CD back, I think that's a pretty different scenario.




Now YOU are making exceptions to the law. According to the law, NOBODY, not even Uncle Joe, can LEGALLY synchronize video to copyrighted music. By saying it's okay for Unlce Joe to do it, but it's not okay for a couple to pay me to do it, you're being hypocritical.




Again, bad example I think. It's practically impossible to figure out where to go to get the proper rights AND not pay a fortune for music. With software, the industry has made it simple. Just go buy another copy of the software. If such a system were in place for videographers, we would use it without hesitation.




It's not. You specifically asked me how I would feel about the situation if I were a musician. I was not speaking for how anyone SHOULD feel. I was just saying that if I were a musician, that's how I would feel.


I also believe that if the music industry really felt threatened by the practice of videographers using copyrighted music in wedding videos, then they would do something about it. Napster-the-file-sharing-monster was nipped in the bud pretty quickly, yet wedding videography has been around many, many times longer. The laws are there, no doubt, but it's like the law that says you cannot drive barefooted. It's just ridiculous and no one wants to enforce it.
Finding the music publisher, who probably is the one who owns the rights you need is not all that hard, it's right there on the CD. One reason there isn't a really easy way to inexpensively license popular music is in fact, control of use. If there were a site, where you could license music without submitting a script or without a lot of limitaions on use, then that music could potentially end up in a production that the rights holder wouldn't necessarily want to be involved with, porn, political commentary, social commentary, a documentary with a negative slant toward some group or person. That is one reason it is hard and expensive to license popular music.
In order to secure the license you need you must contact the publisher, and let's be honest, they are more concerned with licensing for major productions, where the return is much better.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 11:53 AM   #44
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Here is a source for free music under certain conditions. The Terms and Conditions covers alot of situations that have been discussed in this thread.

Terms & Conditions
www.freeplaymusic.com/licensing/termsofuse.php

www.freeplaymusic.com
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