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Old April 2nd, 2003, 08:37 PM   #1
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Copyright, legal mombojumbo

A quick question:

If I ask the B&G to provide their "song" for a wedding I'm shooting and editing, would this be a violation of the copyright law to the extent that it may land me some criminal and civil liabilities?

Part one of this question as well:

Can I get the B&G to sign a release. releasing myself from the liability and prosecution by using commercial music and music that they provide? Would this be legal and binding or will it be like them giving me a license to commit a felony, in which case they do not have the right to do that? Or it is more like, they requested it to be done so then the liability will transfer to them?

Part Two of the question:

Should I or do I have to write in the ending credits, the owner of the copyright and state the fact that I am using it without the owner's written or otherwise explicit permission? Should I also mention the above question providing it is legal to have a waiver to absolve me of liability of an type of copyright violation? How do you guys do it? Or do you guys use the force and hope that your production will not get into the RIAA's grubby little hands and prosecute?

Thank you all in advance.
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Old April 3rd, 2003, 05:38 AM   #2
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This has been done many times, in many ways. The short answer- NO. It is theft.

The long answer- Go for it , if you want, you likely won't end up in court. Keep in mind, that it is illegal, immoral, and you will go to Hell for it in the end. It is also not the way to go if this is your proffession.

You can buy music libraries fairly cheap, and use them legally in all of your productions.
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Old April 3rd, 2003, 03:33 PM   #3
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The release will not protect you, should it come to that. K-Mart tried that in copying, copyrighted images (photos). They lost and it cost them 100's of millions. I think it was later reduced to under 100 million.
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Old April 3rd, 2003, 11:35 PM   #4
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The answer, as the above two posts point out, is a stong NO.

However, this doesn't stop THOUSANDS of wedding videographers from doing it.

If you do wedding videos on a regular basis, I'd do what Keith suggests and buy a music library.
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Old April 4th, 2003, 12:07 PM   #5
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The problem would be that the B&G would insist of course on their own music and "their song" if their song is not part of my library then I'm SOL. Also just because you bought the music it doesn't not give you the right to use it other than its intended use which is to listen to it. But, their is a stipulation in the copyright laws that makes provisons for "fair use". They have certain guidelines which is fair use. After checking with an attorney, a waiver or release would not protect me, but if I give ownership of the Video to the clients then they would actually be liable for the infringement,arguably. Arrrghhhhhhh.
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Old April 4th, 2003, 01:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
but if I give ownership of the Video to the clients then they would actually be liable for the infringement,arguably
Sorry, but that's not quite right.

YOU, the videographer, are liable for the infringement (and it is an infringement). It doesn't matter whether you give them ownership of the video or not. The B&G may be jointly liable, or liable solely for contributory infringement. Either way, you're both on the hook.

Also, it is by no means certain that this kind of use would be judged fair use. Fair use is an equitable doctrine, meaning that, even though it is codified in the Copyright statute, how it is applied (and whether it will apply) is determined by the court, based on the _common law_ history, i.e. other cases that addressed fair use, rather than a literal application of the four non-dispositive fair use factors identified in the statute. Do I think it is fair use? I can argue it either way -- I think a strong case can be made for both sides. However, as far as I know, no court has ever addressed this particular question.

Anyone who is anxious to be the first to test whether videographers can do this, please feel free to let me know -- just make sure you have the odd hundred thousand dollars or so it will take to pay for the litigation. ;)
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Old April 4th, 2003, 01:14 PM   #7
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Garrett,

Read this thread from just a couple of weeks ago I believe the so called fair use provision would not apply and the only way to find out is in court. Giving up ownership doesn't absolve you either. You copied it, your responsible. You can't sign or give away that fact. If you're charging for your work, you're liable and you might get caught. Competitors will turn you in, in a heart beat. Consult an intellectual property attorney, not just an average attorney (that doesn't sound right, but I think you know what I mean).
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Old April 4th, 2003, 04:27 PM   #8
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In that thread, you can read Paul Tauger viciously stealing quotes and other copyrighted comments from me :)
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Old April 4th, 2003, 04:41 PM   #9
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What you can do....hum.
Make the tape without the song on it they want. Then buy the cd with the song on it and tell them to stick that into their cd player while they watch your video. Problem solved.

Or just tell them to buy their own damn cd.


Rob:D
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Old April 4th, 2003, 07:02 PM   #10
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LOL Robert...But I consulted an IPT attorney and he stated as you all have said this is an infringement regardless of the ownership of the final production unless of course you can argue the stipulation of fair use such as the use for non-profit or educational purposes of which neither of this is not. Also buying the CD doesn't give you the right to copy the material in it and use it in a production without the explicit consent of the copyright owner. That is my point all along that is why buying a collection will not help me unless I can get the copyright owner's permission anyway. The attorney told me to notify ASCAP, I think it is.

Paul, I'm sorry but I guess I didn't state that correctly, the attorney stated that if I give ownership of the final production to the B&G, I can strengthen my argument that the use was fair use, but again this is arguably so. I don't think I would liketo be the one to create the precedent, though.

As for competitors turning you in? There's no honor among videographers? :) Anyway, I've seen many others do it, even at my own wedding a professional videographer with all the titles and certs and buildings and stuff I hired, had a list of songs and informed me that if I don't see what I like, then specify it and either he will get it or ask me to provide the CD. Now isn't that special...

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Old April 4th, 2003, 07:25 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Garret Ambrosio : . Also buying the CD doesn't give you the right to copy the material in it and use it in a production without the explicit consent of the copyright owner. That is my point all along that is why buying a collection will not help me unless I can get the copyright owner's permission anyway. -->>>

I believe Keith and I were both referring to a Royalty Free music collection that would allow you to use that music in your videos legaly.
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Old April 4th, 2003, 07:27 PM   #12
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you must of missed my point or i didnt make it clear.
1) you have nothing to do with music.
2) take the video that you edited and give that to them.
3) tell them what cd they need to buy. They go buy it.
4) cd is personal use, no copy, plus editing to the music then deleting the music is not infringing on anyones copyright. So delete the music track and then render it out to tape.
Then like pink floyd and darkside of the moon you start it at the leo the lion's head for MGM and watch Wizard of OZ all day long if you wish.

Rob:D
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Old April 4th, 2003, 07:33 PM   #13
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Yeah Rob I got the point. But honestly that would require for the B&G to think. But seriously, take a temporarily insane bride and tell her you can't play their song in their video or worse, tell them you got some royalty-free music to play in their stead. They would leave and go to the next infringer, I mean videographer.

I appreciate all guys' help. Where can I get some decent, yet inexpensive royalty free music ;)
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Old April 4th, 2003, 07:46 PM   #14
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Find out which song they want, the contact ascap or bmi. These are the people that license the music. You can then add the cost of the LEGAL music into the edit cost. You can also contact the music bakery, or any number of music libraries, and get royalty free music for roughly $45 a cd. Some of it isn't bad.
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Old April 4th, 2003, 07:50 PM   #15
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Music bakery? Are they on the net? Do you have a link. $45 a cd...not bad considering a copyrighted Cd would cost me $24 but I can't do a damn thing to it other than listen to it. Imagine that.
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