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Old February 13th, 2007, 11:33 AM   #1
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Legality of copyrighted music for showreel on websites....

Long subject line! yeaaah!

I just had one question....

I'm cutting together some showreels to put online, some past productions included music which is copyrighted, all clearance was acquired for the distribution of the actual DVD, but what about on a website?

I've never had to deal with this situation before, and i wondered what copyright implications were involved... Do i need to buy rights, even if it's just on a website?

Any comments whatsoever would be brilliant.
Cheeeeeers,

Neil
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Old February 13th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #2
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Not sure what the practice in the UK would be, but in the U.S. it would depend on the contract spelling out the grant of license to use the music.

Here many people try to get money for every conceivable use, so to be on the safe side I would assume most contracts don't grant permission for anything more than the uses they precisely specify.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 11:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Rostance
Long subject line! yeaaah!

I just had one question....

I'm cutting together some showreels to put online, some past productions included music which is copyrighted, all clearance was acquired for the distribution of the actual DVD, but what about on a website?

I've never had to deal with this situation before, and i wondered what copyright implications were involved... Do i need to buy rights, even if it's just on a website?

Any comments whatsoever would be brilliant.
Cheeeeeers,

Neil
You would need clearance for the website, but if it was cleared before, check the clearance forms to see what uses it was cleared for. Wow, that is way tooo many uses of the word clear! :)

Mike
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Old February 13th, 2007, 12:01 PM   #4
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haha very clear advice though.

Thanks for that. I'll check the clearance forms over, it might be that the rights have even ran out actually.

On a general sense though, if i was to upload a movie on here, and it had say, 30 seconds of a U2 song on it, is that still classed as distribution? and is technically illegal?

I had a search to see if this topic has been covered....but it doesn't look like it!

cheers for the comments.

Neil
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Old February 13th, 2007, 12:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Rostance
haha very clear advice though.

Thanks for that. I'll check the clearance forms over, it might be that the rights have even ran out actually.

On a general sense though, if i was to upload a movie on here, and it had say, 30 seconds of a U2 song on it, is that still classed as distribution? and is technically illegal?

I had a search to see if this topic has been covered....but it doesn't look like it!

cheers for the comments.

Neil
Pretty much any use of copyrighted music, except just listening to it for your own pleasure, will be protected.

We have had many discussions on this subject here, but they tend to get rather heated and closed down.

It is best to buy a royality free music library for this use. That's what many of us do.

Mike
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Old February 13th, 2007, 12:33 PM   #6
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here in the uk you need to go tohttp://www.ppluk.com/ and then follow this link path
Music Users / Broadcasting / How to Obtain a PPL Licence / Internet

I couldn't get a direct page link url.

Plenty of options, including a licence for music that plays as a theme on a web page.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 12:39 PM   #7
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There is such a thing as "fair use" in the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

Using 30 seconds of a U2 song (which is written for entertainment) in a video (that is intended for entertainment) is clearly not covered by fair use.

If you were doing a technical analysis of U2's recording techniques and presenting results, using a small clip, avoiding the song's "hook", and not making a profit, and not degrading U2, you "should" be covered. Media lawyers don't always see it that way though.

Oh, and you can parody the U2 song.

Using U2's music because it sounds cool and makes your video sound cool is definitely out of bounds, unless they grant you permission.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 08:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Rostance
On a general sense though, if i was to upload a movie on here, and it had say, 30 seconds of a U2 song on it, is that still classed as distribution? and is technically illegal?
Absolutely! There is no magic amount (or number of notes) that can be used without incurring potential liability.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 08:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst
There is such a thing as "fair use" in the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

Using 30 seconds of a U2 song (which is written for entertainment) in a video (that is intended for entertainment) is clearly not covered by fair use.
There are circumstances in which something like that could be uploaded here and come within fair use. Fair use is an arcane doctrine and not one that is readily susceptible to analysis and application by a layperson. By definition, it's an equitable doctrine, meaning you need to know how the doctrine evolved in the case law, as well as the jurisprudence that underlies it. The statutory definition is merely a codification of the equitable principles and does not replace them. Fair use can be found when none of the four factors are present, and not found when all of them are -- they are merely guidelines to assist judges.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 12:50 AM   #10
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As somebody who works for one of the media giants said to me the other day, "Fair Use is a gray area that has made a lot of money for a lot of lawyers."

So, I would look at the statutory definition and tread lightly, unless you have a good lawyer on retainer.

I would also say that including 30 seconds of popular copyrighted music that you have no license to in a short film that would be widely published is clearly not fair use. No way. No how.
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