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Old August 6th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #1
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Music Clearance Question

Hi,

I need some input.

I have a non-profit organization client for a 30 second tv spot at a Christian TV channel. I gained the client through the radio station because the client is one of their advertisers. The client has music that they want to use on their 30 sec spot that they received from the radio station.

What's the legalities on this? It's a non-profit organization and they are set on using the music that they want to use. I am not the one that paid for use of the music but the radio station did.

So....give me some input. Finish the spot for the client with the music they want and hand it over to them or what? I'm not the one making arrangements to have it aired just video production/editing.

What would you do?

Thank you
Lisa
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Old August 6th, 2007, 06:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lisa Bennett View Post
Hi,

I need some input.

I have a non-profit organization client for a 30 second tv spot at a Christian TV channel. I gained the client through the radio station because the client is one of their advertisers. The client has music that they want to use on their 30 sec spot that they received from the radio station.

What's the legalities on this? It's a non-profit organization and they are set on using the music that they want to use. I am not the one that paid for use of the music but the radio station did.

So....give me some input. Finish the spot for the client with the music they want and hand it over to them or what? I'm not the one making arrangements to have it aired just video production/editing.

What would you do?

Thank you
Lisa
I am not a lawyer but IMHO you're in a midst of a can of worms there. First of all, whether it's a spot for a non-profit religious or charitable organization or one for an avaricious, profit hungry, multi-national corporation, it doesn't make any difference at all in copyright and licensing. Use by religious organizations except when the music is directly incorporated into a worship service does not convey any exemption to the law - there's just nothing special about it being a Christian organization versus any other organization promoting whatever their agenda may be. For instance, an atheist music composer or performer might have a strong objection to your use of their work to promote a religious agenda and it would be their absolute right to say "No way!" to such usage and you would be legally bound to respect their objections whether it seems to you to be a reasonable position on their part or not. You are working with a Christian organization, would you want one of your videos to be used in an anti-Christian spot on Al-Jazeera sponsored by Al-Queda? What's good for the goose is good for the gander. You either have a legal license to use the music from the copyright owner or you don't. You say you're not the one who paid for the use of the music, the broadcaster did ... well and good but exactly WHAT usage rights did they purchase? Some broadcasters think payment of their ASCAP/BMI performance license fees include the right to use the music in commercials - most of the time it doesn't, and it CERTAINLY doesn't cover a commercial produced by someone other than the broadcaster themselves. A broadcast performance license does not convey the right to sync the music to film/video for any purpose, AFAIK. While you aren't the one making the airtime buy, you are the one making the video and since (I presume) it isn't legally a "work for hire" attested by written contract making you the client's employee, you're still on the hook to make sure the music you put in your production is legal. So you've gotta tell your client they must obtain proper sync and master use licenses for the music or it just ain't gonna happen- who knows, the rights owner might be impessed that it's a religious organization and grant the license as a mitzva waiving their fee.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 06:39 PM   #3
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Hi Steve,

I totally agree with you. I am also a musician and wouldn't want someone using my music without approval. I wanted to post it to get input from people.

I think the client needs to just let us make them original BG music for the spot. Fixes the whole problem.

If we take the music the client wants and record it and make some changes, I understand that sync and master would not be required. Is this correct in your opinion?

Best Regards,
Lisa

Last edited by Lisa Bennett; August 6th, 2007 at 06:48 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old August 7th, 2007, 07:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lisa Bennett View Post
Hi Steve,

I totally agree with you. I am also a musician and wouldn't want someone using my music without approval. I wanted to post it to get input from people.

I think the client needs to just let us make them original BG music for the spot. Fixes the whole problem.

If we take the music the client wants and record it and make some changes, I understand that sync and master would not be required. Is this correct in your opinion?

Best Regards,
Lisa
I couldn't say. For one thing, it would depend on how signifigant the changes were. If it sort of sounds like the original, I'd think you'd be okay. If it's different by just a few notes, then you're probably not. Is there any reason you can't get clearance from the copyright owners for the music you want to use?
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