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Old June 10th, 2010, 01:39 PM   #1
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Music Copyright 29 seconds

Hi All,

My guess is that you can't use any part of a copyrighted piece of music (ie. "Jump" by Van Halen, etc) in an independent piece. A few people have said something about being able to use 29 seconds, but that seems doubtful to me.

Any insight?

Thanks,

TL
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Old June 10th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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Urban legend. Made up by people who want to convince themselves they are not breaking the law.

BTW, you can use copyright music in an independent piece, you just have to get permission. I have, as have other people on this board.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 01:19 AM   #3
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I know there are some royalty free places where you can buy music that sounds like the music your looking for. If you were looking for jump... I was looking for music for another project and found something pretty close. Go to Royalty Free Music, Stock Music, Production Music Library and type in jump. I think it is called power jump. In the description it mentions van halen
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Old August 19th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #4
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Check with the broadcaster - most broadcast companies in the UK have blanket copyright agreements. If not use production music or negotiate. Again in the UK production music is charged (or used to be anyway) in 30 second chunks.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Lawrence View Post
Hi All,

My guess is that you can't use any part of a copyrighted piece of music (ie. "Jump" by Van Halen, etc) in an independent piece. A few people have said something about being able to use 29 seconds, but that seems doubtful to me.

Any insight?

Thanks,

TL
Sounds like the teenager's sales job, "honest honey, if we only DO IT for 29 seconds we'll be safe..."

Many get away encroaching laws because they're under the radar screen, mistakenly thinking it's okay because they don't get caught. The smart money may use clips of copyrighted music by cleverly including it for training, documentary, or parody purposes. Neophytes then deduce that since legitimate broadcasters seem to get away with this, they falsely figure it's fine for them to do likewise. But it's unfortunate for those who grab the "third rail" without first wearing rubber gloves and shoes...

Happy trails,

Michael
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Old August 25th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #6
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Michael, you allude to exceptions for training, documentary and parody.

Unless you're talking about broadcast use (which is covered by blanket agreements as I mentioned) here in the UK at least use of copyright or production music in training or documentary programmes is still liable to licence. All our training and documentary programmes had to have copyright cleared music even for titles etc.

I am not aware of any exceptions (except for broadcast as above) comparable to the situation in which a copyright piece of written work can be quoted for the purpose of review etc.

As far as parody is concerned I believe any parody eg new words to a familiar tune still needs the permission of the original writer/s though I doubt many choirboys have actually been sued for singing "While shepherds washed their socks by night...". When I was at school we were beaten (though that might be a remedy copyright holders would find effective.)
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Old August 26th, 2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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The people at Rights Workshop (Music Supervision, Copyright Clearance and Song Licensing | The Rights Workshop) are incredibly friendly and helpful and they will explain the process and cost of licensing to you at length if you call them.

My understanding as they explained it to me extends to this: There is the artist, and then the record company or label. The artist owns the song, the label owns the recording. If you use the artist's recording of the song, you owe both of them the same amount. This is referred to a lot as the "two sides of the coin." If you use only the song and record your own rendition, you owe the artist. Oftentimes you can't broker the deal yourself, so you have to hire somebody in addition to that cost. Last time I spoke to them about using a song in an independent school student project, it came out to about $200 per side, or $400 total, plus another $400 for them to broker the deal.

It's not cheap to use copyrighted songs...there are a plethora of young talented composers and musicians who are willing to work for $800...hire them!
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Old August 28th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post
As far as parody is concerned I believe any parody eg new words to a familiar tune still needs the permission of the original writer/s
Parody use is loosely defined under US copyright law, however there are some precedents set through US courts that further define it.

In a nutshell, parody use is only considered fair use when the parody in question is used as a method of criticism of (e.g. pokes fun at) of the original song. For example, "It's Still Billy Joel To Me" would be a valid parody of Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock & Roll To Me" under US copyright law, while a song such as "Like a Surgeon" (lampooning Madonna's "Like a Virgin") would not be protected because it is just a silly song using familiar music (Weird Al Yankovick recorded "Like a Surgeon" with Madonna's permission, and encouragement.)

So to claim fair use for a parody, it must be a valid form of criticism of the original, or its creator.
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