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Old July 24th, 2008, 11:28 AM   #1
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Wedding Reception Dances (copyrighted music?)

What do you guys/gals do about this in these situations with the copyrighted music? Also how long are your wedding videos period? (The main feature)
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Old July 24th, 2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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What do you guys/gals do about this in these situations with the copyrighted music? Also how long are your wedding videos period? (The main feature)
Q1) I don't cut the music out and I don't worry that using it is not legal. What else am I supposed to do? Charge $5k in licensing expenses to get a clearance house to do the work for me and then dub over in post with a high quality version? When I'm being paid $800, that just isn't an option.

Q2) I make them usually around 40 minutes, but this depends on the ceremony length. I don't cut anything but dead air.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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Isn't this considered incidental? Therefore no sync license required... right?

I have yet to hear of the RIAA coming down on a wedding videographer for shooting a reception.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #4
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Isn't this considered incidental? Therefore no sync license required... right?

I have yet to hear of the RIAA coming down on a wedding videographer for shooting a reception.
There may be ethical wiggle room given that it is incidental (assuming the videographer didn't sync in post with a CD quality rip or use a DJ board feed), but I image a lawyer would have no trouble successfully arguing that the music was integral to the dancing scene and by nature the music was featured prominently and as such is basically the soundtrack for that scene requiring "proper" licenses and clearance.

Prosecution wise, I haven't heard of any, but I cannot imagine it is too far off given the RIAA's recent tactics.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #5
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Interesting question. I used to shoot news for a local TV station, You would think that incidental music would fall under "fair use" for media usage. It doesn't. If we were shooting something with registered music in the background, even it was, say, behind a reporter doing a standup; we couldn't use it - if it was more that 5 seconds. Some stations pay blanket ASCAP fees to get around this problem.

My point is that if it's problem for media, even with "fair use", it's gotta be a problem with a private for-profit business. My guess is that we're flying under the radar so no one has bothered to pursue it as an issue.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 04:32 PM   #6
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That is pretty much my understanding as well. Especially annoying and confusing is fact that weddings require delivery on a fixed medium, hence the dupe license.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 04:52 PM   #7
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I seemed to remember something posted on WEVA a while back that there was not a copyright issue because a wedding reception is usually by invitation, which makes it a private--not public--event
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Old July 24th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #8
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Though by that logic, a "private" copy of a CD given to someone else (as opposed to public copying) would be legal? That is why I don't quite by the argument.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #9
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Any songs I use I buy from iTunes and give them to the B&G when I'm done. Far from legal but hey... we've been after the recording industry here in the US to cut us a deal like the Brits and Aussies have... pay an annual fee, limit the number of copies we make and get on with life. The longer this goes on the less I feel like the felon I really am. I know it's wrong but geez.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 06:55 PM   #10
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I am not a legal expert, that's what I pay my lawyer for so no legalalese here nor will I speak for areas of the country or world other than my own BUT here virtually every night club, bar and banquet venues has a license to allow DJs and bands to play copyright music in their venue. I believe it is a 'hidden' cost when they buy the license so therefore bands and DJs can play the copyright music for the "private audience", i.e. a wedding reception, and suffer no consequences. As one who is recording the EVENT we are immune from the wrath of the gods on high who might try to bend us over for their pennies of royaltys. Since we are covering the event and not the music the music is an ancillary part of the event. In other words our main job is to cover the happenings at the event and the music is in the background. Again it is considered to be a private event. Plus we are not recording the music to sell or distribute other than the few copies of the DVD that we are required by our service agreement with the bride and groom to make. Remember this is a private event for which the reception venue or DJ paid royalties to the proper people for the right to play the music with impunity at said private event.

Now after all of that, should the RIAA or any other governing body choose to pursue the wedding videography profession, then I say, Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead. :-)

IMO, it would be less than prudent for them to do so if for no other reason that there are so many of use around the country that it would be fairly impossible to go after us all. Not to mention the music that is played at most weddings is readily available either in the form of a CD OR by download. Hmmm, how's that working out for them? Lots of money in everyones pockets.

OK, again no lawyer no expert here just some reasonable common sense and a lot of talk to people who are lawyers and people in the music business in one form or another.

At this point in time I don't really think it's something we need to worry about. They (the RIAA or others) will let us know when it's time to worry.

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