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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 7th, 2009, 04:31 PM   #16
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That's what I figured. I didn't want to push, but it seemed like too easy of a loophole. Say, for instance, you're making a no-budget feature, and you just KNOW that this Rolling Stones song in a certain spot would make the scene. So you have a "party" outside and play the song on your sound system, and then jack your camera directly in and record, and use it in your movie, and that's okay? No, didn't think so.

If that seemed convoluted, I'm sure many of us would do it, if legal, to save the cost of paying quintillions of dollars to do it the normal way.

Oh yeah, why was all this relevant? It seems like if you're recording with your on cam mic or something similar and the music is thumping away in the background, sounding crappy as it is wont to do when recorded in such a manner, you'd be more likely to get away with it if any of the relevant parties (from my experience, the gentlemen who wrote/recorded "cupid shuffle" and "crank dat") ever heard/saw it, whereas if you have nice clean audio, you're just asking for it.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #17
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Seems like the problem is not with us doing the videos but with the law not being capable to handle such services. Maybe since it's a such a niche business they just simply don't bother with us (yet). I wish it was solved with simple solution like in other countries where you pay flat fee for any amount of music you want in your wedding vid.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:29 PM   #18
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I don't make the rules, I just enforce them.

Okay, I don't actually do that either. I just become aware of and depressed by them.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #19
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I believe there's a significant difference between "incidental" music while capturing an event (and just try to remove it from the audio...), and a "sound track/music video".

The first is probably legally defensable, the second not so much...

The first instance comes with the recording of the event (the REASON for the video in the first place), the second is a "production" deliberately scored to a specific music track... One is beyond the control of the camera operator, the second is under the complete control of the editor. I think that helps clarify the difference.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 04:38 PM   #20
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But if you're jacking directly into the sound system like that, isn't it likely your intent is to have quality-sounding music to edit the wedding video later?
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Old March 8th, 2009, 04:45 PM   #21
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That does present a "sticky wicket", but if all you are doing is capturing audio to be synced to the same live video, and the end product is not separable, I think it would be really hard for someone to come along and argue that the "audio track" isn't the same or comparable to the audio you captured with your camera, which was "incidental".

You are still capturing the "live event" to the best quality level you can for post mixdown, NOT creating a sound track/music video. There's a distinction there.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #22
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I say let the lawyers sort it out, and thank my lucky stars I never EDIT weddings, only occasionally shoot them.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
That does present a "sticky wicket", but if all you are doing is capturing audio to be synced to the same live video, and the end product is not separable, I think it would be really hard for someone to come along and argue that the "audio track" isn't the same or comparable to the audio you captured with your camera, which was "incidental".
If anyone is interested, this thread is a good read and includes good comments from our resident legal-types about incidental music: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/taking-ca...omic-book.html
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Old March 8th, 2009, 08:28 PM   #24
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This whole conversation makes me happy that I have only 3 weddings to do this season so far. All my other jobs are corporate gigs with legal music :-)
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Old March 9th, 2009, 12:34 AM   #25
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I think much of this has to do with the difference between documentary and cinematic approaches to Wedding Video.

Documenting an event for a limited market (the couple's family and maybe friends basically) is different from producing a documentary for broadcast (broadcast now effectively meaning putting the video up on a web site or video site where anyone can see it)

Where this gets a lot tougher is when you edit to a music track as seems to be quite common with "cinematic" WV production.

Think about it, a music track chosen and mixed to is an entirely different animal from "I was documenting the day, and some music was playing in the background".

One is an INTENTIONAL use and repurposing of copyrighted material (and not likely to be legally defensable should you be sued if you don't have some valid license to use the work), the other is "it was there while I was shooting, and there's no way to effectively edit it out".

IMO, that establishes what is referred to in legal circles as a "bright line" between
"incidental" and intentional infringement. That isn't to say that it would save your bacon in Court, but it's a "reasonable" interpretation. And I think it's advisable to be on the right side of that line to reduce the possibility that you'd land in trouble...
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Old March 9th, 2009, 11:24 AM   #26
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wow... my intent wasn't to start another "copyrighted music battle" :-)

but good information once again.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #27
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Given the number of wedding videographers in USA/Canada, should someone take lead & petition the music industry to give us a blanket permit similar to what the DJ's are getting? It's not like we are making tons of money a year but the sync license fee is really expensive. DJs only pay less than $ 200 a year if I am not mistaken.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
Given the number of wedding videographers in USA/Canada, should someone take lead & petition the music industry to give us a blanket permit similar to what the DJ's are getting? It's not like we are making tons of money a year but the sync license fee is really expensive. DJs only pay less than $ 200 a year if I am not mistaken.
My best guess is because they are actually doing the record companies a favor by playing their music. That's free advertising for them.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 02:01 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
Given the number of wedding videographers in USA/Canada, should someone take lead & petition the music industry to give us a blanket permit similar to what the DJ's are getting? It's not like we are making tons of money a year but the sync license fee is really expensive. DJs only pay less than $ 200 a year if I am not mistaken.
That's the difference between performance rights and sync rights. When the DJ finishes playing the song, it's done. He's only distributing it "through the air". When you capture or sync to a song, it's preserved forever on the DVD. So the two are not analogous. What would be analogous would be if the DJ recorded the evening's music and presented the CD to the couple as a remembrance. That would clearly be a violation of copyright.

WEVA is trying to take the lead in the US, to varying degrees of success.
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