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Old May 8th, 2009, 09:51 PM   #1
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Wedding March copyrighted?

Does anyone know if the wedding march / Here Comes the Bride is copyrighted material? I'm thinking about doing some weddings but they seemed filled with possible pitfalls, ie:filming people that did not give permission (guests), not being able to use the song that the bride and groom dance to and so on. How do you combat this?

Last edited by Kevin Lewis; May 8th, 2009 at 10:47 PM.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:05 PM   #2
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Combat paranoia? Hmmmm.

The music captured is "incidental". You are capturing an event as it happens, and the audio just happens to be there. The purpose of the video is to capture the event, not make a "copy" of the music. With all the other noise on a typical video, it's not like you're paying much attention to the song... I wouldn't say the same for using a copyrighted piece as a "sound track" for a video, IMO that crosses a line of great risk, but many cross that line - I don't think it's necessary though.

As for the people... people are there at event that can reasonably be expected to have cameras EVERYWHERE, so unless it's a mob wedding (and you're subcontracting for the FBI), they should be fairly sure that their mug will be captured one way or another sometime during the day, and immortalized in the happy couples wedding album/video.

I know we live in a litigious country that can suck the fun out of everything, but sometimes you just have to use some old fashioned horse sense.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 02:18 AM   #3
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Mendelssohn's Wedding March (which is the piece I believe you are referring to) was written in 1842, as part of a staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Like Shakespeare, I'm pretty sure the copyright to the tune has expired.

Unless the church or facility is using a pre-recorded playback of the song (which could possibly raise some issues with rights concerning whoever recorded the music), there shouldn't be any issues. The organist (or musician(s)) would pretty much be considered work-for-hire, performing for the B&G (or whoever's footing the bill).

Most people should expect to be photographed at a wedding. Going to a wedding and being outraged that there is a photographer there who is actually taking pictures (or video) is a little unreasonable. That said, the last wedding I shot as a still photographer had a somewhat psychotic woman who absolutely went into hysterics when a camera was pointed anywhere near her. Unfortunately for me, she attached herself to the bride like a leech for most of the event. Her escort managed to pry her away from the bride after her third or fourth meltdown during the reception, hopefully to make sure she'd taken her medication. Luckily for me, the bride was a good friend and understood the handicap I was working under.

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Old May 9th, 2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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How do you combat this?
Unfortuantely, the laws in this country have not kept pace with technology. I've said several times before on this forum - I believe as the laws exist today, wedding video is illegal in the USA. There is almost no possible way to do the job without violating somebody's rights.

The "incidental" excuse would never fly in court. You knew the soloist would sing - you pointed your camera at her and hit record. Your iRiver was connected to the sound board and you synced to it. There's nothing "incidental" about that.

So to do it, you either hold you nose or keep your head in the sand.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #5
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Adobe Soundbooth has a wedding processional score. You can always custom tune one, match it, and dub it in. If you're paranoid about it, that is.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #6
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Unfortuantely, the laws in this country have not kept pace with technology. I've said several times before on this forum - I believe as the laws exist today, wedding video is illegal in the USA. There is almost no possible way to do the job without violating somebody's rights.
Of course there is - you could simply refuse to honor a client's request that you violate the law and insist that you will only use properly licensed music in your products. Couple that with insisting that the professional organizations such as WEVA to which you may belong take a formal stance in opposition to use of unlicensed materials, including clauses requiring non-violation of music copyright in their statements of ethical practices for their members, along with applying monetary sanctions and/or expulsion against members who violate such ethical guidelines in order to reduce the business disadvantage someone who complies with the law presently suffers.

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The "incidental" excuse would never fly in court. You knew the soloist would sing - you pointed your camera at her and hit record. Your iRiver was connected to the sound board and you synced to it. There's nothing "incidental" about that.
Absolutely correct. "Incidental" would be a snatch of music drifiting in from the dancefloor while a guest is giving the couple a congratulatory message on camera. The music accompaning the processional or the first dance is an integral part of the scene and in no way would be considered merely incidental to the video.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 06:42 PM   #7
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Although I agree that the law is against wedding videography in its current form .. I can't help but respond to this ...

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Of course there is - you could simply refuse to honor a client's request that you violate the law and insist that you will only use properly licensed music in your products.
You may as well say "Of course there is - you can simply decide to no longer run a wedding videography business.". I'm serious. Telling brides that you're going to have to replace all of the music on their wedding day with stock music is a death wish. I'm not arguing the law, I'm arguing the business.


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Couple that with insisting that the professional organizations such as WEVA to which you may belong take a formal stance in opposition to use of unlicensed materials, including clauses requiring non-violation of music copyright in their statements of ethical practices for their members, along with applying monetary sanctions and/or expulsion against members who violate such ethical guidelines in order to reduce the business disadvantage someone who complies with the law presently suffers.
A great idea in theory, but there are two problems. First, it's an 'idea', which means it offers no present help at all to the original poster or anyone else here. There have been many ideas proposed on this and other forums, but nothing has come of them. Australia even has a system in place, but the U.S. does not.

I believe the wedding videography community has been making it clear for many years now that we want a music sync system that works for our trade .. but no one, not WEVA or the RIAA or anyone else has done a thing about it. It's a great idea that you propose, but perhaps a bit of a pipe dream.

The second problem, which is really maybe the bigger problem, is that brides have no clue what WEVA is. Most brides don't even give wedding video a first thought, much less do they have any understanding of the laws or organizations that affect our industry. If WEVA implemented your idea I'll bet they'd lose most of their membership simply because brides are going to choose videographers that capture their day as it happened .. music and all ... and they aren't going to give a care in the world about anything called WEVA. I bet you'd be hard pressed to find even 1 bride out of 100 that knows what WEVA is.


This is the sad misfortune of this topic. The vast majority of us WANT a system that works, but no such system exists and there doesn't seem to be any interest in creating one - despite the potential monetary benefits.

So you either deal with it or you find another line of work. It's really unfortunate.

(On a side note, I just bought like 5 volumes of Digital Juice stock music in the hopes that I could transition to it. But guess what? It all has that MIDI electronic sound to it which just comes across as cheese. We just can't win.)
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Old May 10th, 2009, 01:51 AM   #8
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I'd have to observe that it's probably impossible to get through a day without violating some law or another... there's a video of a noted law professor where he goes over how MANY laws there are and how it's almost impossible not to be breaking one or more without even knowing it... I'm willing to bet you broke several laws today... we probably all did... so I guess we're all a bunch of criminals anyway if you think about it... sigh.

You may as well say weddings are illegal - dollars to doughnuts a lot of the music "performed" or played isn't being cleared for performance...

Fact is, you'll probably catch a portion of some version or another of the wedding march at every wedding... while everyone including you is focused on the BRIDE... You'll catch bits and pieces of other music performed, because that's what is there. You aren't trying to "copy" anything, you're not "scoring" a production, and you really don't care about what's playing, you're there to capture the events of the day, just capturing what happened... You'll probably deliver a finished product with little bits and pieces of copyrighted works, none of which is a "copy" of those works nor intended as a copy, nor would it have any financial value standing alone. You're recording an event, not a big production movie. An event for an extremely limited audience, not broad distribution.

I"m not going to argue that using a complete song as a soundtrack for a "music video of X&Y'z wedding" is supportable, though I know that's a popular style. I don't think THAT would hold if challenged since there isn't a viable licensing system in place, leaving vulnerability that obviously shouldn't be there, but IS. The law needs to be updated. Chances are if you deliver a few copies of such a video to every couple, just like driving over the speed limit, eventually you might have a problem....

BUT, as far as making a recording memorializing a live event that anyone with a camera could record (and they just happen to want a better quality cameraman than "uncle Bob", so they hire a "real" camera operator), good luck making a case that would stand for liability. And I can't wait to see the first attorney that tries to sue the happy couple and the video guy (and they would have to sue both...).

If the law (or the interpretation thereof) makes everyone a criminal (and my first point was to establish that we ALL are "criminals" to some degree), there's potentially something wrong with the law (OR the interpretation...). We the people created a nation to avoid such opressive systems, and we the people will have to stand to make the needed changes.

Meanwhile there is something called common sense, and happening to catch little snippets of various works while capturing an event is simply not "intentional infringement" upon someone else's intellectual property, no matter how you try to slice it.

And again, using a complete song as a soundtrack WOULD be pretty blatant intentional infringement... so there needs to be a bit of catch up to allow such use for reasonable fees.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 03:29 AM   #9
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There's no issue with recording Mendelsson's "Wedding March" or Wagner's "Here Comes The Bride" as it's being played by the organist during the ceremony - the music is in the public domain and you're not using a someone else's copyright recording that needs a master use license. Even if for quality issues one wanted to replace the music captured on location with a clean version from another recording, there are any number of music libraries where very high quality cues of those particular pieces are readily available at very low fees. But using the couple's favourite popular songs as the soundtrack for their "love story" or to accompany those MOS shots of the bride getting ready, or the drive to the church, or a montage of "the day," or the "trash the dress" video, or any of other parts of the show where specific music is selected and placed to accompany the images, now you're into another area where specific music is being used deliberatly as the soundtrack synchronized to specific images. Music casually overheard in the background during a guest's congratulations is probably incidental but a specific song accompanying the bride's first dance is not, whether placed in the audio during editing or recorded on location.

Why would the couple have to be sued if the videograper is? The videographer is not their employee and thus is not acting as their legal agent. He is an independent vendor of a copyrightable creative work, commissioned to produce a customized artistic product which is then sold to the client. The client has requested certain "features," they could be called, in the soundtrack but the videographer who is creating the final video production is the one who is ultimately responsible for its content. The infringment occurs in the act of copying and with the exception of copying covered under the "fair use" provisions in the law, it doesn't matter much why you're doing it. It also doesn't matter if making a stand-alone copy was the primary purpose of the act of copying (as in posting music online) or if it done secondary to creating another derivative work, the right to use a work in such derivative works is specifically protected in the copyright laws as being reserved for the original author. Just because a third party has REQUESTED the copy doesn't transfer the legal responsibility to them.

For your argument to hold up, the videographer would have to be acting only as a technician who merely operates the camera during the event, capturing the shots he was asked to record and handing over the raw footage at the end of the day. When he begins to exercise the creative skills that many of this group's members are justifiably proud to have developed, taking that raw footage and turning it into a cohesive program telling the story of an event, he moves outside of the role of being a mere passive recorder of events and becomes the author of a creative work. The legal responsibility for the content comes with that territory. The wedding videographer is not in the business of recording images; he is in the business of creating video programs. He's specialized to a specific type of video but he is a producer of video programs none the less.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #10
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Steve, incidental is incidental - if you have NO CONTROL whatsoever over the audio playing, you cannot be held responsible - they could be dancing to ANYTHING, including a live band - you as the videographer have NO CONTROL over the audio, PERIOD. Your job is to capture the moment, not score or decide whether the licenses have all been properly taken out for that mangled rendition of the "macarena" or the Chicken Dance...

Editing is illegal now too? So you've realized that shooting the video isn't illegal, but now to support your argument editing it would be... sigh. Even uncle Bob can edit nowadays, maybe not very well, but windows movie or whatever works more or less... One of the problems with modern society is we've glorified and protected mediocrity in the name of "rights" and criminalized professionalism if it somehow offends someone somewhere... I'm all for praising and encouraging everyone for what they can do within their means, but I'm also willing to grant appropriate praise and compensation for exceptional people. This is a forum/thread for wedding/event video professionals, something you've admit you know little about, so please refrain from dropping in to call us all criminals, OK??

Why would the couple have to be sued? because they contracted for, received, and hav in their possesion by your definition, an "illegal" work. They are a "partner in crime". The RIAA didn't go after just the people who ripped CD's and put them online, they sued granny for even having the "illegal" content on her 'puter... though she might not have even figured out how to get a CD into her "cupholder"...

I've said numerous times that using a song for a soundtrack is a legal black hole best avoided, unless you'd like to be the "carterphone" of the digital video world (see below).

I'll link to an article that just popped up from a post by our own amazing Chris Hurd on DCMA circumvention in another thread... read it carefully.
AM Stereo Blog Archive Is it time for the MPAA’s Carterfone?

As I've said many times before, there is absolutely NOTHING preventing a person from playing a CD alongside a DVD video so that the two are "in sync" - albeit the system would be clunky, but would not in any way shape or form violate ANY copyrights. The audio is licensed for playback, and if the (criminal) editor happened to mix the visual images to match a specific ditty and handed over the disc with instructions to play it with the same ditty being played back simultaneously, he'd be withn his legal rights. The analogy to the "Carterphone" is nearly perfect.

The practical fact is the technology to manipulate 1's and 0's is now both widespread and affordable - the digital cat is out of the bag, the horse has left the barn, etc... the digital revolution is already a FACT, and the problems it presents to IP holders are messy. BUT this is the nature of technological changes, and the law will eventually adapt, by which time we will probably be debating the legalities of holographic/holophonic transmissions and the creations of 3-D models from our videos...

Steve, I know you have your position, and I'll acknowledge the existing "art" referred to as "law" in this area is fundamentally unable to deal with the digital reality, but to criminalize this brave new world is really rather silly. Better to embrace it, that's why we are here on the bleeding edge!
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Old May 10th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #11
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....
The practical fact is the technology to manipulate 1's and 0's is now both widespread and affordable - the digital cat is out of the bag, the horse has left the barn, etc... the digital revolution is already a FACT, and the problems it presents to IP holders are messy. BUT this is the nature of technological changes, and the law will eventually adapt, by which time we will probably be debating the legalities of holographic/holophonic transmissions and the creations of 3-D models from our videos...

Steve, I know you have your position, and I'll acknowledge the existing "art" referred to as "law" in this area is fundamentally unable to deal with the digital reality, but to criminalize this brave new world is really rather silly. Better to embrace it, that's why we are here on the bleeding edge!
You seem to be fixated on the issue of incidental music but that is not the issue at hand. Truly incidental music should not prove a problem. But the OP was asking about the bride's choice of several pieces of music to be used as the soundtrack for the wedding montage segment of the video and wondering if he should suggest other choices that might be more artistically appropriate. Such usage is far from incidental music that was unintentionally recorded from the environment while filming something unrelated to the music itself. Here we have a deliberate selection of specific music to accompany and enhance certain images, the music becoming a vital part of the completed whole. Such usage is creating a derivative work by combining copyrighted materials belonging to someone else with new materials in order to create a new piece of intellectual property. As with anything new that you are creating, you have to either make the component parts yourself or buy them from someone else. You've made the picture component with your camera, but if you didn't make the music component by composing it yourself, you have to buy it from the people who did.

It has nothing to do with the advent of digital technology. The only thing digital has done is make it cheaper and easier for people to make high quality copies while the internet has made possible the transportation of intellectual property from point A to point B without having to move a physical object. It hasn't made the principles of intellectual property more complex - just the opposite. It has brought into clarity the concept that the value of a piece of creative work is in its intangible qualities and not the physical carrier that is used to transport it and store it (CDs, books, colour slides, etc). But the principals of law and of the respect for the underlying rights of the creators of intellectual property are the same whether you use a digital device, a piece of tape in an analogue recorder, or an Edison cylinder. Indeed, the issue of the right to use music in a video is totally independent of whether a prior recording even exists, much less the method of making either the recording, the resulting work where the music is used, or the means of reproducing it. If the music is synchronized to images and the resulting mix is fixed in a tangible form as a copyrightable work, the person making the program must either own the copyright to the music himself or license it from the person(s) who do. Those synchronization rights are not licensed by a recording artist or record label and are not based on using any particular recording - those sync rights are what are required in order to use the words and melody itself and are required even if you then make a recording of your own performance of them and use that. They come from the writers (composers and lyricists) and publishers of the music, not the artists and labels that release specific recordings of it. You need to obtain the sync rights even if no recordings have ever been released. Then if you want to use someone's particular recording, you also have to obtain the master use rights.

Shooting video isn't illegal and I never suggested it was. Editing isn't illegal either. But using another artist's property as a material part of your production without their permission is both illegal, and perhaps more importantly, a flagrant violation of the personal rights of your fellow creative professionals.

I have not called the people in this group criminals. Some of them might be, just as are some doctors, and plumbers, and taxi drivers, and some members of virtually any other group you might care to name. I know for a fact that some wedding/event shooters scrupulously respect the copyright laws and are able to conduct their business just fine and prosper at it without having to use unlicensed materials. You imply that since I'm not a wedding shooter I have no right to participate in the discussion. Okay then, educate me and answer me this. What is it about wedding videography that should exempt its practitioners from adhering to the same professional and ethical standards regarding respect for copyright and intellectual property rights in general that virtually all the other segments of the media professions - broadcast, theatrical, music, stage production, professional photography, journalism, publishing, illustration, fine-arts - must make a fundamental part of their business model? If your corner franchise restaurant has to come up with their own version of "Happy Birthday" to avoid infringing on Time-Warner's copyright as they offer customers birthday recognition as part of their services, if your corner bar has to pay royalties for the music they use, and if your dentist has to pay a performance license for the music he plays in his waiting room (and he does), why should you, because there's something unique about being a wedding/event videographer, be entitled to just ignore it? Tell me what the unique things are that make you exempt...
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Old May 11th, 2009, 01:05 AM   #12
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Steve -
#1, the OP was asking about whether the wedding march and whatever song the couple happened to dance to for the first dance created copyright issues - NOT as you say making creative choices for the music used in a final mixdown "music video". Not sure where you got off thread... I maintain that those are "incidental" in nature and practice. A rather large studio offering wedding video services (and I'm fairly sure they are minding their legal P's and Q's) concurrs with that interpretation, so I feel fairly confident that capturing whatever happens to be playing does NOT constitue infringement.

#2, I agree that using music pieces as a "soundtrack" presents a problem, and that artists should have reasonable rights to control the use of their "product" - there are potentially objectionable uses for audio and video, and I think an artist should have the right to prevent such uses... BUT

#3, READ that link, think really long and hard about the implications. The guy effectively created the equivalent of the cell phone, and because it "infringed" on AT&T's "rights" they tried to shut him down. The judge had some old fashioned horse sense and shut AT&T down on that argument...

Technology changes, and the law has to come up to speed. It ain't there when it comes to IP in the digital age. There will have to be a more sensible licensing approach than one created when music came on vinyl discs, and pictures and video were B&W and required massive investments in equipment to produce... If you don't grasp that, not sure what to say... The music industry failed to see the writing on the wall and missed the huge opportunity, instead trying to stop the wheels of progress - how'd that work out? I don't think the industry has ever really recovered...

It's not that anyone wants to infringe, steal, or otherwise take advantage of anyone, but once something is purchased legitimately in digital form... saying you can play it back on a CD or MP3 player but you can't have it put it on a DVD with video images for PERSONAL USE, you're starting to sound a bit crazy... I think the Judge in the above case would be shaking his head... maybe we need such a case to move the law forward to a more sensible licensing scheme in line with digital technology.

I know that some IP holders dream of a way to charge every user every time they play/listen/media shift/use the media they bought and paid for, but as a practical matter, users won't go for it, and they shouldn't. It fails to make sense post digital revolution, no matter how hard you try to justify it.

SMART IP holders realize that mentality turns users off faster than a skunk in an outhouse, and are trying to accommodate how people actually want to use "their" media in the digital age. If IP holders hope to profit, they have to find ways to allow reasonable use at reasonable pricing, THAT's where this ultimately leads if common sense prevails.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 05:36 AM   #13
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...
It's not that anyone wants to infringe, steal, or otherwise take advantage of anyone, but once something is purchased legitimately in digital form... saying you can play it back on a CD or MP3 player but you can't have it put it on a DVD with video images for PERSONAL USE, you're starting to sound a bit crazy... I think the Judge in the above case would be shaking his head... maybe we need such a case to move the law forward to a more sensible licensing scheme in line with digital technology.
We're not talking about personal use. A wedding videographer is not syncing a song from a CD he purchased to images he shot in order to make a video for his own personal, private, use and enjoyment. For it to be personal use he would have to retain the resulting video and play it for his own entertainment and that of invited guests. He could not transfer it to anyone else. Such a personal use would be perfectly legal, AFAIK. But that's not what he's doing. What he is doing is buying a CD and copying it into a new product, syncing the music to images in the process, and then subsequently selling several copies of that product to his retail customer. The B&G are not personally doing the syncing and making the copy, thus the copy has not been made for the personal use of the copy'er. They may be commissioning the copy but that's not the same thing as their making the copy. Kinkos was found to be infringing and legally responsible for the infringment when customers asked for copies to be made of copyrighted works they had brought in with them, even though the customer owned the item being copied and even though he was only requesting the copy be made for his own personal private use. The videographer is not doing it for HIS own personal use either since he is transferring the resulting product to a third party. He is a professional creator of intellectual property selling his work to a customer in the open marketplace. Since the infringment is in the act of copying itself, the B&G would have to be the ones physically making the product for "personal use" to come into the picture. To argue that a wedding or event video produced by a professional videographer in exchange for a fee falls under the umbrella of personal use of the music won't hold up - in that sense, every CD sold in the record store has been produced for the personal use of the customer since the reason they're buying it is to listen to it privately or with guests.

I still don't get why you say that the fact it's EASIER to make copies in the digital age means that the laws protecting the rights of the creators of intellectual property should be gutted. If anything, if the law is going to change, doesn't the fact that it's now easier, one might even say trivial, to violate an IP creator's right to profit from and enjoy the fruits of his labours mean that the laws protecting them should be strengthened, not weakened?

For the record, I think it would be a very good thing for more countries to adopt a system of easily obtainable, relatively low-cost, low-volume licensing such as that in Australia. But until such time, I don't think it's justified to say effectively "since the music industry won't give me what I want, I'm just going to ignore the law and take it anyway." If the law is ever to change, the music industry and the small scale users are going to have to be allies, not enemys. I think the current practice of flaunting copyright in the name of "I'll go out of business if I don't" and seeking run-arounds based on twists of logic and creative definitions is counter-productive in the long run. The music publishers and record labels need to perceive the local wedding videographer as the professional equal to the local broadcaster, news publisher, or advertising agency and adhering to same level of professional standards and practices. That ain't gonna happen if he keeps flaunting the copyright laws with an attitude of entitlement and business expendiency
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Old May 11th, 2009, 03:07 PM   #14
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OK Steve, now we're un-"professional"... you've lost the logical battle for "criminal", so you've got to toss another "label" to justify your position? Shoot a few weddings and events then come back - walk a few feet in others shoes before you see fit to criticize.

The videographer is making a personal production for the private use of the couple (and their guests), and frankly probably wouldn't give a rats patootie about seeing it after it's done, nor would anyone not related to the couple...

I'm familiar with the Kinko's case... IIRC that was tried before the scanner/printer became ubiquitous. It's "moot", and had they cited the Carterphone case (did you have a look at that?), the judge might have laughed it out of court. What I'm saying is that "legal precedent" sometimes results in rediculous results. Kinko's can't have one of their employees make the copy without becoming a facilitator to a crime, but the customer can walk over to one of several copiers and achieve the SAME EXACT RESULT... if they don't happen to have a sub $100 device hooked to their computer at home to do it. If you don't see the insanity of that conclusion, you've missed the entire point. Kinko's are STILL facilitationg the exact same "crime" (by having the machines there and available to anyone), but to work around the legal decision, they have simply posted that copying a copyrighted work may be illegal... do you see the absurdity here??? The "winner" in the Kinko's case didn't achieve a single thing, the legitimate owner of a copyrighted work can STILL make a copy... Kinko's still makes a little profit from every copy...

It's insane to penalize a "service provider" for doing what any private citizen can do for themselves (unless of course they fall under ADA and require assistance... Hmmm). When the law "criminalizes" or penalizes arbitrarily, it's irrelevant. When the law becomes irrelevant, it's time for a change. Until then, one has to decide where their comfort zone lies. People drive over the speed limit, they are breaking the law, but what percent of the population does it at one time or another??? <answer: 100%> Remember "speed traps" (which have been ruled to be illegal), where arbitrary changes were made to "trap" unsuspecting drivers into big tickets??? Are you catching my drift here??

I'm satisfied with the "incidental" nature of audio captured at the time of the event. I'm not so sure about the "soundtrack/music video" approach as I do feel it is a potential copyright violation under CURRENT legal interpretation.

I'm not advocating "gutting" anyone's rights. HOWEVER, we've already gone down the obvious path that shooting isn't illegal... and editing isn't illegal... follow to the last step, if that couple or their family member edited a PRIVATE video and used a song the couple enjoyed listening to, and continued to ejoy while media shifting that song in sync with the video... it's still not illegal.

They can't post it on the internet for anyone to see, I'm not sure where the limit would be on making a copy for grandma and grandpa and so on, BUT, the legitimate purchaser of the song has a reasonable right to media shift that concoction of 1's and 0's, I believe that is also a legal precedent (Sony Betamax/VCR), albeit contradictory to the Kinko's decision - sometimes "the law" cannot even agree with ITSELF, let alone adapt to the real world... that's why lawyers get the big bucks to argue about what the meaning of "is" is...

Law is not perfect, nor is it static, so to say that what the law doesn't reasonably address today won't be completely different tomorrow because a few brave souls utilizing common sense "bend the rules" and push the limits just is absurd. It wasn't long ago that laws about skin color were "the law", thank goodness that good people weren't content to abide by such absurdity - and there was lots of name calling there too...

Remember that the difference between a patriot and a traitor often depends on who prevails. Reasonable discussion is beneficial, and perhaps the digital revolution can be completed on that level. But name calling really is not appropriate.

Again, just in case you missed it, I'm all for IP holders having a right to control and recieve reasonable compensation for their work product - "a worker is worthy of his wages". BUT, arbitrary and absurd situations are deserving of challenge. Oddly, I think we agree on that but you enjoy playing the status quo position... where I prefer the revolutionary!
Dave Blackhurst is offline  
Old May 11th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
...
Again, just in case you missed it, I'm all for IP holders having a right to control and recieve reasonable compensation for their work product - "a worker is worthy of his wages". BUT, arbitrary and absurd situations are deserving of challenge. Oddly, I think we agree on that but you enjoy playing the status quo position... where I prefer the revolutionary!
It's been said you can easily recognize the pioneers - they're the one with all the arrows sticking in them. Same could be said about the revolutionaries, except they have bullet holes. It's fine to believe that the law ought to allow you to use music as you have described. I agree that it should. Unfortunately, it does not. Where you and I apparently disagree is I believe a responsible member of society does NOT have the right to break a law just because he disagrees with it. Of course, there are limits to that - the civil disobedience of the civil rights era and the Vietnam war years was in oppsition to laws and policys so egregious that there is no way one could justify obeying them (I know - I was there). But music copyright issues are not the same order of magnitude as laws requiring blacks to ride in the back of the bus. Until they are changed, there is simply no excuse or justification for not complying with them. The fact that it is more difficult to operate your business without breaking them is insufficient justification.

Many of the people frequenting online forums are newbies looking for advice and ideas, looking to learn how the business works. To tell them it's okay, that it doesn't really matter, is to lead them in harm's way. Especially now that people are expecting their "love story" to be posted to YouTube, etc, it's going to be increasingly difficult to stay under the radar. To give advice that exposes our fellow forum members to receipt of a "cease and desist" letter with which it will be very expensive for them to comply is not my idea of being helpful. Additionally, a business model that requires you to break the law should raise serious ethical qualms in those considering it.
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