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Old July 27th, 2009, 09:52 PM   #1
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licensed use of a song in a highlight!

Hey guys,
After reading the thread about JJ. Kims run in with an artist I got a little paranoid and decided to see how difficult it would be to license a song by going to the record label and requesting use of the song for dvd and internet.

I contacted the proper individual at the label and explained what I want to do and they were very helpful and I filled out a small excel form and they checked out my info and gave me permission to use the song on dvd and for my website, vimeo, and facebook for a period of 5 years. Best thing of all is that they don't want a fee for it!
I'm really excited to start doing this with all my videos and I can rest easy knowing it's all good.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 02:30 AM   #2
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more detail instruction please. I use song for love story but that "just do like everyone else". If there a way to make it legit then i'll spend extra time to do that to make the artist happy after all we using their talent to promo our work. Most of the time i included "thank you "who ever the artist that sing the song" for a wonderfull piece of music". I don't know if that mean anything but at lease if they happen to watch my video they happy that someone did credit them heheheh.

Please can i or we have more instruction on how to optaint what you did please thank you
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Old July 28th, 2009, 03:22 AM   #3
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As soon as everyone starts doing it they will start asking money, the administration costs is going to cost them money.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #4
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I've worked on two recent projects (neither a wedding) where the client was able to secure rights to popular songs. One was provided at no cost (they provided the exact verbiage for the credit to be displayed at the end of the video) and the other one cost exactly $4. Granted, these were older songs, but they certainly weren't unknown songs - the four buck song was from CCR.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 08:19 AM   #5
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I was 100% expecting to pay a larger than normal fee for the song and I would gladly pay the piddly price of $4 per wedding for that ease of mind.

just find the record label who owns the song you want to use and email their lisencing dept or if you cant find someone then email their general inquiries. explain that you produce wedding films and you would like to use a song and will pay the fees and you will deliver X many DVD's and will post the video to X and X sites and they will send you a form to fill out probably and you will be set.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 10:56 AM   #6
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Does anybody want to provided more information about how to go about gaining these rights?
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 01:42 PM   #7
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For the big names and record labels, check:
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers | Welcome

Getty Images also has a nice music library:

As for independent music, you can usually contact the artist directly.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 10:11 PM   #8
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its a big issue in my country now. The authorities are raiding wedding dinners to check if there are violations. We have converted to royalty free songs as the authorities does not offer any solutions. Reason being there are many rights to be secured due to the reproduction of the song (with a new video), broadcast rights, etc.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 11:33 PM   #9
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Here are some resources for getting licensing info:

What you are after is a limited sync AND master license, which is the marrying of a specific recorded piece of music with video. The issue is that there may be many parties involved in obtaining free and clear permission to use a piece of music, including the publishers (more than one publisher may be involved with one song) and in some cases the composer acting as publisher.

Then, after getting the sync license, you'll need to get a master license from the label for use of THEIR recording of that particular piece of music. (i.e. Pinball Wizard was recorded by both The Who (who wrote the song) and Elton John. Which one you want determines which label you would go to for the rights to the appropriate recorded master.)

The state of licensing right now for limited use is pretty sad. It's anything but clear cut, and usually multiple parties are involved. Teams of lawyers did nothing but clearances when I worked at MTV. I've been to digital music conferences where hours were spent by panels of publishers, attorneys, and labels arguing why there isn't a simple way to license music on the net for limited use. It's getting worse, not better.

An attorney could very reasonably argue that using commercial music in wedding videos made for personal use of the bride and groom and their immediate family would be considered "fair use" by a consumer and therefore not applicable to obtaining a license. I think it would be a good topic for some info sessions at WEVA with a music biz attorney or two, if there already aren't some planned.

All said, it's effing complicated - and if you want to do it legally with hit music, you're going to have to jump through hoops and probably pay up - if nothing else to your attorney to make sure it's all good. That being said, if you are brave and want to try obtaining the right contact information and doing it yourself, you might just get lucky and they will waive any fees for such a small and personal use. Just make sure you get it in writing.

Because our use of music for our clients is so specific and limited in scope, it's almost easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission when it comes to delivering final DVDs. However, having that SDE playing in the hotel during the reception could easily be considered a live performance and subject to ASCAP and BMI fees, which normally the hotel/venue would/should pay if they have DJ's on a regular basis working their rooms.

Hopefully I've muddied the issue enough. ;) That's what I get for being in Nashville in the entertainment industry for too long.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 01:22 PM   #10
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If you speak to the license holders, the bigger ones will tell you that to even get a contract drawn up for a one-off is very expensive for them, so over the years I've been able to use a number of well known pieces of music for limited distribution products. However, many are happy to authorise this verbally over the phone, but won't put it it writing. Others charge no matter. I seem to remember 20 seconds of "Sugar Baby Love" cost me about 70 in 1996! I was quoted a very large sum for permission to use a Lionel Richie track via the 'correct' route. A friend of a friend of a friend got the man himself to give permission himself, for a $10 'token' payment as he thought the cause was good.

It never hurts to ask!
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