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Old February 9th, 2010, 12:20 PM   #1
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Will this work? Music licensing

I have been thinking a lot about Music licensing, as some threads in here suggested the current synch to video charges will be out of reach by Majority of wedding videographers.

I know that if I were to use a popular song and try to pay the rights it would be beyond my reach. I was thinking what if I get an artist in the Philippines to license us her/his songs for the same price as what etiquette is charging, will that work? They are not original compositions but basically renditions of popular songs, love songs. I dont know how they do it but their albums are usually their own versions of popular hits. Would they require permission form the original artist to license their song?

I was thinking .99 per song x 10,000 videographers will be serious money for the artist. And maybe as a pitch the full backing of WEVA might convince the artist. I have not spoken to the powers that be at WEVA, just want to know if this will work.

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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I'm not 100% how this works in the US - but in the UK anyone can record a song - they simply have to pay the artist for each recording they distribute. Either a fixed sum or a percentage whichever is greater. So I'm guessing that in this case the amount you friend would have to pay the original artist would likely be more than 99c per song.

Assuming he is recording the songs legally.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #3
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Hi Noel

It appears that wedding videographers in most countries seem to use commercial songs quite freely in their samples and I'm pretty sure that they cannot have paid the huge royalties that are normal practice!!

Over here you can actually get a licence to use commercial songs on your wedding DVD (a single event costs just over $50) However tthe system is so badly flawed because, although you can put the songs on the DVD it can only be used by the couple privately and it only covers DVD's not online video. According to our APPRA you can get a licence for the wedding DVD but if you want to put samples online (server, youtube, vimeo etc) you are not covered.
Even here it seems that videographers are using online wedding 'demos' containing commercial songs and it's pretty certain that they would not be paying huge royalty amounts to overseas publishers for 'internet broadcast' I think worldwide as long as you don't abuse the system publishers turn a blind eye to this minimal music use.

Maybe Rochelle has a comment as PR person for AVPA ??? or you might want a comment from someone at WEVA to clarify the situation.

For me, it's probably safer to use Royalty Free tracks in your productions and know you are in the clear

Chris
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Old February 9th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #4
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Noel -
Let me see if I'm understanding the idea correctly... you have someone do a "cover version" (remake/reinterpretation of the original song), and then use that?

To me this sounds like the same idea as knocking off a product and selling it either labelled as the original or for the same use... I'm not sure how many different laws are being broken there... not to mention the ethical implications.

Technically "cover versions" are supposed to be paying the original artist for the use of the elements of the composition, and there's a long history (and ongoing saga) of artists suing over "similar" compositions (just saw a new one brewing today over a Super Bowl ad!).

I think if I understand what you're thinking, it's perhaps even worse than using the original compositions without compensation... it adds an element of "intent" and "conspiracy" that would likely lead to far worse legal trouble than garden variety copyright violations.

Conceptually, it may look viable, but I doubt the "cover version", even if properly licensed for an audio recording would include the rights to use it in a video...
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Old February 9th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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Getting someone (anyone) to record a popular song is totally acceptable - you just have to pay the publisher for it, not the record label or artist. It is done all the time. You don't have to have permission from the original artist (unless he/she owns the publishing for the song as well).

The only catch is that publishers are all different, and they all charge different rates for a song. It's a negotiated price.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 07:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Noel -
Let me see if I'm understanding the idea correctly... you have someone do a "cover version" (remake/reinterpretation of the original song), and then use that?

Conceptually, it may look viable, but I doubt the "cover version", even if properly licensed for an audio recording would include the rights to use it in a video...
Dave actually I am looking at artist who has done it already. Collection of Love Songs in the 70s for example, all sang by the local artist. I know she did not compose it but is merely reviving the songs. It is being distributed/sold by legitimate companies (i.e EMI Philippines, etc). Would it be legal for that artist to let wedding videographers use her own rendition for a fee? Reason I am asking is if it is legal, maybe I can convince that artist to let us Wedding Videographers use her songs legally for .99/song or whatever works for her.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Noel

It appears that wedding videographers in most countries seem to use commercial songs quite freely in their samples and I'm pretty sure that they cannot have paid the huge royalties that are normal practice!!

Over here you can actually get a licence to use commercial songs on your wedding DVD (a single event costs just over $50) However tthe system is so badly flawed because, although you can put the songs on the DVD it can only be used by the couple privately and it only covers DVD's not online video. According to our APPRA you can get a licence for the wedding DVD but if you want to put samples online (server, youtube, vimeo etc) you are not covered.
Even here it seems that videographers are using online wedding 'demos' containing commercial songs and it's pretty certain that they would not be paying huge royalty amounts to overseas publishers for 'internet broadcast' I think worldwide as long as you don't abuse the system publishers turn a blind eye to this minimal music use.

Maybe Rochelle has a comment as PR person for AVPA ??? or you might want a comment from someone at WEVA to clarify the situation.

For me, it's probably safer to use Royalty Free tracks in your productions and know you are in the clear

Chris
Thanks for the input Chris, I know Still Motion mentioned company called Etiquette, you can purchase license (online/synch to video rights) for .99/song. You get to choose from 4 different artist. My question is if a local artist in the Philippines has recorded her/his own version of a popular song legally, can that artist sell/license that song to us for a fee?
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Old February 9th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bill Vincent View Post
Getting someone (anyone) to record a popular song is totally acceptable - you just have to pay the publisher for it, not the record label or artist. It is done all the time. You don't have to have permission from the original artist (unless he/she owns the publishing for the song as well).

The only catch is that publishers are all different, and they all charge different rates for a song. It's a negotiated price.
Bill, is it acceptable/legal for the guy who recorded the song to let wedding videographers use his own version for a fee?
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Old February 9th, 2010, 07:33 PM   #9
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Hi Noel

Actually that is quite correct..If a publisher decides to release "20 greatest love songs" and gets their studio musos to record it (not the original artists) they would have obviously negotiated with the original publishers for the rights to make a compilation album.

Now, the real secret is to find a publisher who has a "wedding" compilation album and get the rights to use any song in the album. Unfortunately it's all going to come down to money in the end and you will have to decide whether it's worth your while to pay for video rights. From the amount of copyrighted songs on wedding videos online I very much doubt that anyone paid the publisher for them but it's simply a situation where it's a one-off use of the song and publishers haven't got the time or resources to sue each and every videographer who uses a song in a DVD.

Chris
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Old February 9th, 2010, 07:48 PM   #10
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Chris, thanks for the input. My idea is to pitch the publisher that WEVA or AVPA or any Wedding Videographer association and its xxxx strong member is willing to pay .99/per song. It is a win-win situation, they get paid, we are guilt free.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 09:55 PM   #11
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Hi Noel

I would go for that!! We can get a 'blanket licence' here BUT only for the DVD not any internet video...if the 0.99c per song allowed 'members' to use the music in their online clips as well it would be a way better system than we have!!!

Keep us informed!!

Chris
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Old February 9th, 2010, 10:56 PM   #12
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Hi Noel,

I think WEVA has already been talking with the major PROs (Performing Rights Organizations - i.e. BMI, ASCAP, etc.) to do something to make hit music more accessible to us. The problem is that there are many fingers in the pies. And to make matters worse, they all have veto power. They are competing to get as much money as they can for any use of that song.

There are positive steps being made, with services that have pre-negotiated with publishers and labels to provide "one-stop shopping" for known songs. However, it's not necessarily cheap - between hundreds and thousands for just one title.

I think the time is coming when the model itself is going to have to change and adapt to a society that has instant access to digital media of all kinds. People are making art out of existing media works that redefine what is "original" and what is "intellectual property".
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Old February 9th, 2010, 11:38 PM   #13
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We have a USD1420 annual fee to pay which covers for public performance of the SDE, sync and mech rights to deliver copies to the wedding couple. It doesnt cover anything online as well.

Anyone has the link to Etiquette?
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Old February 10th, 2010, 01:49 AM   #14
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We have a USD1420 annual fee to pay which covers for public performance of the SDE, sync and mech rights to deliver copies to the wedding couple. It doesnt cover anything online as well.

Anyone has the link to Etiquette?
With Etiquette
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Old February 10th, 2010, 04:48 AM   #15
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$1420? Wow, the license in Australia is only about $700-800 annually. I haven't paid a full year license yet because I don't do many weddings. I think it's a very fair price, even considering that you can't upload it online.
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