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Old August 9th, 2010, 06:23 PM   #16
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we've managed to not use copyright music without prior permission since the beginning of this year and i think it has been a great transition for us. with many cases in the past of people taking our films, shots, reels or other things i can certainly related to how it must feel as an artist to have your work used without permission or compensation. like it has already been said, many are happy to give free rights if you give them credit and ask.

giving the excuse that many people do it, or saying that weva allows it are both just rationalizations - common ones that we all use at one time or another - to make it easier for us to keep doing what we are doing. we can call it a gray area, but it really isn't. most of us just can't be bothered to do it the right way.

and, being somebody who has used music without permission in the past, i am certainly not trying to past judgment on those who don't seek permission, i just want to share what we have learned along the way and where we are at now.

P.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 08:13 AM   #17
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Old August 11th, 2010, 09:36 AM   #18
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I'm of the mindset that you shouldn't need copyrighted music to deliver a good product. As soon as you rely on the music to make your product, then the product really isn't uniquely yours (that sounds harsh, but you get the gist).

I'm a big fan of the music at triplescoopmusic.com and withetiquette.com. Both are light years ahead of other royalty free sites that I've seen.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 08:13 AM   #19
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Patrick,
Can you expand on HOW you are getting license for music? Obviously, you're not using Stock20 or Digital Juice. I cannot imagine a world where I could tell a bride that we couldn't use her first dance song because we don't have the rights to it.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:15 AM   #20
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stillmotion uses a lot of music from withetiquette.com. there's some fantastic music on that site. and considering what licensing fees might normally be, $99 for a license (withetiquette) is pretty reasonable imo.

in my limited experience, triplescoopmusic is very good too, but i find that i have to do a lot more "browsing" to find something that i like.

if it's a huge issue, i would try contacting the artist or artist's agent directly. lady gaga might be harder to reach, but some other artists are very willing to let you use their music. if your videos are good, they probably appreciate the publicity with just attribution.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Dan Choi View Post
I'm of the mindset that you shouldn't need copyrighted music to deliver a good product. As soon as you rely on the music to make your product, then the product really isn't uniquely yours (that sounds harsh, but you get the gist).
Hi Dan. Do you not use music at all on your productions? Unless you are composing, performing or commissioning the music then you are bound to be just choosing someone else's creation which you feel is appropriate. I mean all music has had to be written and performed for us to be able to use it so why (apart from the copyright issue) does using something in a couple's wedding DVD that they are familiar with, or has some special meaning for them, make it any less unique than using library tracks?

As has been mentioned further up this thread, we do have a different system here in the UK which makes the using of copyright music on our domestic productions both easier and cheaper than it appears to be on your side, so it may not be such an issue with us when a bride asks for a particular piece of music to be used. I will admit that their choices may not always be something I'd use or even think appropriate, and I'd always tell them that and talk it through, but if they want a particular piece then I'll rise to the challenge and it will be my skill that makes it work. I don't see why that would not be uniquely mine.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:02 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
Hi Dan. Do you not use music at all on your productions? Unless you are composing, performing or commissioning the music then you are bound to be just choosing someone else's creation which you feel is appropriate
I thought Dan was clear when he said "rely". We should be able to create a production that works whether we use "Butterfly Kisses" or selection A, B or C from a buyout provider.

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I cannot imagine a world where I could tell a bride that we couldn't use her first dance song because we don't have the rights to it.
Yet we live in a world (well, a country at least) where you do not have the right to use that song. If you found one of your photos being used in an advertisement without permission, would you not be a bit concerned?
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Old August 12th, 2010, 12:40 PM   #23
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Hi Chris. I hope I don't come across as argumentative, I don't mean to be, but I'm not sure what you (or Dan) mean by 'rely' on music to make the product. If a music is going to be an integral part of a sequence then what does it matter if the source is buyout or copyrighted, surly it's how the music works in the sequence that will make it unique.

I'll concede that using copyrighted music in a promo clip may be a lazy way of presenting work when it relies on the power and familiarity of the music, but in the context of making a personal DVD for a bride - which is where the thread started - I don't see how the use of one type of music over another is any less or more valid.

That is setting aside the question of the copyright which I understand may be a legal issue in jurisdictions other than here in UK where we are able to purchase copyright release for weddings at a low cost.

I'll just add that I do use library music extensively in my commercial promo work where creating mood and pace in productions is enhanced by the use of music but the cost and complexity of clearing copyright is beyond the budgets I get to work with..
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Old August 12th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
Hi Dan. Do you not use music at all on your productions? Unless you are composing, performing or commissioning the music then you are bound to be just choosing someone else's creation which you feel is appropriate. I mean all music has had to be written and performed for us to be able to use it so why (apart from the copyright issue) does using something in a couple's wedding DVD that they are familiar with, or has some special meaning for them, make it any less unique than using library tracks?

As has been mentioned further up this thread, we do have a different system here in the UK which makes the using of copyright music on our domestic productions both easier and cheaper than it appears to be on your side, so it may not be such an issue with us when a bride asks for a particular piece of music to be used. I will admit that their choices may not always be something I'd use or even think appropriate, and I'd always tell them that and talk it through, but if they want a particular piece then I'll rise to the challenge and it will be my skill that makes it work. I don't see why that would not be uniquely mine.
I think if it was easier in the US to use copyrighted music then I would make more use of it. For some people, certain songs are irreplaceable. I understand that.

And I guess when I say "copyrighted" that is a bit misleading. I use copyrighted music, but I will pay for the license. What I see a lot of is using copyrighted music without ever obtaining a license or requesting permission. This is a very gray area.

I guess here's a question, and I don't mean it offensively or anything, just want to strike up conversation: what if the reception hall of one of your weddings took a highlights video that you made without asking and posted it on their website to advertise their reception hall? I think I'd be a little annoyed by that.

I'll agree with you that putting aside the copyright question, the source is fungible according to what you're trying to achieve. It's the legitimacy of the source that I was bringing up. I dunno, I've heard of photographers go bankrupt because adobe came after them for using academic software for professional work. That scares me. I can't really imagine how a videographer could handle the legal force of BMI or RCA if they decided to go after them.

It's a risk/benefit calculus that I'm sure people must deal with everyday like everything else in life.

EDIT: reread the original post and seeing that i'm completely off track. i would probably work on building up a portfolio of videos with properly licensed music and show the bride that "if you like those, then i think you can trust me to make a good video for you" something to that effect. easier said than done. but especially hard if your current portfolio has a lot of clips with top40 hits.

Last edited by Dan Choi; August 12th, 2010 at 03:53 PM. Reason: added
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Old August 13th, 2010, 04:10 AM   #25
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You guys really need to figure out how to join together and get the recording industry to let you license music officially like we do in the UK through the PPL. I'm so glad we don't have these problems.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 06:05 AM   #26
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Although I strongly agree with the basic sentiment, I don't think American or Canadian readers should get the impression that the development of the excellent scheme to which Dave refers was the result of organised pressure from wedding video people, much as they might like to think it was. I write as a 30 year contractor to the MCPS and a professional programme maker during that time.

Regardless of who first mooted it, the fact is that the scheme is a pragmatic solution for the music industry. Anyone who imagines that until its inception, commercial tracks weren't included in wedding videos - including members of the various clubs and association, is living in fantasyland. They were used on the basis that the individual producers weren't worth suing.

If there was a motivator for the associations to support a scheme it was that a) they were a better target than individual producers for the copyright owners if they promoted the illegal use of copyright music and b) and their only option was to ignore the problem.

What you need is the US is a more enlightened music business but I would have thought they currently have bigger concerns with the Internet, file sharing and basically earning anything from music.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 08:43 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
You guys really need to figure out how to join together and get the recording industry to let you license music officially like we do in the UK through the PPL. I'm so glad we don't have these problems.
I agree :(
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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:55 AM   #28
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I would like to restate the idea that using uncommon music that is royalty free can really set your film above the rest. I orignally created our first film with a pop song that I knew the B&G would like, but after sleeping on it and reconsidering, I decided I didn't want to be just another synced video. I decided to use exclusively music that I had obtained the rights and so I found quite the jewel in royalty free music for the film I was working on. After retweaking the film to sync with the new music better, I could only sit back and smile because I knew I had increased the value of my film by allowing it to breathe on its own, rather than being drowned by pop music.

I really appreciate the efforts Patrick and others are making to allow us to have quality music at a minimal price. Most sites currently give us music that sounds canned, but these new sites such as withetiquette.com have provided music that sounds real because it is! It's not just another wannabe sitting at his computer playing with garageband loops. I love the effort and can't wait to provide films that stand alone rather than on some already famous music.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 10:11 AM   #29
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Hey Jeff,

I like the way you think. I also like your site, especially not having to wait for video (or a flash animation) to load on the home page.

Maybe when a bride (or other client) asks me to use a copyrighted popular song I'll say something to the effect "Why would you want THAT song? Do you REALLY want your video to be just like everyone else? This isn't high school anymore. It's your SPECIAL day (event)! Shouldn't the music be something DISTINCTIVE, out of the ordinary? That's why here at TrueView (insert your company's name) we have invested in an extensive library of licensed music to meet the individualized needs of our discriminating clients..."

You get the idea. Of course you can also mention legalities too. Doing the right thing will work out better in the long run. Of course it costs time and money to acquire the music library, and more time matching appropriate music to the project, but if you want excellence....
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; August 13th, 2010 at 10:29 AM. Reason: another comment
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Old August 13th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #30
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I agree Jeff. It's not for everyone, but I like finding hidden jewels of music to integrate into a larger work. It takes time, but often "limits" can help creativity.
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