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Old June 22nd, 2011, 03:37 AM   #16
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

I bow to your greater knowledge in this matter Philip. As you may well know this area of copyright is a real minefield even for those with a grasp of the legalities. Maybe you will be able to clarify whether or not the MCPS LM covers the recording of hymns and other Church music. I thought that I understood there had been an agreement made with the Church of England to include that in the licence. What the organist, and sometime choirs, charge is a fee to allow their performance to be recorded which I guess the shorthand for vicars is to call it a copyright fee. That sounds a bit more authoritative and legally required and is less likely to be challenged than saying the organist wants to be paid twice for the same work.


The other point that I raised in my opening post is whether this is a practice in other countries, so far it seems not.

Last edited by George Kilroy; June 22nd, 2011 at 04:55 AM.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 03:46 AM   #17
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

George, I don't think it's greater knowledge, more like a mix up.

I think you're right about people including vicars confusing fee with licence fee. Certainly some churches charge for being there, eg the Alice in Wonderland church at which Lewis Carroll was once vicar charges for the association. Another we know charges extra if the camera rests on a view including the organist. It's Ok to pan over him, extra to stop!

I believe the MCPS LM does cover the live music - as does the other one which also confuses the PPL cover, though whether the CofE has agreed probably makes no difference if you're in a Unitarian or Catholic church.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:03 AM   #18
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

I find that charges in Catholic, Unitarian, Methodist and others are much more reasonable, 10/20 pounds or no charge at all at some. My experience is that they are also much more accepting of my presence and far more likely to allow me a greater say in how and where I operate in the church than most Anglican clergy, who are happy to take the fee then tell me to squeeze into a dark corner and keep quiet.

Just skipping back a few weeks, I wonder how much the BBC had to pay to film in Westminster Abbey.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:23 AM   #19
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

George, I agree - though as if to prove me wrong I'm preparing for a wedding at a Unitarian Church whose pastor wants full permission and sight of my licence and insurance!
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:29 AM   #20
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

According to 'Christian Copyright Licensing International' if a church conducts wedding where a video camera is used to record music you need either a CCL license or a Wedding Video-Recording Licence (WVRL) license.

They recommend the WVRL if a professional is filming.

their website (Wedding Video Licences : Prices & Application) gives you options of what copyright materials you want to include in the video.

If you're making 1-5 copies of the wedding DVD:
a license that covers commercial music (recorded on location and dubbed afterwards) & Hymns and worship songs sung during the service the license fee is 25.53 inc VAT. (which doesn't seem too unreasonable)

I've never heard of WVRL before today's searching, but they seem to act as an agent between the videographer and PRS/MCPS.

The only license I was aware of previously is The Limited Manufacture Licence offered directly from MCPS. This license includes:

"Recordings of private events such as: weddings, christenings, bar mitzvahs, family holidays and funerals, which are sold or given away to family and friends associated with that event."

Again for 1-5 copies (with less than 25 mins music) the cost of this is:
MCPS only 7.50


(There is an option for both MCPS and PRS joint license. MCPS license covers the 'mechanical rights' ie. Recording / duplication and the PRS covers public peformance, So for wedding video's I would imagine you only need MCPS)

I hope this makes a small amount of sense, it's a very complex area.


I think it's horrendous that churches are asking for money to cover this - especially as I would suggest that they have never provided a legal license to anyone - therefore you may still be liable for copyright infringement.

(additionally please note the above only applies to the UK!)

Further reading:
CCLI : Welcome : Christian Copyright Licensing International (United Kingdom)
PRS for Music
Wedding Video Licences : Welcome
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:39 AM   #21
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

In addition - whilst browsing the websites of other videographers here in the UK a few seem to have signed up to organisations such as ' The Association of Professional Videomakers '.

Now to me these orgs seem like a massive waste of time (and money) for the use of a meaningless logo and a listing on their directory - surely they could act on behalf of their members in looking into these issues?

Especially as these issues are only ever going to increase!
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:55 AM   #22
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

Chris, The CCL are a self-appointed agency acting as a go between for videographers and the PRS. You can register with PRS and buy these licences directly from them.

It's mainly for couples who have been directed by their videographer to sort out the copyright licensing themselves. They did contact me, and no doubt many others some years ago with dire warning that I must have one of their licences to record in any church. I never came across a church who had heard of them. It may be different now.

Incidentally these PRS/MCPS LM licences that I referred to earlier are the ones that I do show at wedding rehearsals but they are never accepted as a substitute for the 'copyright' fee.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:57 AM   #23
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

Maybe there should be an established fixed fee for filming in church. That way it would be understood at the outset and we could incorporate that into our pricing structure as we do the PR/S/MCPS licence. That way we would have a commercial transaction with the Church and would be justified in expecting a bit more cooperation from the clergy who often have a dismissive, arrogant and even hostile attitude towards filming.

Over on another forum someone has started a campaign to try to improve the image of videographers in the eyes of clergy who either severely restrict or even refuse the filming of weddings. Maybe they should be pressing for reciprocity whereby we agree to operate with decorum appropriate to the occasion and they respect our integrity and technical requirements.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 06:31 AM   #24
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
Incidentally these PRS/MCPS LM licences that I referred to earlier are the ones that I do show at wedding rehearsals but they are never accepted as a substitute for the 'copyright' fee.
So having paid an additional 'copyright fee' have they ever provided you with a license agreement?

Assuming it's the videographers responsibility (as a bridge/groom I would expect the videographer to know/understand/organise this as part of the fee I'm paying him/her) what would the church provide? - I'm assuming at least they would provide a recipt?
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 06:49 AM   #25
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

I never get involved in that transaction. I make it clear from the initial enquiry that the fees the Church charge are strictly between the couple and the Church. I'd be happy to incorporate it but for one thing the fees vary so much that it wouldn't be possible to accurately add it to my prices. As has been indicated in this thread they can vary from nothing to 500.
I've never been given any sort of documentation regarding this agreement to film from either a couple or a vicar.

My booking form includes a declaration that must be signed by the client to confirm that they have sought and obtained permission from the Church to film their wedding and that any fee requested by the Church will be paid as and when required. I add the details of the LM licence and that I will show this to the vicar at the rehearsal or before if requested to do so.

Last edited by George Kilroy; June 23rd, 2011 at 01:39 AM.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 08:46 PM   #26
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

George, I admire your ingenuity in suggesting that churches charge a fixed fee for the permission to record and thus put themselves on a business footing whereby they'd be contractually bound to deliver their part of the bargain.

Sadly my experience of the church is that few vicars and even fewer PCCs have enough business experience to understand the implications of a contractual relationship. I've sat on two PCCs in my life and most of their forward planning even in matters like their biggest resource, the church building, seems to rely on the belief that their God will provide.

But we could live in hope.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 09:58 PM   #27
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

I had a wedding here in New Jersey just this past weekend where the church will not allow videographers inside. They have their own camera setup and charge the bride $85 for a copy of the DVD.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 02:23 AM   #28
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

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Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post
I had a wedding here in New Jersey just this past weekend where the church will not allow videographers inside. They have their own camera setup and charge the bride $85 for a copy of the DVD.
Now there's a Church that has embraced a business approach.
Perhaps the eventual result of my earlier suggestion Philip, might be to keep us out of churches altogether.

There's still no one in countries outside of the UK reporting a charge for being allowed to film in church, as opposed to the Church insisting on doing the filming.
Incidentally there is one very close to where I live that does have their own installed AV system and whilst they do not refuse to let outsiders film weddings they do request that a feed is given into their cctv system. I have only done one there but most couples opt for the disc the church gives them for free, so asked for a reduced price. That's why I've only ever done one there, many years ago.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 02:36 AM   #29
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

George, maybe they could put on a buffet in the vestry and get the verger to play some records while the guests chug back the vino sacro and we'd all be looking for something to do on Saturdays!
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Old June 24th, 2011, 06:04 AM   #30
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Re: Churches charging for filming.

It's sad to hear how a lot of churches have become places of business rather than places of worship, reverence and celebration. Sign of the times.

The only reason people still hold their weddings in churches is out of tradition . . . some of the most beautiful weddings I've attended have been in places other than churches.
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