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Old December 30th, 2013, 12:55 PM   #1
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Commercial Music in Slideshow Video

I have had a couple jobs recently where the client wants a photo slideshow made to music to be played back at a later event. Inevitably, they want to use commercial music that people will recognize. Does anyone have any insight on the legal implications on my end if I use the commercial music? Is it on them to get clearance to play it at their event or is it on me if I edit the slideshow with the music?

Any insight is appreciated.
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Old December 30th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: Commercial Music in Slideshow Video

Tell them.

If they still insist regardless. Just keep your company name out of the slideshow.

No point refusing business ...
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Old December 30th, 2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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Re: Commercial Music in Slideshow Video

It's on both of you. They would need clearance from ASCAP/BMI for the public performance, and you would need it as a commercial enterprise including it in materials.

Practically, it's usually not a big deal depending on how they plan on using it. I don't worry about it at weddings, which are private events and governed by different rules than, say, a company who wants to put it up at a public lobby and play on a loop 24 hours a day for months.
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Old December 30th, 2013, 02:08 PM   #4
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Re: Commercial Music in Slideshow Video

I agree it's ultimately on both of you, and that if it's a fairly big event (college, corporation) to let them know. If its for a crummy car dealerships holiday party highlights to be shown once on a dvd, well, then I certainly wouldn't say to do it, but.....

On the other hand, if it is fairly big, you never know how big they'll continue to grow. Also, you may not know who's attending. A radio station Music Director who is in the business, or a TV guy might question if they have ownership of new Katy Perry song or whatever. And chances are if something comes up they might throw you under the bus regarding it.

Just my thoughts, but ultimately you're pretty accountable and a silly internet contract found via a Google search probably won't release you of much liability either.
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