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Old June 17th, 2015, 04:12 PM   #16
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Re: Church Rip off?

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Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
John,

copyright (in the U.S.) actually has 2 parts: the writer/owner of the song, and then there is the specific performance (the actual recording). Radio stations do have to keep track of how many times a song gets played so that the song writer/owner can get paid.

Anyway, the reason the church/organist doesn't charge extra when there is a photographer is because of one glaring difference: audio.

So, I wonder if these churches in the U.K. wouldn't charge extra if you weren't going to use any audio of their performance. I know I don't in my shorter form highlight style videos that go online (for copyright reasons).
Copyright is a lot more complex than writer and performer, there are the rights and percentages for the writer, publisher, performer, recorded works owner, arranger etc. Then there are variations in scale of copyright payments depending on the licensing of the venue, the broadcasting rights and payments and all the sub payments and percentages for different situations. For example if broadcast, is it local, regional, national, international, online, and every other permutation.

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Old June 17th, 2015, 04:37 PM   #17
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Re: Church Rip off?

It's really not a 'rights' issue at all, and I'm saddened that my attempts fall on deaf ears. To be honest, I shouldn't be surprised - music is always treated as something somehow outside of everyday black and white decisions.

The other week, somebody was quite indignant because a client wanted access to everything that had been shot at an event, and the video guy cited the terms and conditions that clearly meant his price was for the completed project, the actual stuff that went into it, and perhaps were not used, were not in the deal. people advised that maybe he should let the client have the stuff for an extra charge - and it went into all sorts of rights issues.

The trouble here is that musicians, especially members of the MU have a set of rules. The union dictates hours, minimum pay, breaks and all that stuff. I'm often on the other side in my job, trying to get the most from the guys without running into overtime and extra payments. Not everyone is in the MU, but the rates are set. The BBC and ITV, for example, have agreements set up to cover their cameramen and shooting musicians. So there is precedent here. The musicians may be part-time doing the wedding for a bit of extra cash, or they could be professional musicians who music is their job. Does that matter? If you quote a price to do one thing - maybe play while people have drinks, would that price have been the same if a DVD was being made? probably not.

Some guys charge many thousands of pounds for a wedding. Is this a rip off? Does it really cost this much, or is it just the kind of fee a wedding can command? If the bride asks for extra and you say fine, that is an extra £x is that a ripoff?

I'm not expecting people to agree with me, but I find it odd that a choir asking for a bit more because something extra is being asked for, or the bells cost extra is so bad? It's business.

If our band agree a fee for two 45 minute sets, and the promoter on the night says it's 2 x 60 min sets, we want more money. An extra 30 minutes playing doesn't really cost us any more - but we can get extra money - this, as I see it is NOT a rip off.

The local crematorium rarely have the organist any longer, he was pretty awful, but cheap, while the other one available was four times the price, but excellent. Market forces.

Weddings are not 'special' they are business. Why should one money making element be expected to give away part of their earning potential?

Sure - maybe these extra services/permissions are expensive, but that's weddings for you?
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Old June 17th, 2015, 05:35 PM   #18
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Re: Church Rip off?

I"m thinking of charging the weddingcouple a double price when I have to add a performing musician into my video because they might get extra bookings because of their appearance in my work, does anyone think that is unfair? I should at least get compensated for every request they might get, no? :)
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Old June 17th, 2015, 05:45 PM   #19
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Re: Church Rip off?

Paul, I really don't understand what you are trying to say, the musicians get paid to do their job, the videographer gets paid to do his, both jobs are requested and paid by the bride because she is the client, she doesn't resell the video or make any extra money from it.

The videographer is not making any extra cent by adding the musicians performance in his video yet you think it is justified for the musicians to charge double their price just because a videographer adds them in the clients video? My previous post was to point out that it goes 2 ways, what if someone else wants to book those same musicians because they have seen them in the video, does this entitle the videographer to charge accordingly at the time he is shooting the video? If I have to believe the way you see it, he does, how many clients do you think would accept that?
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Old June 17th, 2015, 07:43 PM   #20
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Re: Church Rip off?

Paul, I don't disagree that music copyright can be overlooked. I'm not sure your examples are quite relevant though. The choir do not own the copyright to the music they sing and in fact most churches ask for a music recording license I obtain from PRS, not the church, which covers to some degree the music the choir sings. This isn't the fee the church is asking for in Peter's example.
Now with videographers charging for raw footage example, again not relevant. I'm not recording the choirs rehearsal only the finished singing. If I do charge for raw files, its to cover additional work involved. Some behind the scenes footage I may not want seen or my camera may have picked up conversations of a sensitive area. If I'm chatting to the photographer next to a camera that is recording - I have several running during the service and speeches or reception - those conversations could be damaging to either of us. Censuring, converting files from 4k to HD is time consuming and therefore chargeable under an hourly rate. The choir takes no extra time if a Videographer has been booked. True if they sing a bad note on the day, they'd not want it recorded for posterity, but should the church charge double for this contingency.

Now I'm not saying a top quality choir shouldn't charge more, but doubling your fees just because you're being filmed can't be justified as extra for Wedding work as their original fee already takes that into account. I'm afraid in my experience, its the organists and choir most insecure over being filmed who want extra cash, usually in an attempt to dissuade the couple from having a Videographer; not wanting to just directly be unreasable and say no. Same with general church fees, those vicars happy to be recorded are less likely to throw extra fees for filming, whilst the vicars who hate being recorded are more liable to charge more. It's this lack of consistency from one church to another and using extra fees to cover insecurity about being filmed that leads to accusations of rip off.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 12:19 AM   #21
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Re: Church Rip off?

Dang, I can’t take it anymore! Life has got too complicated.

If the church want’s to nickel and dime (um, would that be “threepence and shilling” in UK speak?) a couple to death, maybe a another option is to NOT get married, live in sin, buy a new car with the money saved, then drive off into the sunset for their honeymoon.

Heck, they can toot the horn for free instead of paying to ring the bells, listen to a fancy sound system playing “Goin’ to San Francisco with a flower in your hair” instead of paying for the choir, and with their smart phone take a video to post on YouTube with a backup in the cloud.

Just think of it, no copyright problems to deal with, and … help save the Earth in the process by reducing the carbon footprint of having everyone come to their wedding. What’s not to like?
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Old June 18th, 2015, 12:41 AM   #22
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Re: Church Rip off?

I'm pretty sure the rip off factor exists thruout the wedding industry.

I had a bride last season who was quoted $800.00 for a plain 3 tier wedding cake. She went to our local baker and bought 3 individual cakes and bought her own stands on eBay ... total cost $150.00

The moment you say the word "wedding" that seems to attract a triple price !! I wonder what a cake shop would charge if you ordered a 3 tier cake for a "party" and then asked someone to get a price for the same but for a "wedding" ..bet the price would skyrocket!!

A choir/organist is doing nothing extra in his performance whatsoever to command an extra fee if a camera is running ....that's why the term rip off is so true here!!
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Old June 18th, 2015, 01:38 AM   #23
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Re: Church Rip off?

Copyright clearance is not calculated on how nice it is, but by reach. More exposure equates to more money. Somebody booked to sing at a pub, who suddenly discovers the audience is bigger, and perhaps will be available for years as opposed to minutes will have a different opinion. If the local dance school buy one DVD and duplicate hundreds that's very similar.

It is music, so doesn't matter? If you have one of those contracts that allows you to use the material you shoot for future advertising, if the bride requested you to not do it, how would you feel? Cross, robbed, indignant as it's 'your' work.

It's totally fine you think it's a rip off, because somebody is being asked to pay for something they feel should be free. Many musicians don't mind. The unions feel their members are being ripped off, so they instruct them to charge more. I don't subscribe to the union way of thinking sometimes, but they are a professional organisation, and they obviously feel this is important.

Wanting more, for no compensation seems a rip off from the other end to me?
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Old June 18th, 2015, 01:51 AM   #24
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Re: Church Rip off?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Paul, I really don't understand what you are trying to say, the musicians get paid to do their job, the videographer gets paid to do his, both jobs are requested and paid by the bride because she is the client, she doesn't resell the video or make any extra money from it.

The videographer is not making any extra cent by adding the musicians performance in his video yet you think it is justified for the musicians to charge double their price just because a videographer adds them in the clients video? My previous post was to point out that it goes 2 ways, what if someone else wants to book those same musicians because they have seen them in the video, does this entitle the videographer to charge accordingly at the time he is shooting the video? If I have to believe the way you see it, he does, how many clients do you think would accept that?
I agree with Noa - the organist is like any other paid musician on the day and I'd like to bet (I could be wrong) that the sax player/harpist/string quartet etc charge the same regardless of whether the wedding is being filmed or not. I've played in gigging bands since I was 16 (just done my farewell gig) and played many weddings but the price we charged was the same as any other gig.

what's worrying in this case is lack of justification for a double fee - The RSCM says it's ok to charge double if the wedding is being filmed but does not give a reason why - lack of justification IMO implies simple profiteering.

Regarding the organist wanting double in case it ends up all over the internet well.... that's a fact of life now. Every time the bride walks down or up the isle that is going to be on facebook before the confetti is being thrown. My professionally produced product however is delivered on DVD/Blu-Ray and unless the couple know how to rip and edit from one of those disks, that footage will not be uploaded to the internet

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Old June 18th, 2015, 02:19 AM   #25
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Re: Church Rip off?

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
More exposure equates to more money.
So you would agree I could charge double as well for giving the musician exposure in my video as they can benefit from that later on? Am I not entitled for a part of what they make from that? Maybe add the venue, the makeup artist, the dj, the limodriver or whoever works at a wedding, and while we are at it, why not charge the church, some couples might pick that church because they have seen it in my video, they will be making money from that and I want my part as well! :)

I could make up a quote for the bride saying she has to pay extra for anyone appearing in my video who can benefit from that, I don't have to prove they will get extra exposure, just because I think that might happen is sufficient. Seeing how much money is involved I feel everyone in the weddingbusiness should copy this attitude and rip off the bride anyway we can and charge a surplus on top of what we are making anyway, then the couple at least will think twice before getting married as this is after all serious business.

Last edited by Noa Put; June 18th, 2015 at 03:18 AM.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 02:30 AM   #26
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Re: Church Rip off?

Paul, you're trying very hard to paint this as one thing when it's not. Churches are fuly aware of copyright laws, which is why they insist I produce a music recording licence that limits how much live recording music I can have in my video and how many copies. This license prohibits online distribution for said music, which includes songs played by the dj that I am recording, harpists or any other musicians and if there's a band in the evening.

The choir asking for more money is more akin to that which could be requested by anyone on the day, the toast master, the harpist, any entertainers like magicians, the dj even and of course the band. The vast majority are fine and accept filming and even in some cases approach me for a copy of their material to help promote themselves, which I happily do free of charge.

The fact is, you perform or appear at a Wedding, you can expect to be filmed, if not from someone like me, then a guest. Not happy with that, don't perform at a Wedding. Charging extra for being filmed is just fleecing the couple for extra cash or as I suggested earlier, a potential obstacle to block couples hiring a Videographer as the choir feels insecure being filmed.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 03:53 AM   #27
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Re: Church Rip off?

Apologies that I haven't read every word of every post...

I can see both sides of the issue. As I videographer (or if I were there bride) I can see this as a rip off.

As a musician I can see that I'm being paid for a single performance, but you wish to record that performance and enjoy it all over again, time after time without hiring me to give those extra performances for you. So from the musicians point of view they aren't getting paid for times when you are enjoying 'their' music.

If however they are amateurs like many church organists are then i do think they need to consider whether it's justified. One wedding I counted 32 bum notes from a very poor organist, yet they still wanted paying double. I suggested to the couple they took the recording back, played it to them and ask for a refund because they certainly didn't get value for money!

I had one string quartet stop playing and refuse to play again until I removed an audio recorder that was near by them (I was trying to get as good a sound as I could for the video). They told me it was OK to record "on-camera" but not on a zoom H4n. Crazy.

To me the bigger rip off is when the church themselves are charging more because it's being videoed, even when the C of E suggest that the charge for video should be no more than the actual increased cost to the church of have a camera present, which is usually nil.

Typically it's only been C of E churches (Vicars / Rectors etc) that want to charge more. It's never been mentioned in any other denomination.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 04:05 AM   #28
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Re: Church Rip off?

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
I am also a performing musician - I play in a tribute band. We get decent fees, but when we turn up and there is a video crew there, we say NO. If I play a bum note, or one of the harmony vocal lines gets messed up - nobody notices, but the last thing I want is it being on a DVD somewhere. When these events are planned in advance, we include editing rights in our contract - so we will then provide the video people with a properly mixed and balanced recording they can sync to - BUT - we retain the rights, and want a share of the profit. If it's for a cause we support, then maybe we might settle for a deal on the DVDs sold - but if we see people making money we refuse unless it's arranged in advance.
This has nothing to do with weddings, if you are the client and want to have your performance recorded with intention to sell it on dvd later on, then yes, I would agree that you want every note to sound perfect and that you want to have controll on that part including get financially compensated for whatever someone else will be making from selling the dvd's, I also would agree if you would be playing at a wedding and your leadsinger was drunk that you don't want the videographer to use the music or any images of the singer barfing into a tuba in his video if that would be placed online for advertisement purposes since it could hurt your reputation.

But I can tell you with this attitude you will not be performing at weddings, that's for sure, no couple will ever hire you if you tell them you don't want to be recorded or if you want to be extra compensated because a videoguy is present, I never have experienced that in the 10 years I have been shooting weddings, all musicians where happy I recorded them and often ask for a copy of my audio recording, we even trade business cards and I put a link to their website on my website below the film I made and they all appreciate it because i give them free advertismement, even if potential clients can't hear their music on my website, they can if they follow teh link to the musicians site. I never use their music in my trailers that are online but pay for licensed music from the musicbed or audiojungle, I do let them appear in my trailers though. Only the couple gets to hear their music on their live recorded music on the dvd.

This is how it works in the weddingbusiness, you help eachother out and you network, if you cannot live with that, then weddings are not for you.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 08:11 AM   #29
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Re: Church Rip off?

Not wanting to step into a hornets nest after having read all the posts in this thread, but I wonder if this isn't just another case of different perspectives.

Quite often in life, I've run into situations where a "usual and customary" practice of charging a fee appears a "ripoff" to the person paying the bill. I've been on both sides of the equation. Sometimes the "ripoff fee" is due to policies and procedures put in place by people and committees higher up setting the rules. The person charging the fee is just following the rules, and may not have any discretion in that regard.

I'm sure the musicians want to get paid well whenever they get the chance. And most of them don't get very many chances. The musicians I know aren't getting rich.

Charging more when the performance is being recorded is much like the differing fees video producers and professional photographers charge depending upon how the work is going to be used. Think advertising rights etc. It's not exactly the same, but seems similar to me. I don't think many wedding videographers have done work for advertising agencies etc., and I've only done a little. The wedding videographer's perspective may be incomplete.

It's a given, most of the time the person paying the bills likes to pay less. The person getting paid likes to get paid more. What's fair is sometimes hard to discern. Most of the time, there's no malice involved. Just normal and customary business practices.

Also, I can see why the musicians are concerned about the recording of their performance being distributed and "heard in a bad light" if you get my meaning. Some of my corporate video clients want the raw video along with the finished production. I've had wedding clients ask for that too. That includes the shots that didn't work... I wouldn't want any of those to appear online. That's why my wedding clients don't ever get any of my raw video. Some of my corporate clients do get the raw video. The ones who understand video production.

Now, if one of my wedding clients was willing to pay me substantially more for the raw footage, I'd probably agree. That would compensate me for the risk of someone seeing some of my bad shots. Likewise, if you pay the organist more, she may not mind as much if someone hears those wrong notes (or bad reverb etc). The bride might think both me and the organist are ripping her off asking for more payment for something the organist and I already had to do as part of the job we were already being compensated for, but that's not the way I would see it. I would view it as fair to charge more for the raw footage. Likewise, I would think it fair for the organist to get paid more when the performance is being recorded as part of a production than when it's not.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; June 18th, 2015 at 08:28 AM. Reason: change flawed to incomplete
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Old June 18th, 2015, 11:40 AM   #30
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Re: Church Rip off?

Firstly I will declare my interest as a performing musician, organist even (though I'm trying hard to retire from that too), and I can only speak from a UK perspective.

I'm with Paul on this one, and so are the Musicians' Union and the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

Musicians in this country have fought hard for their working rights to be recognised against a culture which somehow assumes that their work should be given away free. A performing musician has every right to have a say in what happens to his/her performance - a recording is quite a separate issue from a live performance. I am not sure where the expectation that it should be different at a wedding comes from.

Actors would doubtless agree as well, and expect a negotiated fee for a recording to be made of their performance. After dinner speakers are not noted for their willingness to be recorded for nothing either, in my experience at least.

Having said that, I have personally had no difficulty in waiving the recording fee for (nearly) all the weddings for which I have played, and indeed when on the other side of the camera have also filmed a few weddings for friends/relations without charging them a fee, but with agreed restrictions on what they can do with the film. My decision.

But I fear that on this forum, the issue of a filmmaker working for nothing (do I hear "depriving someone else of a fee"/ "we are professionals, we don't give our work away" etc etc?) will be regarded entirely differently from expecting a musician to be recorded for no fee.

By all means ask whether musicians performing at a wedding ceremony are willing to be recorded without a fee, many probably will, but some won't and that is their prerogative, at least here in the UK.

It may be indeed be the case that it is easier to make illicit recordings in churches these days, but that doesn't make it right any more than it is in cinemas, theatres and concert halls.
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