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-   -   Copyright -- Various Issues (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/taking-care-business/29968-copyright-various-issues.html)

Alex Kamm April 24th, 2002 11:30 PM

Copyright -- Various Issues
You know every time I watch a video such as a skate video, a amateur produced video, or more specific 360 Video Magazine(360vm.com) It makes me wonder. How in the world do they get the money to get the rights to use those songs? Or do you even need to get the rights? Can someone run me through this process?

Justin Chin April 24th, 2002 11:56 PM

Sometimes bands give them the rights for nothing just for the exposure. It works. I can't tell you how many bands I started to listen to because of hearing their song an a skate or mountain bike tape.

Interesting story:
For the first Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game Activision couldn't get the rights to use music from popular bands. Now bands like Sum 41, NOFX and Papa Roach are dying to get one of their tracks on a Tony Hawk game. Or any extreme game for that matter.

Adrian Douglas April 25th, 2002 12:51 AM


I've been shooting extreme sports videos for a few years now and as you know the soundtrack can really make or break the video and avideo can also make or break a band.

Back in the early 90's Taylor Steele made a surf video called Momentum, coming from Hawaii, I'm sure you know of both Taylor and his videos. Taylor used then unknown bands for his soundtrack. Some of those bands are now big names in the alternative music scene like Pennywise, Sprung Monkey, Offspring, Bad Religion and Unwritten Law. Their music still appears in Taylors videos.

Like Justin said many bands will let you use their music for the exposure. So get out there, cruise the clubs, talk to friends. Take your camera with you and offer to shoot some video for some local Hawaiian bands, it's a two way street you help them, they help you, that's what keeps the underground/alternative music/video industry alive.

Alex Kamm April 25th, 2002 03:21 AM

Yeah I was aiming towards the local music. Some of the music has got what I need for my video... Thanx for the help guys... It really cleared up the song/rights issues for me.

Adrian Douglas April 25th, 2002 05:08 AM

One thing I forgot to mention was try going to small local record lables. They usually have lots of bands that are dying for exposure. If they don't have any that want to do it for free they can usually hook you up with some that will.

Just rembember to make sure your video is top shelf, both yours and the bands reputations are on the line. In a small place like Hawaii, reputation is everything.


It's funny how many of those so-called punk bands suddenly forget their roots when money is involved. There really is a suit and tie lurking under the safety pins

Justin Chin April 25th, 2002 11:46 AM

I think it was Fat Mike from NOFX that said punk bands used to siing about politics and current issues, now they sing about love.

Adrian Douglas April 26th, 2002 01:47 AM

Yeah Justin, how times have changed.

With the commercial success of Green Day and The Offspring 'Punk' became mainstream. Suddenly any band playing fast 4/4 guitar pop became a 'New School' punk band.

I'm just stoked that Bad Religion are still out their spreading the message and staying true to their roots. Actually I can't see Greg Graffin ever changing, long live Punk Rock!!!!!

Don Parrish September 28th, 2002 12:43 PM

another music copyright question
I was picking up some shots at the local photo shop when I noticed a sign, "drop off site for turning your photo's and slides into video with your music". With your music? Apparently they have to bring the music with them. I would think this is at least border line grey area. What do you think, busting copyright or just selling the service, if one puts music to personal photo's and slides for a fee???? I searched the DV site for this answer and didn't see it.

Keith Loh September 28th, 2002 02:04 PM

The "your music" part is their way of getting out of the copyright issue. I would think the customer agreement also has some fine print that excludes the service provider from any liability.

B. Moore October 5th, 2002 12:39 PM

I agree with Mr. Loh. The end result is for home conumption and not for the general public, especially for a fee. I would still have them sign a document which states that this is their "background" music and is not to be shown to the general public for or without fee.


Jeff Donald October 5th, 2002 01:59 PM

I'm no attorney, nor do I give legal advice. It is definetly a grey area as far as enforcement. No, one (BMI, ASCAP etc) goes after these local transfer guys. The big guys (Eastman Kodak etc) use their own music (buyout). The vagueness comes from any personal use clause in the copyright law. The end users aren't selling it or using it except for personel use. The guy charging to copy the music is most liable (deeper pockets-he's got a business), but they are mostly guys doing that service on the side. Everybody looks the other way. The music industry also isn't looking for any more bad press at this time. They have bigger fish to fry with pending legislation. You can't sign away your responsabilities under the copyright laws. Signing some kind of disclaimer won't get you anywhere. K-Mart has been sued twice (lost both times) by the PPA for copying copyrighted photographs. I think the first settlement was for around $65 million. The second settlement was for over 100 million but I think it's tied up in the bankruptcy. Lawyers are after the big settlement and there aren't any in the local guy putting music on old home movies. Besides the lawyer probably had it done for his parents and insisted on Barry Manilow.


Dylan Couper October 17th, 2002 11:59 PM

copyright protection
Since I'm just putting wraps on my project, and as it will be for sale, I'd like to know what I can do to protect it, both physicaly and legaly.

First, there probably isn't much I can do about people making pirate copies of the video, unless I buy some extra video hardware, right?

In terms of legaly, what do I have to do to make sure people can't copy my footage and use it for something else?
Is it as simple as putting "(c) Dylan Couper 2002" or as paintful as submitting multiple forms to faceless gov't agencies?

I don't expect any piracy issues, but I would like some protection.


Paul Tauger October 18th, 2002 12:22 AM

I can't help you with physical protection, but I can explain about legal protection.

First, a necessary disclaimer: you're not my client, I'm not your lawyer, nothing contained herein is legal advice. If you have questions about a specific legal problem or issue, you should consult yoru own attorney.

That said . . .

Assuming you are posting in the US, your project is protected by copyright as soon as it is fixed in a tangible medium, i.e. residing on your hard drive or transferred to a master video tape or DVD. You don't have to do anything else. There is no longer a notice requirement in the US -- you don't have to use the c-in-a-circle symbol or the word "copyright," etc.

However, even though your project is protected, it is still in your interest to register the copyright with the US Copyright Office. There are a couple of reasons for doing this. First, registration is a prerequisite to an infringement suit -- you couldn't sue for infringement unless your copyright is registered. Second, it provides prima facie proof of ownership and validity, meaning that the burden would be on the infringer to prove that you don't own the copyright. Finally, statutory damages (which are usually higher than actual damages, and don't require proof) don't accrue until the copyright is registered.

You can register your copyright yourself -- it's easy and inexpensive. Forms are available at the copyright office's website (sorry, I don't have the url handy).

Dylan Couper October 19th, 2002 10:11 AM

Great answer, thanks!

How about actual physical protection, gentlemen?

Zac Stein October 19th, 2002 10:20 AM


Physical Protection is almost impossible.

Say you put it on dvd, most people can copy it, either by doing a worse vhs copy or doing an actual dvd-rip.

If you want to get macrovision encoded into it, you have to pay for that, i don't know the costs, but it could be quite high (someone correct me if i am wrong). This will stop vhs copies being made the usual way, but many dvd players have a hack to disable it, or if it is on VHS many people have a passthrough box to disable it and if someone wants to rip it, you have no chance there are so many ways around it. Ohh don't forget once your footage is on a computer be it on a dvd, they can then output to a vcr with no macro, or whatever they want.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, there is nothing you can really do, if someone wants it, they will copy it.


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