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Legally use of music for online videos?

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Paul GilmoreLegally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 25, 2012 at 8:33:12 am

So I'm sure this has been ask in the past however I could not find anything on it when I searched so I'll ask here...

Is it legal to use music for short 40sec-1min. online video?
I have heard that under the 2006 fair use statue

if only a percentage of copyrighted material is used it is legal, but you can not use the entire song.

Anyways just thought I'd get your knowledge about this

Thanks
Paul


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Steve RhodenRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 25, 2012 at 9:14:41 am

There are tons of legal (Royalty free) music out
there you can purchase or even freely download,
So that worrying for such matters isnt necessary.

Steve Rhoden
(Cow Leader)
Film Editor & Compositor.
Filmex Creative Media.
1-876-832-4956


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Paul GilmoreRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 25, 2012 at 9:45:47 am

Well the reason in asking is I'm editing 3-4 online videos for a charter bus company and they want certain music for the videos.


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Dave HaynieRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 25, 2012 at 10:42:57 am

Legally, they have to license the music. Particularly if these are commercial videos, not just something a kid made in their bedroom. You'll find there's some tolerance for this on YouTube, but it depends very much on the music and on its use. And that's pretty much only because of the nature of YouTube... they're not responsible for the content. Put copyrighted music up on the bus company's own web site without licensing, and they very well might get sued.

I did a video for a company last year, they wanted music that was "something like" a few songs mentioned, plus the "Happy Birthday" song. I wrote them up something that worked -- they liked it, it didn't steal heavily from any copyrighted material (the "Happy Birthday" part is pretty close, but they was kind of non-negotiable).

My understanding of the fair use laws is that any use directly for commercial purposes (ad, film) needs a license, probably the one known as a synchronization license. The fair use exceptions are things like use of a song or film clip as part of a review, certain background music in a new story or documentary, that kind of thing. The idea of 15 or 30 seconds being "Fair Use" for anything is a myth. This is a good resource: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/

-Dave


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Steve RhodenRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 25, 2012 at 12:29:38 pm

There is some tolerance for this on YouTube, if thats the case....

Steve Rhoden
(Cow Leader)
Film Editor & Compositor.
Filmex Creative Media.
1-876-832-4956


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Angelo MikeRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 25, 2012 at 6:07:31 pm

Yeah, there's some tolerance on Youtube because they can't police everything. But there's nothing stopping someone who holds the copyright from finding your video and flagging it for a copyright violation in the future, which could get the video taken down. And you wouldn't want to have put your client through that.

Also, Youtube has automated functions that will detect some copyrighted music and remove it from the video immediately upon upload. There's plenty of copyright, royalty free music that you can use. And there's more that you can pay for to license that's nowhere near the cost of licensing whatever music they're trying to use.

http://www.scenethroughglass.com


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Stephen MannRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 25, 2012 at 7:04:23 pm

"I have heard that under the 2006 fair use statue
if only a percentage of copyrighted material is used it is legal, but you can not use the entire song."


You heard wrong. Very wrong.

"There is also a rumour going around that you can use four notes of any song under the "fair use" doctrine. There is no "four note" rule in the copyright law. One note from a sound recording is a copyright violation. Saturday Night Live was sued for using the jingle, "I Love New York" which is only four notes. The test for infringement is whether the sample is "substantially similar" to the original. Remember, a judge or jury is the one who determines this and these people may be much less receptive to your music than your fans. My point is you cannot rely on fair use as a defense"

The complete article is here: http://www.songrite.com/information/Pages/Music%20sampling.htm

Steve Mann
MannMade Digital Video
http://www.mmdv.com


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Steve RhodenRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 25, 2012 at 8:51:15 pm

My advice Paul...just get some royalty free music
for the video, and advise your clients accordingly.

Steve Rhoden
(Cow Leader)
Film Editor & Compositor.
Filmex Creative Media.
1-876-832-4956


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Paul GilmoreRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 25, 2012 at 10:52:31 pm

I did go to the US Copyright Office website and this is what it says:

How much of someone else's work can I use without getting permission?

Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances.
http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html#obtain

So to me this is saying you are allowed to use portions of copyrighted material but not the entirety...??

I did go ahead and email them just to get more clarification on it.. maybe they'll email me back.. ?


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Paul GilmoreRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 25, 2012 at 10:54:16 pm

"or purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports"

looks like only if it's used for say student films, or educational purposes..


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Christopher KeyRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 26, 2012 at 1:16:58 am

I sometimes use commercial music for personal travel videos and I have a few online - but if I'm doing a commercial project for a client I either use royalty free music or create my own. I've had youtube restrict videos or remove the soundtrack completely when I've tried to post some, even when it was a kiddie movie I made when I was 12.

Christopher Key


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mark thompsonRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 26, 2012 at 6:53:19 am

On some course notes I read recently they pointed out that even if you could win a claim of fair use at a trial of copyright violation; could you afford to find out? Should someone want to make a skape goat of you it would take considerable time and expense to defend.

YouTube does seem to have some sort of royalty system in place. Producer Pete Waterman gave an interview a year or two back where he complained about how lttle he was getting.

What seems to be missing is a way for the average youtuber to pay royalties apropriate to the views they receive.
m


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Paul GilmoreRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:30:26 am

From all the info I have read the bottom line is: Using copyrighted music for any form of advertising is illegal use and you will either be told to take the video down or sued. Unless it is for a student film, educational purposes, personal use or parody videos or unless you get permission from the studio/producers who owns the rights, which is very hard to do and most likely you'll never hear back from them.

The part that really makes it hard is finding royalty free music that will flow with the video and that also sounds good and is either very cheap to purchase or free. Sites I have looked at their free music sounds very poor quality and the music that has good quality and I like is to expensive. I could ask the owner to pay for the music, but I'm trying not to go there if I can. I did find a couple good songs from Vimeo music store, however the owner didn't care for it and wanted something more fun and hyped up i guess. The song he wants is Canned Heart - On The Road or Johnny Cash - I've Been Everywhere.. so I'm trying to find a song that has that type of tempo but so far without any luck..


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Stephen MannRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 26, 2012 at 3:18:23 pm

I recommend Smartsound. albums aren't cheap, but you can buy a single theme for as little as $29, and from that you can modify it almost infinitely.

Best yet, you can have your client browse the Smartsound catalog themselves to pick the theme they like.

Steve Mann
MannMade Digital Video
http://www.mmdv.com


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Christopher KeyRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 26, 2012 at 4:03:51 pm

Yep Smartsound is great and I like the flexibility of their software which does allow you to tailor the music to your video. I've also used music from Digital Juice and others.There are definitely ways to license music - and it shouldn't be difficult to get the info you need (possibly from ASCAP or one of the other performing rights organizations) but from what I remember it's not cheap. Since chord progressions can not be copyrighted you may find something that sounds a lot like "On the Road Again" since it's a pretty simple song. A lot of stock music sounds just like another famous song but the melody has been slightly altered to avoid copyright infringement.

Christopher Key


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Kevin McCarthyRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 26, 2012 at 10:53:16 pm

As an AV producer and radio guy for 30+ years, here is what you are facing. Fair Use is only remotely applicable in the field of news and education to critique or compare a work, and even then it is VERY difficult to do legally.

When you use a copyrighted music bed you face many obstacles. If it is to be shown in public, or private you will need to acquire performance rights, often based on the number of showings and/or number of viewers. You will also face mechanical reproduction rights; you ARE recording it to a new medium. If the lyrics correspond to the subject of your piece, you will also need synchronization rights. Since your client is a bus company, On the Road Again would definately require this. As you can see, you are facing an uphill, expensive battle.

A few years ago I did a video for the local Police dept. to be used with their in-class DARE program. They wanted to use, Danger Zone, We are the Champions and You've Got a Friend. This would only be used in a class room environment with the supervision of uniformed Police Officers.

The end result was one owner wanted to limit the class size AND the number of showings, another refused to discuss the issue without seeing a completed version(meaning weeks of work with no promise of ever being able to use the product or be paid for it) and the third owner refused entirely. If it had all come together the cost would still have been tens of thousands of Dollars!

Needless to say, they decided to use music cuts from my buy-out libraries.

The alternative would be to subject my client, and myself, to possible legal action and insanity is not a defense.

If your client still wants this, tell him to start writing checks and it will also take weeks, perhaps months to acquire. Good lock my friend



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Paul GilmoreRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 26, 2012 at 11:14:16 pm

Well this resolves the issue.. I wrote the US Copyright Law office just to be 100% clear.. this is their response:

Good afternoon Paul,

Thank you for taking the time in contacting us about your copyright question. We understand there can be much confusion and debate about using copyrighted music/material in online videos. And you are one of the smart ones to contact us before making the mistake in using copyrighted material in your online videos.

Paul the US Copyright limitations on the music rights principle and the fair use statute of copyright material are very limited and generally reserved for non-commercial activities such as scholarly research, use in museums/archives, student films, etc. In short for Educational, non-profit or for personal purposes only.

It seems very clear here that this is a commercial website and the videos are an advertisement. Unfortunately your only option here is to use royalty free music/sound recordings. I will be honest Copyright Law Offices in each state do have a list of businesses that operate in the state and they do track down each state registered business and their website/s to ensure proper copyright laws. Unfortunately the state from time to time will make an example of a business using copyrighted material which means a hefty lawsuit will be filed. This is not a chance anyone should take. Fortunately there are plenty of royalty free websites out there. Do a web based search for "Royalty Free Music" and numerous websites will come up, some free to download others you do need to pay to download. That is your only option legally, without spending thousands of dollars for the rights.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you for contacting us and we wish much success in your venture

US COPYRIGHT LAW OFFICE
WASHINGTON DC


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Jim GreeneRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 27, 2012 at 1:49:50 pm

This has been an increasing issue recently for Wedding Film producers, mostly due to some films going viral and getting the attention of the record companies. Fortunately there are many websites that cater to the needs of small productions, whether it be for weddings or commercial use. These sites have various licenses, but generally they cost $50-$100 for either a per-year or a perpetual license. It may be more for commercial. Here are a few sites to check out:

http://www.songfreedom.com
http://www.themusicbed.com
http://www.withetiquette.com
http://www.premiumbeat.com

-Jim.


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John PugnaleRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 27, 2012 at 9:03:20 pm

Add the Piano Brothers to the list. $247 per year licenses their music. They have a library of 400+ songs. Some are recognizbale versions of Broadway tunes and Movie scores, Americana, Faith, etc. Really well done, but does rely heavily on Piano.

http://www.pianobrothers.com



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Steve RhodenRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Feb 27, 2012 at 9:50:27 pm

There are so many reasonably price royalty free audio online,
its not funny...And the good thing is, if you are creative,
you can use them in tons of different projects for a long time.

Steve Rhoden
(Cow Leader)
Film Editor & Compositor.
Filmex Creative Media.
1-876-832-4956


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John BeanRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Mar 1, 2012 at 9:57:29 pm

It all really comes down to MONEY.


1. Are you or your clients making money of the use of this copyright material?

Are you getting paid to do this work for your client?

Is your client using this material as part of his paid work?

Is the material being shown to people who are paying money to your client in some form? This would apply to the classroom as well because students *pay* to attend school.


OR

2. Is your use of the copyright material causing LOST income (revenue) for the copyright owners?

Are people going to stop buying from copyright owners because they can get it for FREE from your material?



In summary:

Because at the end of they day somebody has to SUE you for copyright infringement and SUING people is not FREE!

Nobody sues YouTube uploaders. They sue YouTube (Google) instead because that's where the money is!

Nobody sues the people who upload to Megaupload. They sue Megaupload instead because that's where the money is!


So if you and your clients are not making profit of the use of copyrighted material and if you and your clients are not causing lost income (revenue) for the copyright owners, then nobody is going to waste their money and time suing you even if you are in violation of their copyright license.


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Seth BrundleRe: Legally use of music for online videos?
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 9:22:01 pm

royalty free music is the answer... for example:
http://www.profiscore.de


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