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Judson Larke
Using music by professional artists
on Mar 10, 2008 at 9:52:27 pm

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post, so I'm sorry if it isn't.

I read somewhere that you can use a certain percentage of any song, royalty free. I think it was 10%. Is there any truth to this, even if the percentage is wrong? If so, how much of a song, be it in percentage, or some other measurement can be used?

I do own Sony's Cinescore as an alternative to my problem but it doesn't have the right music I need for my client.

I appreciate any help or direction anyone can offer.


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Thax Clave
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 10, 2008 at 10:55:28 pm

[Judson Larke] "I read somewhere that you can use a certain percentage of any song, royalty free. I think it was 10%. Is there any truth to this,"

Use it for WHAT?

If you mean as an underscore for another project, then no.






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Judson Larke
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 11, 2008 at 12:23:39 am

It's for an intro video to a website. The video is 30 seconds of motion graphics, with the video underneath sound effects etc. I've always heard that it breaks copyright rules so I want to make sure I do everything legally.

So, if it isn't legal, does anyone have any links to direct me where I can buy the right to use the song?

Thanks again.



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Matte Blume
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 11, 2008 at 12:28:46 am

What song?







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Peter Perry
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 11, 2008 at 3:33:20 am

There are virtually NO recordings in the public domain at this time. If you want to use any recording in any way, you need to negotiate the rights to use the song. You need to find out if the song you want to use is ASCAP or BMI or someone else and contact them, then be prepared to open your wallet.
Peter



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Vincent Becquiot
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 11, 2008 at 4:46:09 am

Judson,

The percentage you are referring to would be under fair use, but it is very restrictive and does not apply to the type of project you are working on. That would apply to criticism, parody, news, research, or teaching. I may be forgetting some but you get the idea.

You could look at SonicFire from smartsound, much better content and more flexible that Sony's IMO.

Vince



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Ty Ford
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 11, 2008 at 11:01:23 am

Hello Peter,

No songs in public domain? That sounds unimaginable. Can you please elaborate for us?

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Peter Perry
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 12, 2008 at 1:14:02 am

Hi Ty,
There is the rub. I didn't say SONGS. There are plenty of songs in the public domain. I said recordings.
I can take a song in the public domain, record it without restriction. That recording, if I copyright it, then will be protected under copyright law and cannot be used without my permission.
I probably have the exact date wrong, but I think I read that the earliest recordings don't become public domain until 2048 or something like that. I'll try and track that article down and repost.
Peter



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Peter Perry
Re: Using music by professional artists**UPDATE
on Mar 12, 2008 at 1:18:38 am

Update....I found this on pdinfo.com.

Sound Recording Rule of Thumb:
There are NO sound recordings in the Public Domain in the USA.

Records, cassettes, CD's, and other music recordings come under a general category called Sound Recordings or Phonorecords. The publication of Sheet Music placed a song or musical work under copyright protection. Sound recordings, however, were protected by a hodge-podge tangle of state laws, but were not covered under Federal copyright law. It was even determined that there was no federal criteria to actually "publish" a sound recording. This was fixed with the 1972 US copyright act which officially "published" all sound recordings in existence on February 15, 1972, and 75 years of copyright protection was enacted for essentially every sound recording created in 1972 or earlier. (1972 + 75 years = 2047). The Sony Bono Act of 1998 extended all copyright protection an additional 20 years. Therefore, the earliest that copyright protection will expire for any sounding recording in the USA is 2067 (2047 + 20 years = 2067).

It is important that you understand the difference between a "musical work" and a "sound recording". A musical work and a sound recording of a musical work have separate copyright protection. The children's song, "Three Blind Mice" is absolutely in the public domain worldwide. You may publish it, record it, sing it, use it in your movie, or do anything else with "Three Blind Mice" that you can ever imagine. However, no sound recordings of "Three Blind Mice" are in the public domain. If you want to use any sound recording - even a sound recording of a public domain song - you must either license a recording or create your own recording.



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Steve Wargo
Here is the magic link
on Mar 31, 2008 at 8:04:04 am

http://www.bzrights.com

They also have a book on Public Domain.

We have gotten great results working with this company. Something that will take you months to accomplish can be done by them in hours. The really awesome thing is that they have been in contact with just about everyone in the business and they may already have the answer you need.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Ray Palmer
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 11, 2008 at 4:55:55 pm

[Judson Larke] " I read somewhere that you can use a certain percentage of any song, royalty free. I think it was 10%. Is there any truth to this, even if the percentage is wrong? If so, how much of a song, be it in percentage, or some other measurement can be used?
"


I had a copyright specialist explain this to me and it stuck.
Copyright means that you do or do not have the right to "copy" the material.
There isn't any 10% rule. She mentioned that if a Judge can recognize the material you used and that it was originally "copyright" protected, then there is a case for a copyright violation.

Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
There are three types of people in this world, those that can count and those that can't.


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Judson Larke
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 11, 2008 at 7:37:04 pm

Thanks guys this is all very helpful. As I mentioned, I have Cinescore... but I've just never been happy with it. The music sounds cheesey. I checked out SonicFire... can anyone else vouch for it, or have a better alternative?



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Vincent Becquiot
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 11, 2008 at 7:58:29 pm

I guess I'll give my honest opinion first. I think it's great for coporate gigs. It also has some cheesy reels, but some pretty good libraries as well. I also think the level of cusumization is much higher than Sony's.

You can also easily preview all of it on their website in flash, unlike Sony's awkward low bit rate layout, so you can have a feel for yourself. I think Digitaljuice is running a half off special right now.

The truth is, if if it was great music, it wouldn't cost you 20 bucks a song in the first place...

Cheers,

Vince



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Ty Ford
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 12, 2008 at 12:21:39 pm

In addition to the author's copyright, there are other rights. From the Harry Fox Agency web site, the definitions of the terms below may help you understand the intricacies.

When you look at the degree of legal exposure you and/or your client may have, it becomes instantly understandable why production music companies exist. They serve a very good purpose. 5Alarm, Network, DeWolfe to name three exist to provide quality music for video productions.

Garage Band and Acid Loops are music toolkits that allow the user to build their own tracks, but to do it right, you need a sense of composition otherwise your "music tracks" aren't very musical.

You may have composers in your own town who can do quality work. There are on line services that allow composers to bid on projects as submitted by clients. You may be on the other side of the planet from each other.

If you underestimate the importance of music or overestimate your production chops, your pride may be served, but your productions will suffer.

I've been writing about music rights and creating music tracks for years now. I'm not a symphonic composer by any means. Most of my tracks are underscores for commercials or medium form marketing videos. I know where my limitations are and I know when to say, "Sorry what you want is beyond my abilities. Try this or that person."

Regards,

Ty Ford

Harry Fox Definitions

Mechanical Rights
A mechanical right is the right to record and distribute (without visual images) a song on a phonorecord for private use. Mechanical rights or a mechanical license must be obtained in order to lawfully make and distribute records, CD's and tapes. Recording rights for most music publishers can be obtained from

The Harry Fox Agency
205 East 42nd Street
New York, New York 10017
212-370-5330
http://www.nmpa.org/hfa.html

Sync rights: Synchronization or "Synch" Rights
A synchronization or "synch" right involves the use of a recording of musical work in audio-visual form: for example as part of a motion picture, television program, commercial announcement, music video or other videotape. Often, the music is "synchronized" or recorded in timed relation with the visual images. Synchronization rights are licensed by the music publisher to the producer of the movie or program.

Public Performance or Performance Rights
A public performance is one that occurs "in a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered." A public performance also occurs when the performance is transmitted by means of any device or process (for example, via broadcast, telephone wire, or other means) to the public. In order to perform a copyrighted work publicly, the user must obtain performance rights from the copyright owner or his representative.


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Dan Geocaris
Re: Using music by professional artists
on Mar 12, 2008 at 5:41:54 pm

Agree with all that's why we use the higher end music libraries here for our clients productions.

There is a company called BZ Rights who put out a listing of songs, not recordings, that were in the public domain. It was nice to have that list for clients to go through to come up with creative ideas for spots.

However about 5+ years ago they basically had to retract that listing because the laws were changed and a lot of the songs in the list reverted back to copyright protection for another 30 years or so.

BZ Rights will research the cost of using a song, and you can the Harry Fox agency do it to. Big bucks though. I had a client who got the rights to a 70's song to re-perform for commercials for a short run and the cost was in the multiple 10's of thousands of $s.

Dan Geocaris
Concept Productions
608-833-8273


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